Summer Maintenance and Repairs Begin

Mechanics Hub - June 29, 2014

The end of June means “school's out for summer” and this year it ended with a twist. The teachers in BC who are in the middle of contract talks with the government decided to take action and picket all of the schools and maintenance yards starting on Jun 15th so we had to honour the picket line since we're the same union different local.

Luckily an injunction was filed on the basis that our shop is an essential service and we need to stay open for the summer. It turned out the way we wanted it so it's full speed ahead with maintenance and repairs. There's a big list of work to do on our buses and every day is crucial so production is important. I will be in to the work as well helping out with government inspections and getting things organized for September.

The video shows our MicroBird made by Bluebird. It's a Type A Cutaway version with a GM one ton chassis. It's driven by a 6.5 diesel with auto transmission and we have it in the shop for a complete brake job, oil cooler lines, fuel gauge sender and any other maintenance required. This is our chance to take each vehicle in the fleet and go through lists of repairs that we could not complete during the school year or didn't have time to deliver the bus to the dealer for warranty repairs.

Quite a number of our buses have ongoing engine codes that are warranty since we are covered for five years. There has to be care taken however before shipping a bus to any dealer..... because if the repair involved a maintenance item the warranty is void. So we go through the problem first to make sure it isn't something we can cure ourselves without requiring OEM parts.

In total there are 6 sets of auto tire chains to install on our new buses. Six buses are going to one of our satellite shops and 3 of those units need auto chains while 3 other buses closer to town require installment as well. The auto chains are well worth the cost considering the time and effort it would take to get a bus out of the ditch in the winter time.

The new IC buses CE models come with a traction control switch that uses the ABS system to prevent the wheels from spinning out. This has proven to be an excellent system during the winter season and most of our buses stayed on the road last winter. The few times we had to call a tow truck was when a spare driver went into the ditch and didn't know about the traction control switch.

I will be posting more videos and content here in the coming weeks so keep checking back and see what we do during the summer months at the school bus garage. If you haven't already done so sign up with and introduce yourself in the forum. You can post anything you want there and ask questions. Thanks for reading this post and comment below if you have something to add or have a question you would like answered.