School Bus Mechanic - Kayaking and Upcoming Summer Schedule

Mechanics Hub - July 1, 2014

The video below is my kayaking adventure on Canada Day. I'm pretty sure one of the bird chirps you hear is a bald eagle. I saw him roaming the skies later on that morning and the wing span must have been 5 or 6 feet. So I'm not doing too much talking during the shoot because of the intense relaxation I'm experiencing :)

Canada Day was an amazing 35 degrees Celsius in the afternoon so my wife and I decided to head out of town in the morning to do some kayaking up at Paul Lake. It's 25 minutes east of the city and goes straight up so it's cooler and if you get there early you'll beat the crowds. Sure enough just as we pulled out of the water a couple of hours after we arrived the traffic and people were coming in droves.

This is a pass time that I love to do and it gets my mind away from the daily routine of work and renovations and yard work. The stress if any just melts away and when you're out on the water floating around enjoying the sights and sounds there is nothing comparable. It really makes a difference when you find a way to seek freedom and do something you love.

What's On The Agenda For The Summer Maintenance Schedule?

My last video covered just one of the many jobs we will be doing this summer. There's 10 motor vehicle inspections for July which include the yearly maintenance schedule. That includes major servicing and adjustment such as engine valve sets. Before we used to do all of the buses in the summer (or try ) to get them all done but that was literally impossible.

When you have 66 buses sitting on the lot along with the white fleet rolling in with unexpected services and repairs everything is not going to get done. We changed the major servicing to be completed during the yearly MVI decal inspection. This really helped out and just added a day extra for drivers to use a spare bus until the work was completed.

Another change we are going to carry out is no more 6 month inspections since everything covered during this inspection is performed on a regular service. So we will be doing the air system inspection and 121 air test at the 15,000 km service interval which also involves changing the oil and filter. Not having to do the 6 month inspection will save a lot of time.

Other work we need to look at is the driver reports which are mostly minor glitches like a front end shimmy, cracked windshield, minor and intermittent engine codes etc. Newer buses will have to be shuttled to the dealer since engine codes are covered under warranty.

The dealer does a health report (International) before they start every job so they scan the bus with diagnostic software to detect problems like an engine code. Some of our 2013 CE conventional buses had nagging engine codes that didn't put the bus out of commission and they could still do the run without any trouble.

There's more work I have not mentioned and will add in future posts as it happens. Next week myself and two other techs are going to the ASTSBC (Association of School Transportation Services of BC) convention in Vancouver

There is going to be lots of meeting and greeting with other school district technicians, school bus manufacturers, bus accessory manufacturers along with training from Thomas, IC and Espar coolant heater reps. So stay tuned here for news on that event. I will be recording video and taking photos as much as possible and share it here on the blog.