I thought it would be interesting to list some good habits of school bus maintenance. Often times if we develop good habits we prevent a lot of problems in the future, especially if you have an aging fleet like I do. Good habits are especially beneficial for a one man operation such as mine.
Here's my first one:
When changing the brake pads on hyd. brakes I open the bleeder and push the fluid out when pushing the piston back in. That away I am constantly reducing the moisture content of my brake fluid.
I welcome any and all maintenance habits. This is meant to be both fun and informative.
Another habit I have gotten into is to slide under a bus with a flashlight any time it's in the shop. You would be surprised what you will see if you just look. For example see my other post about the Chevy B7 chassis and a broken ground cable. Found that just because I was looking for anything out of the ordinary.
bwest I too like to push the fluid out the bleeder on the caliper. I find being a operator of a small aging fleet its extremely valuable to get your hands on them as much as possible. I personally fuel my buses on site and the hood is opened each time they come in. I have caught and taken care of little problems just from a slight wiff on coolant that was cured by tightening a clamp and also a nail head on the tread of a front steering tire. The more you can look at them the better. It was much easier to plug that tire at the shop then to get a call about a flat on the road....
Sometime with your work load is high it is easy to overlook details. Watching for details and good record keeping makes a large difference. The first line of failure defense is our drivers pre-trip and post-trip inspections. Do not overlook reports by drivers of failures. Commend them for questioning or faults found. Making light of drivers concerns does not encourage them to do regular pre-trip and post-trip inspections.
I also find keeping up with seat repairs makes its less likely for riders to damage the bus. At least that's the way it is here. If it comes in torn we recover it and the kids seem to leave them alone. Our biggest issues is normal wear and not vandalism