Managing Maintenance On Municipal Buses

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It's important for any community that provides commuting and school bus service that they keep their fleet of buses well-maintained. For smaller municipalities, they may not have many public vehicles, and therefore town management needs to hire out bus service technicians. Here is a look at the typical maintenance schedule that should be followed for servicing buses.

Bus Inspection

Every bus that is being actively used should be inspected monthly. The bus should be checked for things such as tire condition, windshield wipers, the lights, the horn, the stop sign, steering components, door operation, and passenger stop indicators. The mileage should be recorded as well. Any items that are found defective will need to be immediately scheduled for repair. If the problem prohibits safe operation, the bus will need to be removed from service until it is repaired.

Tune-Up Service

Every 6,000 miles, each bus will need to go in for routine maintenance. This includes a complete oil change, the replacement of all filters, including the oil filter, air filter, and fuel filter, and checking all fluids. All fittings must be lubricated. Doors, latches, the hood, the stop sign, and any other moving parts must be lubricated as well.

Preventive Maintenance Service And Inspection

Every 12,000 miles, each bus will require a regular monthly inspection, their every 6,000 miles tune-up service, and a preventative maintenance service and a more thorough inspection. This service will also require a road test.

In some regions, municipalities may want to set this at every 9,000 miles if they live in an area where the terrain is difficult, or the weather conditions warrant it, such as areas that receive heavy snow or have a lot of dust or mineral deposits. The engine compartment as well as the battery must be thoroughly washed. This enables easier problem identification like leak detection.

The road test requires more than just driving it around the block. Each bus should be driven with looking for specific problems in mind. Steering issues should be checked by driving onto the shoulder of the road and back on to pavement again to ensure it handles properly. In a parking lot, the steering should be tested while slowly driving by sharply turning the steering wheel each way and feeling for any slippage or delay. Acceleration while driving uphill should be tested. Once in an are with no other vehicles behind, the brakes should be slammed on, as though having to stop quick to avoid a pedestrian or deer. Bus service technicians should keep accurate maintenance records for each test, on each bus. Any repairs made, which will likely be made every 6,000 miles, should be recorded as well.