Read about the Great Fleets Across America
Subscribe

School Bus Fleet Magazine Forums
School Bus Fleet Magazine Forums
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
 All Forums
 School Bus Equipment
 Enter Forum: School Bus Equipment
 Bad news for First Student drivers
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 2

Peter
Top Member

USA
1055 Posts

Posted - 06/10/2004 :  8:27:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Say good-bye to solid conventional pre-trip inspections and write-ups and hello to something complicated, annoying and guaranteed to malfunction.

From the June, 2004 issue of Student Transportation News:

First Student Begins Zonar Systems Installation

SEATTLE (May 20, 2004) — The nation’s second-largest pupil transportation contractor has begun to equip its 16,000 school buses with an advanced electronic process designed to make bus inspections less costly and more effective—and which will improve rider security as well. Cincinnati-based First Student is now outfitting 4,000 of its buses operating in 17 states, and will install the system in the balance of its vehicles over the next several months.

Zonar Systems, a Seattle firm, developed the technology, which it calls the EVIR™ (Electronic Vehicle Inspection Report) system. A hand-held reader “talks” to small RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags placed at strategic locations around the bus. Each tag prompts an inspection agenda for that zone, which the bus driver or inspector follows. First Student has also placed a tag at the inside rear of their buses to verify that drivers perform a “student check” at the completion of each route, ensuring that no children have been left behind. When the inspection is complete, the information is instantly transmitted to a web-based application where the data can be used as a valuable management tool. If the inspector misses a tag, the oversight becomes evident and the inspector is prompted to visit the tag in order to complete the inspection.

Percy Abbott, First Student’s vice president of safety, said his firm is installing Zonar because “we can eliminate a huge volume of costly paper-based files, and at the same time assure that we get 100 percent inspection coverage. The EVIR™ system doesn’t allow the inspector to miss.”

Abbott added that “improved security is an additional bonus. We can put tags in places where someone might try to hide something on the bus, and wherever tampering could occur. That will assure inspectors check out all the sensitive locations.” Security experts point out that worldwide, buses are the target in one-third of all attacks on mass transit.

William Brinton, Zonar’s Director of Marketing, said “industry experts share a growing concern for school bus security. Sadly, these concerns were validated when school buses were targeted recently in foreign countries. We want to take every possible step to avoid that here. The Zonar system can be a valuable ally, because it would establish an inspection regimen that directs the driver to the various compartments where something may be hidden; and requires a complete check of both the inside and outside of the bus.”

The system also responds to the Transportation Security Administration’s recently released security recommendations for pupil transportation. TSA’s guidelines call for vigilant visual inspection of school buses before each trip, and describe the clues that indicate possible trouble.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently approved the Zonar EVIR™ system as an alternative method of complying with commercial vehicle safety regulations (which generally parallel school bus inspection requirements). Many of the nation’s leading law enforcement agencies have added their approval as well, including the California, Washington and Ohio State Highway Patrols, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Texas Department of Public Service and the New York State Department of Transportation.

“First Student recognized all three benefits of EVIR™—improved efficiency, assured effectiveness of the inspection procedure, and added security for pupil passengers,” according to Darrin Huston, Zonar’s Director of Sales. Huston said “First Student’s management has long been out front in adopting technology that offers operational breakthroughs. The Zonar system is a tremendous breakthrough because it makes the inspection process so much simpler, yet far more thorough, at lower cost.”


--What a bunch of crap. Wasting money on a whole system of electronics when that same money could be spent on continued education for drivers. No driver wants to use this system! Management, if you're concerned about the quality of pre-trip examinations, get out and talk to the drivers. Don't insult us and make our jobs miserable by forcing us to use some ill-conceived doo-hickey that you think is cool. And, Mr. Abbott, do you really think that keeping information on a computer is better than hard copy? Is making all First Student drivers countrywide miserable good for you personally or the company? Are you trying to get us all to quit?

Sherm
Top Member

USA
525 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2004 :  05:10:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I read the same article and came to the same conclusion.
Go to Top of Page

PHW
Top Member

USA
1345 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2004 :  07:11:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It would be interesting to hear from drivers who are actually using the Zonar system. If I'm correct it will also monitor the Child Check compliance.

