School Bus Conference Vancouver

Mechanics Hub - August 5, 2014
School Bus Conference in Vancouver

In the first week of July myself and 2 other Mechanics went down to Vancouver to attend the annual ASTSBC (association of school bus transportation services of BC) conference. It attracts managers and support people from school districts throughout the province to find out the latest and greatest technical and operating techniques available.

On the technical side there were all day courses put on by International and Thomas buses, Cummins, Kal Tire, Bendix brakes, Espar and Webasto. The seminars were all great and I found out some valuable information on navigating websites and new technical information from the OEM reps.

It's an asset to be able to talk first hand with OEM trainers who have all the answers to nagging questions that weren't normally available elsewhere. We also had the luxury of talking to the school bus sales reps who we could unload our frustration on (just kidding) ask them politely to make some changes with a few flaws that we discovered on our new buses that arrived a couple of months ago.

Thomas Bus Training


Our fleet still has lots of Thomas buses including the C2 conventional and the HDX pusher so we still have to be on our toes in the shop and training is important to keep on top of faults that are occurring with these buses. The Thomas trainer out of the Vancouver Freightliner dealer is very good and knows the technical theory that helps us find shortcuts when it comes to troubleshooting the multiplex wiring.

This seminar covered 'Servicelink' which is on the 'accessfreightliner' website along with 'PartsPro' and 'ServicePro' which cover everything a technician needs to troubleshoot a problem the right way without wasting time. All you need is a user and password to gain access to the site..with your laptop you can plug into the datalink on the bus and get into the modules to see what circuit is faulty and read battery voltages and current draws.

This is all done with 'Servicelink' which gets inside the templates and allows you to manipulate switches to see how the electrical circuit is functioning. Testing the datalink system is a common practice as well since this is the only way the heaters, transmission, ABS, wipers, lights and all of the other accessories communicate with the modules.

IC Training




International school bus training was another seminar I didn't want to miss since we now own 27 CE conventional models. The training covered using the 'On Command' website which gives us access to technical and service information including warranty history and necessary factory recalls according to each VIN entered..

This site also provides detailed information on troubleshooting and technical service bulletins. You can't do without this information if you own an international vehicle. The dealer provides a user and password for us since we are a fleet operation. Taking this course provided me with a better understanding on how to navigate the 'On Command' website and 'Servicemaxx Pro' software which is valuable to our operation.

I also attended the Espar diesel coolant heater seminar and the Kal Tire session. Tires and coolant heaters are an essential part of our fleet and I got a lot out of both trainings. It's important to get as much training as possible in the transportation industry to keep up with changes in technology and OEM equipment updates. This is the only way to keep up and stay ahead of break downs. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you have a minute to leave a comment.

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