As the school year approaches, you as the district’s fleet manager have the responsibility of inspecting and repairing all of the school buses. They must be in good working order on the first day of school.
You can make sure each bus is in the best condition possible by compiling an effective safety and mechanical checklist. You can also quickly and conveniently handle any damages to your buses by taking them to a skilled bus repair mechanic.
Testing the Brakes
The first to-do item that you can include on your bus repair checklist is to inspect the brakes. The brakes on the bus are critical to the safety of each student who rides on it. They must work correctly and reliably to prevent accidents and injuries.
To check the brakes, you should make sure the air pressure in them is at the maximum level. The pressure should remain constant even when the engine is switched off.
If the pressure decreases, this could indicate that there is an air leak in the brakes. A leak can also be indicated by a buzzing sound from the low-pressure indicator on the bus.
If you suspect that the brakes have an air leak, it is crucial that you take the bus to a licensed bus repair mechanic. The mechanic can retest the brake lines and replace or repair them if necessary.
Check the Bus Steering
The steering on each bus should function freely from lock to lock on the steering wheel. You must ensure that the power steering reservoir is completely full before each bus is taken out on its route.
You also can check for stone damages and leaks that occur within the power steering pipes. The undercarriage should get a thorough inspection to detect any fluid leaks that occur there. The steering wheel itself should also be free from any cracks or breaks.
Power steering issues can be complex to repair on your own. Rather than take the chance of the steering not working on one of your buses, you can take it to an experienced bus mechanic to have it repaired quickly and effectively.
Windshield, Wiper Blades, and Mirrors Inspection
In addition to checking each bus for mechanical issues, you also should inspect each one to ensure its outer components are working correctly. To start, you can examine the windshield for repair issues like cracks, chips, and breaks. The windshield should also be free of any clouding that can impede the view of the bus driver.
Additionally, you need to look at the mirrors on each side of the bus. The mirrors provide the driver with a clear view of any cars or pedestrians that are passing on either of the bus’s side. Like the windshield, the mirrors should be free of damages like dents, cracks, and holes that can block the driver’s view.
Finally, both windshield wipers ideally should be as operational as possible. However, the one on the driver’s side of the windshield has to work well enough to clear water and debris from the driver’s line of sight. If any of these components need to be repaired, you can rely on a trained bus repair mechanic to fix them for you.
Testing the Lights
Another exterior component that has to be tested before a bus can be taken out on its route is its lights. During your summertime review of your fleet’s buses, you should test lights like the:
- Front, rear, and park lamps
- Tail and stop lamps
- Hazard lights
- Reverse lamps
If any of these lights fail to illuminate when tested or if they do not come on when you test the switches for them, they need to be replaced or repaired. A skilled bus mechanic can replace the bulbs, repair or replace switches, and fix the wiring within these fixtures on the outside of the bus.
These factors should be included on your annual school bus mechanical checklist. These tasks ensure that all of the most important parts of your buses are working correctly. You can have vital repairs done quickly and easily by taking your buses to a licensed bus repair mechanic.