PHW

Child Check For Life
Chock Wheels For Life
Proud American For Life
Go to Top of Page

JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2004 :  09:39:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PHW

It would be interesting to hear from drivers who are actually using the Zonar system. If I'm correct it will also monitor the Child Check compliance.



Same here. Are there drivers actually using this system that might comment on pluses and negatives? Myself, no big deal either way. Regardless, I suppose it would force actual inspections and a child check routine from some. (jk)

Click Here to find out The #1 reason some school buses are violent places
Go to Top of Page

ModMech
Top Member

USA
948 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2004 :  12:19:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit ModMech's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Granted it is probabally more expensive to impliment than they are letting on to, but really the only people who have anything to worry about are the bean counters and those who skip out on their pre-trips.

If you want customer service, you NEED an International!
Go to Top of Page

NewBee Driver
Senior Member

USA
191 Posts

Posted - 06/11/2004 :  5:15:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I drive for First Student and kind of look forward to this. I for sure am not perfect and have from time to time forgoten to do an item on the pre-trip. And i wonder why you are so quick to condem that witch you don't know, there is the posiblity that it might make our jobs easier. I will save my judgement till i have tried the system for a while.

Driving Seattle To School - And Loving It!!
Go to Top of Page

B. Busguy33
Top Member

USA
3444 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2004 :  7:50:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit B. Busguy33's Homepage  Send B. Busguy33 an AOL message  Send B. Busguy33 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Our location will be one of those pilot-testing this new device in the fall. Our manager mentioned that we would have a new pre-trip system, and I immediately thought Zonar. (She didn't mention what it was.)

I am happy with the pen and book format we are using now, but we'll see what happens with this computer. I'll give it a try.

Edited by - B. Busguy33 on 06/14/2004 8:10:26 PM
Go to Top of Page

Rich
Top Member

United States
5768 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2004 :  9:36:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This system works well for Clark County Schools in Nevada, and I see no reason why it wouldn't work for operators across the nation.

Not only does this device make sure that all buses get pretripped and postchecked, it covers driver's behinds in cases that involve driver error in some lawsuits. This would also in turn help First Student save money.

Bring it on, this will only make buses safer.

What's with the negative attitude, Peter? This technology makes the driver's job much easier, faster, and makes the buses even safer than they already are! There are MANY drivers that don't do inspections right, these computers will change that.



Go to Top of Page

BusBoy
Top Member

USA
2042 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2004 :  07:23:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit BusBoy's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We also here in Indianapolis ( First Student) are going with the Zonar System.
The Zonar people were here and showed us how it works. I think it will save the drivers alot more time and less paperwork for our staff.

Your Child's Safety is Our Business
Go to Top of Page

busmonkey
Senior Member

USA
86 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2004 :  3:36:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think the best part of this is the driver needs to go to the back of the bus and to complete the "check child" tag. It surprises me how many kids are left on the bus because the driver did not check the bus after there route. I think it is a good idea myself.

busmonkey
Go to Top of Page

FirstStudentKid
Senior Member

USA
126 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2004 :  4:04:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think that it is an excellent system and another example of First Student's commitment to passenger safety. My Base currently uses a system where a sign must be placed in the bus's back window when the bus is cleared of sleeping children and it must be removed before picking up passengers. This new system will eliminate the need for signs and allow Base to easily know if the checks are being done.
Go to Top of Page

Peter
Top Member

USA
1055 Posts

Posted - 06/17/2004 :  8:58:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
But why eliminate signs? They're quite effective. We have a designated person that goes around after routes and checks for empty signs. Any bus without a sign posted is checked and the driver warned. Base knows which people are not posting their signs and these people are reprimanded. With zonar, you're only insuring that the driver walk to the back of the bus, not that he inspect it for sleeping children. This system is not insuring that the driver do a thorough pre-trip any more so than the book. If all you have to do is move the handset close enough to the tag to register, that can easily be done without examining the component. Using this system does not guarantee that drivers will correctly pre-trip their buses. The best way to guarantee this is through good training and ongoing evaluation, not expensive electronics.

