Are you properly maintaining your church bus? 6 critical to-do’s

By Josh Davey

Whether your bus is new or used, keeping it in top condition requires diligent and regular maintenance.

Many bus owners use a daily vehicle maintenance checklist, some with pre- and post-trip maintenance check requirements, due to their continuous use. Typically, buses are high-mileage vehicles that are constantly shuttling people from Point A to Point B. For this reason alone, owners must pay extra attention to their bus’s maintenance needs and overall condition.

In addition to adhering to your bus’s manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, it’s a good idea to implement more regular checks. The type of regular checks and intervals needed might depend on the type of bus you operate and your daily passenger load.

For example, party buses and school buses might experience more wear and tear than airport or hotel shuttle buses and therefore require more cleaning checks — the passenger demographic of a party bus and school bus might dictate this need, too, since the passengers might be a bit on the rowdier side.

Regular inspection of hand rails to ensure they are not loose should be conducted because of the daily use and strain they endure. Interior lights, windows and seats should be checked often, as well, due to their constant use.

Your bus should be inspected for leaks and tire hazards prior to daily use. A walk-around of the bus before starting a shift can identify potential problems that might take your bus out of commission unexpectedly. Such preventative measures will ensure your bus stays running as scheduled, which keeps your income stream flowing.

Investing in a spray protectant for your cloth or vinyl seats is another smart preventative measure. Not only will you protect against future mishaps, spray protectants can make cleanups easier.

Download a helpful, point-by-point bus maintenance checklist here.

Check the cooling system on your bus regularly. It is estimated that 50% of premature engine failures are due to cooling system problems. Making sure your serpentine belt is in good working condition is an easy check, and replacing the belt is one of the easier maintenance tasks to accomplish. Being proactive here will keep your cooling system operating as intended and prevent belt failures.

Lastly, and possibly most important, keep your DOT Inspection up to date every year. The federal government requires that every vehicle used for commercial passenger transportation meet the Department of Transportation standards for safety. Failure to get your bus inspected can result in a fine of up to $21,000, and loss of productivity and / or revenue until a current inspection is obtained. Regular inspections and maintenance make getting your DOT inspection less stressful and prevent costly repairs.

By being aware of your bus’s condition, keeping it clean, and regularly inspecting its critical systems, you can keep your workhorse operating for years to come with minimal problems. Checklists can help you focus on the same things each time you inspect your bus for efficiency and accuracy so you can be assured that your next trip will be a smooth one.

Josh Davey, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, comes to Davey Coach Sales from Minnesota.

Josh is an invaluable asset to Davey Coach, and is quite adept at helping customers with developing the specifications and build-orders for specialty coaches.


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