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 As a mechanic, how do you feel about drivers....
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baptistbusman1
Senior Member

USA
61 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2013 :  3:13:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This morning a driver had a problem with her bus, instead of calling in, she stops at her home and has her husband diagnose the burning smell as the transmission burning up. She then finishes her route and comes back to the shop and goes straight to the general manager and informs him her transmission is all burnt up.

Well, to me this is insulting to have the manager come out and tell me there was a complaint. I get in her bus to find that both her right side heater motor and defroster motor burned up and locked up totally...and both had the switches on high. No transmission problem, hubby was wrong.

Am I the only one that has headaches like this? Does everyone have drivers who are all the sudden mechanics and can fix their bus better than I can? Have you ever told a driver that their bus is going to make noise and rattle and to shut up and drive it?

Just curious....

raytobe
Advanced Member

USA
277 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2013 :  5:32:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit raytobe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Some are great and wonderful, some not so much so. I view them as customers-- basically. We have good days and bad days and I roll with it--- for the most part-- but after 35 years I could tell you some stories for sure..
I was on call for service calls one weekend and a drivers bus broke down. She dials the shop cell phone several times and claimed nobody answered soooo Monday morning I was called in to the foreman's office and yelled at (almost), turns out she was dialing the wrong damn number.
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slippert
Advanced Member

USA
353 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2013 :  04:28:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Lol, you are not the only one, I echo what raytobe says, there are good days and bad! just have to roll with it...I have found that all my drivers and most everybody else thinks they can be or are a mechanic, and if your not telling them what they want to hear, they go above you. I try to address all issues whether it requires repair or just a good explanation to them ...I have one driver that assists me in the shop when I get behind, but he doesn't ever tell me how much he knows, just shows me by being able to do the work...and is smart enough to ask questions if he doesn't.
I don't feel like I am baby sitting when he helps in the shop.

Edited by - slippert on 02/28/2013 12:30:19 PM
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willism
Senior Member

United States
129 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2013 :  04:48:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit willism's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Had one driver complaining of smoke in the cab said pull it over and get out just in case I ended up chasing her to 3 schools and finally gave up and found the bus back in front of the shop with the park brake shoes burnt up she said she had to drive with a scarf over her face....
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Sherm
Top Member

USA
521 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2013 :  05:49:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As a director, I've always made it a point to include the mechanics in any mechanical inservice training provided to the drivers. When the mechanics have a chance to explain some issues and scenarios to the group, and then answer questions, it tends to foster better communications between mechanics and drivers. That hopefully results in better preventive maintenance and fewer headaches in the shop, and more informed and intelligent drivers. That being said, there are still sometimes problems. Like all important messages, the method of delivery can make all the difference. People tend to get compartmentalized in their own little worlds at work; I have spent a lot of time explaining to drivers how/why mechanics must do things the way they do them. Keep up the good work guys!
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2184 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2013 :  07:23:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sherm, you took the words right out of my mouth. Baptistbusman1, Like Sherm said your problems are deeper. Consider meeting with your director, super or whoever has the final say on a daily basis. Find some common ground and build on it. There are better things to do in life besides bicker and be all wadded up inside. Sometimes people just can't adjust to getting along with others and have to be sent on to the next job at the next place down the road though.

Joeheb, I do take offense. Drivers are people just like the rest of us. I have three drivers who are or have been mechanics. I even have one who is a pilot (talk about an adjustment!). Doesn't really matter you just have to learn how they view things and explain it to them on their terms. I think I just would have chuckled and said "next time, when you have a problem with your bus, bring it to me so you won't have to bother your husband. He's too busy to have to worry about that". LOL, honey gets more flies than vinegar.

Bryan
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offroadwolf1
Active Member

32 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2013 :  09:13:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We are a smaller school and I am the only person in the shop. I have the same issues as others have mentioned. Some are outstanding drivers, others are a challenge. I have one that drives the bus like a race car and is gonna wreck that thing some day. My challenging drivers all have the same problem, their bus should be my highest priority no matter what is wrong with anything in the fleet. Now some have posted that a driver has had someone look at the bus, even worse actually make a repair to it. My superintendent would terminate that driver on the spot. No one looks at my buses without me contacting them for work. That is just a bad idea and could cause major safety issues.
Every large shop I have worked at the drivers are all the same, you have great ones and very challenging ones. We all feel the same pain.
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Trailboss
Senior Member

United States
146 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2013 :  10:02:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I find it interesting that on this thread I read drivers asking mechanical questions that they should be asking there mechanic. I guess they do not trust their mechanic but that is what they were hired to do is mechanic and drivers to drive.
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willism
Senior Member

United States
129 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2013 :  11:15:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit willism's Homepage  Reply with Quote
One that I like is when you got one torn down for a full set of injectors or something major and get someone flapping a write up for seat repair its got to be done right now or the world is gonna end grrr.
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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2175 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2013 :  11:38:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I tell my drivers hands off unless it's a bulb or something simple. But I still deal with duct tape and other driver repairs. So it goes. I feel ya.