We're talking about trusting electronics to do what a person can quite easily do very reliably. How often do electric systems fail? Pretty frequently. I can see myself standing outside in the lot on a -20 morning trying to get the tags to register on the handset so that it will show my pre-trip as complete. That's not a problem with the pen and book system. My biggest concern now is the ink in my pen freezing and that's easily fixed. Our pre-trip books have a carbonless carbon-copy type of paper, so you can tear off the top sheet and turn it in and still have a copy of each days slip in the book. When full, the books are stored in the attic and kept for several years. Zonar records are kept on a computer, which, as anyone who has ever used a computer can tell you, is not secure. Files can be erased, data corrupted, sometimes by no fault of any person. Books stored in the attic are at risk from fire or flood. Advantage: books - I've had a boat-load of computer problems but never a fire or flood in my life. Also, this zonar device must communicate somehow with the server and that connection is far more fragile than a person walking around the lot, checking buses.

Technology is only beneficial if it actually improves our lives. This system clearly falls into the category of technology making our job more of a hassle with no benefits to us. There's just no justification for it.

Spicer is nicer.
Go to Top of Page

drivers
New Member

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 06/20/2004 :  9:59:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit drivers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I can not believe what I just read from a uneducated man who is shooting his mouth off on something he knows nothing about. You asked Mr Abbott if he was trying to get us all to quit over Zonar. Personally, way don't you. Our company doesn't need you if you are so narrow minded. I personally hate to think you work for the same company I work for. You sound scare because maybe you don't like change, or you don't think you can learn it or now you have to do a pre-trip. Well, it's here and it's a great new tool that can save the company time and money and protect the driver. I'm talking about ZONAR. The Tigard location here in Tigard, Oregon was CHOSEN to be the first First Student location to get Zonar. We have a mix of drivers of all age groups and they love it each and everyone. First of all the people at Zonar rate NUMBER ONE. They were here explaining how it will save the company money, the many ways management can use it and how it works. They were here when it was taught to the drivers and to answer any questions we could come up with and we had many. Excellence is what this company, product and people are all about and I'm proud to work with them.

Zonar allows the managers to see how the driver is doing their pre-trip, how long they are spending in each area, and even if they are doing a pre-trip. Pre-trips are still done the same way, all that's different is that you scan the tag first. The drivers don't have to write in those small little places in the DVCR book any more. They have a flashlight and the correct time always on the handheld. When they get into a bus that has bus damage they can put it in Zonar before leaving on route or a trip. When they get back and someone has a question about the damage they are pretty much off the hook since it was entered before they took the bus. Once it's entered into the handheld it can not be removed. The pre-trips also are downloaded onto a disk and given to the location so there is a hard copy. This is great since it takes up no room at all for storage not like the books. If a driver or First Student gets sued it's easy to get to and there is no question about the driver changing any information before the police gets there. The Technicians don't have to spend time trying to read drivers handwriting and once it's downloaded any reports that shows something wrong goes directly to the techs. After the work is done they respond to the report by printing it and is placed into the bus box to show the driver the work was either done or is waiting for parts. The technicians don't have to run from bus to bus any more getting mileage either.

There is so much more neat things that Zonar can do and it's a great tool to have. If you have any questions why not call us at Tigard we will be more then glad to tell you all about it. We are moving into the future and First Student is showing the way. WAY TO GO!!!!!

P. Cooper
Go to Top of Page

rswboe
Top Member

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2004 :  10:23:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looks to me like Mr. Peter is afraid of change, not an uncommon reaction to new technology. From a managment point of view, Zonar could be a God-send. Just the cost of printing pre-trip books alone, First student has how many vehicle? 15,000, 20,000, I don't know, but I do know tha at even 5000 vehicle pre-trips done once a day for 160 days is 800,000 pages. forget about the damage to the environment (no, I'm not a tree-hugger, but let's be reasonable). You need a pretty damn big attic to store those in! As for the unreliability of electronics, forget about it. Your cars have been computer controlled for decades. The school bus industry has been so far behind it's nearly criminal. When looked at realisticlly, this is a no-brainer.

