FISHERS, Ind. — When Greg Beaverson was studying to take his pre-trip inspection test to earn his commercial driver’s license (CDL) to become a school bus driver, he knew he needed a system that would help him memorize the inspection steps easily.
As a result, he created the “School Bus CDL Pre-Trip Inspection” DVD, which is now available to bus drivers and pupil transportation operations nationwide.
“I had to set myself up for success very quickly when it came time to get my CDL, so when I put together this DVD, I did it exactly like I had to for my own benefit — systematically, orderly and so that I'd let the bus do as much work for me as possible,” Beaverson told SBF in an interview, adding that he shared it with the transportation staff at Hamilton Southeastern School District once he began working there as a bus driver about a year ago.
Beaverson said that the DVD was well received by the Hamilton Southeastern School District team. The transportation director was enthusiastic about it, and it was incorporated into the training curriculum for the operation’s newly hired drivers.
Based on this response, Beaverson felt that many people would find the DVD helpful. He made an appointment to speak with Michael LaRocco, director of the Indiana Department of Education’s Office of School Transportation, to find out whether LaRocco felt that there would be interest in the DVD outside of Indiana, and also to find out if he would be interested in using the DVD for his three-day training sessions. The response from LaRocco was also positive: Beaverson said that he “loved what he saw.”
Officials from the Indiana Department of Education said that LaRocco and his staff ordered two DVDs and will use them in pre-service training for all new drivers as both an example of a proper pre-trip inspection and a familiarization tool for school buses in general.
In addition, Beaverson said that LaRocco informed him that CDL pre-trip inspection mandates are nationwide, so potential and existing pupil transporters outside of Indiana can benefit from the information presented in the DVD.
In “School Bus CDL Pre-Trip Inspection,” Beaverson conducts a pre-trip inspection on a transit-style school bus, beginning with the outside and then moving to the inside. With both the inside and the outside, the process is broken down into several mini chapters that can be selected from the DVD menu, including “Front of the bus,” “Driver Side Front,” “Front Wheel Well Area,” “Passenger Side of the Bus,” “The Rear Wheel Area,” “The Engine Compartment” and “Four-Point Brake Check.”
“With both the exterior and interior, I broke them down in ways that would make it simple to memorize in little chunks, and because of the mini chapters and the rewind button, the viewer is in complete control of what he or she needs to learn, review and reinforce based on his or her rough spots,” Beaverson said.
He added that he believes the biggest strength of the DVD is that it allows trainees to listen to and see exactly what they will be doing during the CDL pre-trip inspection test (as opposed to just reading about it in a manual).
“School Bus CDL Pre-Trip Inspection” is $29.95. Some discounts are available for multiple copies. For more information or to purchase a copy, click here. Beaverson can be reached at [email protected] or through the “Contact Us” page on the website.