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
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IBTMech
Top Member

USA
973 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2013 :  5:14:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit IBTMech's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We have our share of 'problem of the day' bus drivers but I gotta tell you, volunteer firemen are far worse. They will diagnose and 'fix' something and then we get the blame for either poor PMs or unanswered maintenance requests (which somehow end up in someone's outbox for a few weeks). Sorry, my crystal ball is broken.........

If it doesn't fit, FORCE it.
If it breaks, well, it needed replacing anyway.
Pullin' wrenches for 45 years.
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2184 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2013 :  08:58:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Now, Now, Not all volunteer firemen are like that. I read where a volunteer fireman was arrested for setting fires the other day. That doesn't make us all arsonists.

Bryan
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sob
Senior Member

USA
55 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2013 :  1:44:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'd love to get in on this thread, so to speak. But, I will pick this moment in time to remain silent.
I am content to lurk and read other peoples posts.
Misfit toys, I like that !!! Can I use that, or do you have copyrights on that one.
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C.HARDY
Advanced Member

338 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2013 :  3:23:08 PM  Show Profile  Click to see C.HARDY's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I run a small operation with 7 drivers. I myself am the Supervisor, mechanic and a driver. Most of my drivers are top notch for the most part. I do wish some of them werent so hard on the bus, nothing gets my goat more than turning on the key and have all of the accessories running wide open or watching them leave the shop with foot to the floor then slam on brakes at the last minute. I have a strict hands off policy when it comes to repairs. No duct taped seats or any back yard repairs to the bus, if somethings wrong bring to me. I fuel the fleet and check fluids etc. myself. It is very annnoying to get a call about a major breakdown to find a simple problem such as a burnt up heater motor.

"Hardybusman"

Edited by - C.HARDY on 03/01/2013 3:24:40 PM
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partsman_ba
Administrator

United States
283 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2013 :  3:46:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Our drivers are a pretty good bunch, as a whole. The teachers and coaches that drive the activity buses on the other hand...

Once, we had two mechanics do a road call 60 miles out of town on a weekend for a no start. Turns out the coach had secured the emergency exit and forgotten about it.
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ic0730
Active Member

18 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2013 :  10:42:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit ic0730's Homepage  Reply with Quote
SOME PEOPLE you just cant help them all

Edited by - ic0730 on 03/02/2013 10:43:27 AM
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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2175 Posts

Posted - 03/15/2013 :  1:14:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I told the driver it was OK for him to take care of this for me. LOL

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2184 Posts

Posted - 03/15/2013 :  2:50:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Cat or Coon?

Bryan
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second.flood
Advanced Member

USA
286 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2013 :  11:55:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some of my driver pet peeves.

Drivers whistling at me. I'm not a dog....lol I ignore horn beeps, screaming and whistling.

Running a bus down to fumes. I had a driver run a bus out of fuel a few weeks ago, with kids on board! He is no longer employed here.

Leaving the interior dirty.

The occasional driver who cannot remember how to disarm the "No student left behind" system, even though instructions are plainly posted.

Driver "MY BUS WON'T START!" Me "Is it in neutral?" Driver "Oh!!!! "

Drivers that lie about issues.... just tell me the truth so I can fix it.

My #1 pet peeve is drivers not reporting known issues, I hate getting rapped by the Patrol for minor violations that drivers fail to write up out of pure laziness.

I do have three beautiful lady drivers who help me in the summer doing seat repair work, steam cleaning, and wash/wax the buses. A good summer crew is invaluable to keeping our fleet operating at a high level. These three gals also keep their buses cleaner than most..... they know all the hard work it takes to clean them up each summer.

I also drove a route for 7 years, so I know firsthand the challenges drivers face... I respect the tough job they do.









Edited by - second.flood on 03/20/2013 11:56:49 AM
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partsman_ba
Administrator

United States
283 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2013 :  4:19:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wolf0r, I've often felt the same way about our C7's. Rattling pieces of &%#@!
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slippert
Advanced Member

USA
353 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2013 :  7:06:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by partsman_ba

Wolf0r, I've often felt the same way about our C7's. Rattling pieces of &%#@!



LOL, I thought it looked like cat Sh*t too....
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slippert
Advanced Member

USA
353 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2013 :  7:09:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by second.flood

Some of my driver pet peeves.

Drivers whistling at me. I'm not a dog....lol I ignore horn beeps, screaming and whistling.

Running a bus down to fumes. I had a driver run a bus out of fuel a few weeks ago, with kids on board! He is no longer employed here.

Leaving the interior dirty.

The occasional driver who cannot remember how to disarm the "No student left behind" system, even though instructions are plainly posted.

Driver "MY BUS WON'T START!" Me "Is it in neutral?" Driver "Oh!!!! "

Drivers that lie about issues.... just tell me the truth so I can fix it.