Live each like it's going to be your last, one day you'll be right!
Go to Top of Page

FirstStudentKid
Senior Member

USA
126 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2004 :  2:46:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For the record, First Student has 15,000 school buses and transports 1,000,000 students per day. We have 500 contracts, 200 large buses with lifts, 550 small buses with lifts, 13,250 large buses, and 1,600 small buses. First Student is the second largest school bus company by size. (Source=firststudentinc.com and SBF 2003 Contractor Survey)

The exact amount of paper that First Student will save is 2,700,000 sheets per year. Peter, doesn't your base also use two-way radios to communicate? The radios at my base are very reliable and can usually get up to 15 mile range. I'm quite sure that a small handheld device can transmit a few hundred feet back to the Base's computer if the other radios can transmit 15 miles.

On another note, this will make repairs much easier to record. The mechanics will become aware of problems quicker and it will take less work for drivers to keep their bus in good working order. Drivers won't have to hunt for the mechanics and less communication errors will result. Mileage reports will also be substantially improved. At my Base, the radio is completely saturated with mileage reports every Friday. It is a hassle to read off and write down the mileage every week. The new system will allow the mileage to be sent with much less effort and a lower chance of error. Overall the new system is very good.
Go to Top of Page

rswboe
Top Member

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2004 :  09:36:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
2,700,000 sheets of paper, that's worth a tree or two!

Live each like it's going to be your last, one day you'll be right!
Go to Top of Page

BusBoy
Top Member

USA
2042 Posts

Posted - 07/02/2004 :  10:34:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit BusBoy's Homepage  Reply with Quote
FIRSTSTUDENTKID,

FYI:
First Student, Inc. is now up to 17,900 buses nation wide. They are expecting to reach 20,000 buses by the end of the year.

Your Child's Safety is Our Business
Go to Top of Page

FirstStudentKid
Senior Member

USA
126 Posts

Posted - 07/06/2004 :  12:44:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry for the low quote. I pulled my numbers from the 2003 School Bus Fleet Contractor survey. Unfortunately, that is no longer quite up to date. I would download the 2004 version, but I now need some kind of "access pass." I suppose I should go look up the current numbers at the First Student website.

Either way, it is still a lot of paper. Now it would be: 3,600,000 assuming 20,000 buses and only using one sheet of paper per day.
Go to Top of Page

Denny350
New Member

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2004 :  3:04:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Unless the Zonar system has changed since I viewed a demo of it all it does it put you in the area of the "TAG" it doesn't make you "pull the dipstick" or look at the item to be inspected. Yes it tells you to check the oil and click that it is good or not. But Zonar doesn't know when you click if you actually checked the item. Yes it is a tool that drivers can use to ensure they check everything on the Zonar system and provides a paperless way to document a pretrip. I would prefer to take the money spent on Zonar system and ensure proper driver training.
Go to Top of Page

NewBee Driver
Senior Member

USA
191 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2004 :  4:35:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Denny, you say that the Zonar "tag" dosent make you "pull the dipstick." I am curious as to how checking a box on a piece of paper makes you "pull the dipstick." I belive that to many people are looking at this sytem as a way to "make" lazzy drivers do their pre-trip, it is not. This sytem is about information management. Yes it does have the side benefit of reminding the driver if they miss a "tag" durring there pre-trip, but people need to understand that this is not the systems primary goal.

