School Bus Fleet

July 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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contents contents 2 S C H O O L B U S F L E E T • J U L Y 2 0 1 4 features July 2014 Vol. 60 No. 6 Cover photo courtesy of IC Bus in Lisle, Ill. departments On the Bus 4 Tackling school bus driver shortage Industry News 6 School bus pilot program discontinued Activity buses could save $4,000 per trip NAPT News & Views 46 NAPT Summit: Driving innovation, new certifcation Product Highlights 48 Advertiser Index 50 People 54 Classifeds 56 The Last Word 60 Differing views on seat belt issue 24 18 cover 12 Contractors Focus on Cutting Costs, Driver Recruitment Nearly three-fourths of respondents to this year's survey report that performing most bus maintenance in house has yielded cost savings, and 60% say that route reorganization has helped. With a large pro- portion of companies reporting some degree of bus driver shortage, recruitment is a priority, and 37% of those surveyed say that advertising is most effective. By Kelly Aguinaldo 18 Apprentice, Intern Programs Groom Great Workers In addition to giving students work skills and experi- ence, districts get employees who are already familiar with the shop and its practices. By Nicole Schlosser, Managing Editor 24 Q&A: McKinney Sees Longer Bus Life, Diesel Dedication IC Bus President John McKinney says that school buses now have an average life cycle of nearly 15 years, which means that product durability and customer support are especially critical. He also points to diesel as the "backbone of the industry" and discusses the decision to offer the Cummins ISB engine. By Thomas McMahon, Executive Editor 33 Top 50: Big Changes for Big Fleets There are 6,619 fewer buses in this year's Top 50 Con- tractors ranking compared to 2013, but of the compa- nies returning to the list, 52% report growth in their feets, up from 43% the previous year. The top fve contractors change for the frst time in three years, and four new companies join the group. By Kelly Aguinaldo 38 What's New in the Top 50 The latest developments related to several of this year's largest school bus contractors. 42 Mirrors: Enhancing Safety From All Angles Companies that manufacture rearview mirrors and other products equipped with mirrors focus on improv- ing the driver's view inside the bus, around the back of the bus, and the driver's view of the danger zone. By Kelly Aguinaldo

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