My #1 pet peeve is drivers not reporting known issues, I hate getting rapped by the Patrol for minor violations that drivers fail to write up out of pure laziness.

I do have three beautiful lady drivers who help me in the summer doing seat repair work, steam cleaning, and wash/wax the buses. A good summer crew is invaluable to keeping our fleet operating at a high level. These three gals also keep their buses cleaner than most..... they know all the hard work it takes to clean them up each summer.

I also drove a route for 7 years, so I know firsthand the challenges drivers face... I respect the tough job they do.



This is a good list!! Have had most of these happen to me,lmao,,, but comes back to saying respect what each other do and do your job and things run alot smoother....






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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2175 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2013 :  2:18:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by partsman_ba

Wolf0r, I've often felt the same way about our C7's. Rattling pieces of &%#@!



The Acert is just as noisy as my 3116s. It was cat poop BTW, fitting I thought.

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2184 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2013 :  07:40:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wolf0r

quote:
Originally posted by partsman_ba

Wolf0r, I've often felt the same way about our C7's. Rattling pieces of &%#@!



The Acert is just as noisy as my 3116s. It was cat poop BTW, fitting I thought.




That's funny!

Bryan
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eddo
Senior Member

USA
88 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2013 :  10:02:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
one of my biggest peeves, to go along with some of the other mentioned:

Drivers that wait until the day BEFORE a truck is scheduled to be pulled for PM, and then write me up a whole list of things that are wrong with it. Some easy fixes that I could have done along the way, but sometimes they are bigger- and I have to order parts. With my ever increasing in age fleet, parts aren't always readily available.
Then they get mad that I down their truck for a couple days while I wait on parts...

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willism
Senior Member

United States
129 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2013 :  12:47:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit willism's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Just had one 10 mins ago said I had alot of trouble getting the bus to run out the lot and now im at the school and it wont run anymore. He said i probally should have radio'd when i was still on the lot right. Oh one thing do most of you guys have a down board where you put the buses that are down? How do you all get the drivers to look at it ours is right by there sign in sheet and they still wont look at it.
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Big John
Active Member

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 03/22/2013 :  1:27:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
From my experience a few rotten apples really can spoil the whole basket if you let them.
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bus a groove
Senior Member

57 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2013 :  07:57:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In our dispatch office we have a white board with names and routes. Next to the drivers name we have what bus they are in. We have a box at the bottom what buses are in the shop and out for repairs also spare buses and what buses are last to run. Also what buses and the dates of inspection coming up that week. Of course the drivers need to look at it when they come to work which they don't always do. We also put a yellow out of service paper in the windshield of out of service buses
quote:
Originally posted by willism

Just had one 10 mins ago said I had alot of trouble getting the bus to run out the lot and now im at the school and it wont run anymore. He said i probally should have radio'd when i was still on the lot right. Oh one thing do most of you guys have a down board where you put the buses that are down? How do you all get the drivers to look at it ours is right by there sign in sheet and they still wont look at it.

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wes032
New Member

2 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2013 :  9:06:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit wes032's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hey second flood. Every district has its issues but I live and drive for a district that you have an issue with your bus you write up per procedure and while we are supposed to get a Copy of the report on our front seat or in our box letting us know it was looked at and what actions were taken. 99.8% of the time not only do we not get a Copy of the report our buses are NEVER looked at. We have a brand new transportation department with a brand new 14 Bay garage and 7 technicians that do NOTHING but sit in their private lounge all day. The district I worked for before was in a ratty building with crappy work bays with some of the oldest buses. Ranged from 1989 to 2009 but more than 78% were older than 03 models. Yet we had GREAT technicians, they HAD to be to keep those clunkers on the road. My bus there was a 95 with 468,000 miles when I quit in 2011. There you turn a report in for repairs by 9am and unless it's a major repair its repaired with a notification on your bus seat in time for afternoon route.
Where I work now or oldest bus is a 2004 model and 85% or more are 2008 and newer and we run 88 route buses and 14 trip buses. We the drivers have gotten to the Pojnt we don't write issues up anymore because it does NO good! If we need a headlight we have to force their hands in the am while is dark so they have to do it. As a driver my biggest pet peeve is when I take 10 minutes to write a problem up on a bus look at the damned thing and apart make it look like you did something. ... or better yet DO YOUR DAMNED JOB! I'm in a C2 right now is a 2009.. I like it except an occasional wiring gremlin with the multiplex system. Then in 2010 they went to the IC's they've been disasters. They purchased 35 to 40 over 3 years. We are going to bluebirds next year since we have a new bluebird dealer and service center now. Heard they are good bus. I just think they are ugly as hell. Lol.
Sorry for going on and on, just remember its not the driver in every case. God knows we have a few of them but MOST on our team are great drivers. Now if we could get some good buses and some good techs to keep them on the road we'd be doing great!
Thanks for listening.
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