Driving Seattle To School - And Loving It!!
Go to Top of Page

Denny350
New Member

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2004 :  06:35:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree 100% a piece of paper doesn't make you pull the dipstick either, but on that piece of paper is the drivers signature in ink. And it does list the same things to check that the Zonar system does. Should a problem be found with a poor pre-trip I have the drivers signature saying they checked the bus as per DOT Standards. With Zonar you don't have the drivers signature you have thier electronic signature. I personally feel a handwritten signature is more powerful than an electronic one. Zonar does make the person at least go to the area to check, a definite benifit. But Im curious how well the electronic signature would stand in court up should you have a driver that is involved in an accident and it was proven the pre-trip was not done properly. Training is critical no matter what system you use, I can get alot of training done for the cost of the Zonar system and the annual maintenance "Subscriber fee"
Go to Top of Page

busguy34
Senior Member

USA
100 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2004 :  12:55:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
WHATS THE BIG DEAL? HOW ABOUT THE DRIVERS I HAVE SEEN THAT SIT IN DRIVERS ROOM AND JUST CHECK OFF THE SHEETS??? THIS SYSTEM IS ACCURATE AND THE DRIVERS WHO REALLY DO PRETRIPS ALREADY WILL HAVE NO PROBLEMS.THE ONES WHO ARE COMPLAINING ARE THE ONES WHO WILL REALY HAVE TO DO THEM NOW

MARK R. EGAN
Go to Top of Page

rswboe
Top Member

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2004 :  09:15:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You hit it right on the head. A signature is very often not worth the paper it's written on. You have no proof the job was actually done. The advantage of the electronic system is that you HAVE to be in the proximity of the item being checked. Forcing people to do what they're being PAID to do, who would've thought?

Live each like it's going to be your last, one day you'll be right!
Go to Top of Page

NvrDnDrmn2003
Active Member

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2004 :  07:02:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The base I work for will be getting Zonar in all of our buses. I think it will help in quite a few ways. First, our base will be able to monitor all the drivers to be able to see who actually does the pre-trips, and child checks. Yes the drivers are going to be able to get around doing things like pulling the dip sticks but they ARE going to have to at least go to every place where there is a scan pad. Second, Child Checks WILL HAVE to be done. Third, The drivers will Have to be walking around their buses and at least scanning the pads. Yes the paper works fine but how many drivers out there just check all the boxes and do not even bother to walk around their buses?
I think is alot of ways it will help drivers. I will love the fact that every child check will be recorded. I check my bus every time I empty. We do multitudes of runs back to back. These checks need to be made b4 going from one town to the next. To my knowledge, we will not be getting rid of the signs this system will be in addition to the signs.
Forth, The pre -trips and mid-day inspections and such are all timed. I think if base sees that the average for all drivers is say 8 minutes, which I am told is the average, and a few drivers are clocking in at 2 minutes or 4 minutes they are going to wonder how they are doing it. The drivers that actually do all of their checks and that do proper pre-trips will be acknowledged for doing so and the drivers that do a half ass job or a job not done at all will hopefully be caught and re-trained and /or written up for their negligence.
Fifth, with the Zonar is there will be no paper use. Yes we will carry a pre-trip book in case of the Zonar going down and not working properly (as we all know can and will happen) but the paper trail will be so much less. There are boxes and boxes of used pre-trip books and slips in every office. This system will cut down on the amount of wasted paper it will definitaly be a plus on our environment.
Sixth,a great bonus to me, is not having to call base in between runs and let them no I will have to come in to get a light replaced or something else cause they will already have that information. Seveth, the drivers that do not take the time to get things fixed but feel they do have to write it up, the shop will now have a way to know that Joe wrote this light up 5 days ago and still has not come in to get it fixed.

For those drivers that indeed do their job, don't sweat it! For those drivers that cut corners and do not do their pre-trips and child checks well I guess they will have to change their ways or be prepaired to pay the consequences of retraining and or disciplinary action.

Give Respect Get Respect
Go to Top of Page

mair
Senior Member

USA
95 Posts

Posted - 10/08/2004 :  06:53:52 AM  Show Profile  Send mair an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Yep, I agree with ya, NvrDnDrmn2003. The people who complain the loudest will be the ones who never did what they were supposed to, to begin with. I've been using Zonar for a couple of weeks now. The only problem I have with the whole process is "weather." It was pouring out one morning, and I had my umbrella. Juggling the zonar thing, with the umbrella while pulling "the dipstick" was tricky for sure. I'm thinking of scoreing one of those goofy "hat umbrellas" for such an occasion.

As for my opinion on Zonar... eh. Whatever. No biggie. I much prefer pushing a button than checking off a million little boxes. I am totally down with the child check thing. How cool is that! I like to call it, "the butt coverer." Another bonus is the built in flashlight. Very cool. Too bad it doesn't come with a remote control bus starter! Hey, do they make those???


Transporting the window lickers of New Hampshire
Go to Top of Page

littlebit
Advanced Member

431 Posts

Posted - 10/08/2004 :  09:36:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In our driver's meeting that was held Monday, our boss brought these up. After he showed us a tire that was on the front of someone's bus. It was slicker than ice and had actually blown out while said driver was on the route. I don't know whose bus this tire can off of. But he said, he didn't want to go to this system that he trusted his drivers to check their buses. I know it made me want to leave that meeting and go look at my tires even though I knew that they looked nothing like that.

Bus 34
Go to Top of Page

Peter
Top Member

USA
1055 Posts

Posted - 10/08/2004 :  1:31:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
The people who complain the loudest will be the ones who never did what they were supposed to, to begin with.


Totally false. The people who complain are the ones that are worried about their work environment heading into the toilet and want to prevent it. The slack-offs just figure out how to go on not doing their job. One of them will figure out a short cut and word will spread. The rest of us will suffer and our pleas will go unheeded.
Go to Top of Page

Rich
Top Member

United States
5768 Posts

Posted - 10/08/2004 :  1:40:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Peter,

Have you gotten the Zonar system yet? What's your opinion now, if you've tried it?



Go to Top of Page

mair
Senior Member

USA
95 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2004 :  12:08:19 AM  Show Profile  Send mair an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Peter, I'm really not seeing where all this hostility is coming from. The Zonar thing is making people HAVE to walk around and check their buses! There are NO shortcuts to take. If you dont physically WALK around your bus, and scan the little pads in various locations, then you are not completing your pretrip properly. The information is stored in the little hand held unit until we go and upload the crap into the computer (which takes all of about 15 seconds). If people are not completing their pre-trips properly, then managment will know about it, along with the garage or whoever else has access to the uploaded material. Where is the problem with that? For cryin' out loud, they can even tell how long you spent on your pre-trip because it logs every time that you scanned one of the pads. Sure, you can run around and scan everything in about a minute, but the people doing that would be the same people just "checking off all the little boxes." The difference being...THE OFFICE WILL KNOW ABOUT IT. You can't hide crappy pre-trips ANY MORE. Hey, and in reference to this comment, "The slack-offs just figure out how to go on not doing their job" well gee wiz Peter, its been like that since the caveman days. There will always be the slacker. Zonar is making their slackyness visible. Still not seeing where the problem with this is. Are you using zonar?


Transporting the window lickers of New Hampshire
Go to Top of Page

Peter
Top Member

USA
1055 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2004 :  6:45:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not yet. Some of the other terminals in the region have installed it but we haven't.

Mair and others have made good points about the benefits of this system, but my enthusiasm about it remains non-existent. I just hate having electronic devices forced on me because more often than not, they fail to make life or work easier. Now some things are very useful: power tools, for example, allow you to cut, loosen, tighten, machine, sand and drill much faster than you can by hand. The computer and internet are making it possible to have this discussion while the desk lamp allows me to see what I am doing. However, many things, while well intentioned, just don't cut it and should be abandoned. I'd like to make a few points to illustrate my feelings about the situation.

1. The riff raff employees always do things that lead to the introduction of more technology. A couple of years back we installed the Simplex time card system. Prior to that, we recorded our time on a triple carbon sheet for the whole week and turned it in. Well, some people were exaggerating their time. In comes the swipe card system, touted for eliminating stolen time and reducing paperwork as time is recorded in the computer now and not on paper. I was issued a card and told to swipe in and out each morning and evening; four swipes per day. However, as a standby driver, I also had to fill out an exception report every day. Now I was using five sheets of paper per week instead of three. Using the swipe card was redundant because they were analyzing my exception report every day to categorize my time anyway. Swiping the card is not difficult, it's just a needless exercise.

2. Why use a cannon to kill a mosquito when your hand will do?
We don't have the child check system, but some of our other terminals do. Driving a bus borrowed from one of those terminals one day, I really came to appreciate it's absence in our buses. I parked the bus and shut it off, walked to the back and pressed the button, held it for fifteen seconds and walked back up front. Lights and horn commence. Turned ignition on and tried it again. Again, lights and horn. FIVE TIMES I tried different combinations of engine running, key on accessories, holding the button for a long time, keeping the headlights on until it finally worked. The proper implementation of an empty sign system is equally as effective as Child Check with no headaches for the unfamiliar bus driver. I know, I know, once you learn the sequence it's not a problem, but why complicate our work place with more technology? Redundant. See point number one.

I inspect the buses I drive and record the inspection on the pre-trip book. Sometimes I wonder if I'm catching defects that other people miss because I turn in a lot of repair requests on other people's buses. The system works for me and I like it. When we go to zonar, there will be nothing that I can do so I'm voicing my opinion now in hope that it might influence someone else's decision about implementing such a system.

Spicer is nicer.
Go to Top of Page

NvrDnDrmn2003
Active Member

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2004 :  2:15:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have been using Zonar now for a month or so. Zonar is great!! Yes maybe it is different but not all changes are a bad thing.

Peter, I understand that it will be different for you , but it will not be a bad different if you give it a chance. When you get trained to use Zonar the Zonar trainer will tell you as he told us to do your pretrip as you always have. Yes it takes a little to get used to, for all of us it will. Your examples were good ones to prove your point but think of it this way....they are trying to make things better not worse. There are many drivers out there that were sitting in the drivers seat of their buses checking off all the little boxes. The Zonar is a step up to get all drivers to do more like they are paid to do. The way I think of it is, I would rather have my child on a Zonar bus instead of a bus that the driver sat in the drivers seat and checked the little boxes and did not bother to find a deadly problem with their bus and my child ends up dead. No Zonar does not make them pull the dipstick but...they have to lift the hood so many are just gonna pull it since they are already there. No Zonar does not make them open the emergency door to make sure it does open but....once you are already standing there how many are gonna open it cause they are already standing there? And if a driver is in the middle of the root and all of a sudden has two flat tires, cause they have been riding around with the inside dual flat and it blew out the other one, managment can really come down on that driver cause here is the print out of your am pretrip....you scanned that tab above the duals did you not bother to check them?? As you certified that you did! Are there gonna be ways around Zonar ? Maybe, but it is a step in the right direction.

Give Respect Get Respect
Go to Top of Page

JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2004 :  6:58:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Peter

quote:
The people who complain the loudest will be the ones who never did what they were supposed to, to begin with.


Totally false. The people who complain are the ones that are worried about their work environment heading into the toilet and want to prevent it. The slack-offs just figure out how to go on not doing their job. One of them will figure out a short cut and word will spread. The rest of us will suffer and our pleas will go unheeded.


I agree with both perspectives presented. One of the problems with resolving issues includes the fabricators screams mixed in with the genuine. Informed, deliberate and consistent can send the fabricators back into the shadows, but doesn't necessarily shut them up.

I would think the gadget under discussion here would be a superb training device, although if the provider has the bucks to by these gadgets, I can live with it. (jk)

Click Here to find out The #1 reason some school buses are violent places

Edited by - JK on 10/16/2004 7:02:21 PM
Go to Top of Page

AlaskaStandby
Active Member

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 11/06/2004 :  8:17:10 PM  Show Profile  Send AlaskaStandby a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
As a current First Student Driver, I feel the need to throw in my 2 cents. ZONAR *****!! ZONAR *****!! ZONAR *****!! I can see the need for a system to record the inspections and even the other capabilities of the Zonar system, but I have but one question for First Student Inc. headquarters.

WHY IN THE HELL ARE YOU SPENDING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ON ZONAR WHEN WE HAVE A HARD TIME GETTING MANAGMENT TO BUY TOILET PAPER AND XEROX PAPER AND PAY THE OVERTIME SO THE TRAINERS CAN GET NEW DRIVERS IN THE SEATS?????? GET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT MR ABBOTT!! WHEN WILL THE SAFETY AND CONCERN OF THE DRIVERS AND THE WELL BEING OF YOUR SO CALLED "ASSOCIATES" COME INTO PLAY? OR WILL YOU JUST DRIVE US ALL AWAY AND BE FORCED OUT OF BUSINESS?

Remember,
ONE KID LEFT ON A SCHOOL BUS FOR ANY REASON IS ONE KID TOO MANY!!!
Go to Top of Page

JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 11/06/2004 :  10:35:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AlaskaStandby

... I can see the need for a system to record the inspections and even the other capabilities of the Zonar system. I have but one question for First Student Inc. headquarters.

WHY IN THE HELL ARE YOU SPENDING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ON ZONAR WHEN WE HAVE A HARD TIME GETTING MANAGMENT TO BUY TOILET PAPER AND XEROX PAPER AND PAY THE OVERTIME SO THE TRAINERS CAN GET NEW DRIVERS IN THE SEATS?????? GET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT MR ABBOTT!! WHEN WILL THE SAFETY AND CONCERN OF THE DRIVERS AND THE WELL BEING OF YOUR SO CALLED "ASSOCIATES" COME INTO PLAY? OR WILL YOU JUST DRIVE US ALL AWAY AND BE FORCED OUT OF BUSINESS?



[sigh] ... I have to agree with what you said in the quote above. (jk)

Click Here to find out The #1 reason school bus drivers quit

Go to Top of Page

FirstStudentKid
Senior Member

USA
126 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2004 :  4:34:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JK

quote:
Originally posted by AlaskaStandby



WHY IN THE **** ARE YOU SPENDING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ON ZONAR WHEN WE HAVE A HARD TIME GETTING MANAGMENT TO BUY TOILET PAPER AND XEROX PAPER AND PAY THE OVERTIME SO THE TRAINERS CAN GET NEW DRIVERS IN THE SEATS?????? GET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT MR ABBOTT!! WHEN WILL THE SAFETY AND CONCERN OF THE DRIVERS AND THE WELL BEING OF YOUR SO CALLED "ASSOCIATES" COME INTO PLAY? OR WILL YOU JUST DRIVE US ALL AWAY AND BE FORCED OUT OF BUSINESS?



[sigh] ... I have to agree with what you said in the quote above. (jk)



I highly doubt that First Student's business model is crucially dependent upon having a surplus of "toliet paper and xerox paper." First Student's mission is to provide safe student transportation. Good bus repairs and safety equipment utilization are more important then the petty concerns that you have mentioned.

Additionally it seems that most of your complaints about trainers and supplies are more of a local issue. Corporate allocates funds for usage on those types of supplies. Perhaps you should let your contract manager know that they aren't adequately replenished. However, your Contract Manager may be seeing wasteful usage of these resources requiring greater control. I can't help but wonder if your drivers are misuing resources and stealing paper for personal usage.

Finally your post is hardly very respectfully written. All capital letters along with the usage of profane language hardly shows you to be a reasonable individual. If First Student management was reading this page, would they consider your opinion to be worth considering? Instead of presenting valid arguments, you engage in attacks along with the lack of a professional presentation.
Go to Top of Page

JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2004 :  5:09:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by FirstStudentKid

... If First Student management was reading this page, would they consider your opinion to be worth considering? Instead of presenting valid arguments, you engage in attacks along with the lack of a professional presentation.



I certainly did consider what AlaskaStandby was presenting and found some agreement with his issue. I would think First Student Management would have the intelligence to consider the comment as well. And I would think that the better managers would not spend most of their time attacking the poster rather than addressing the actual issue. (jk)

Click Here to find out The #1 reason school bus drivers quit

Edited by - JK on 11/07/2004 5:10:40 PM
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 2 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
 


School Bus Fleet Magazine Forums © 2013 School Bus Fleet Magazine Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.58 seconds. Snitz Forums 2000