School Bus Fleet

September 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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Page 38 of 69

37 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 4 • S C H O O L B U S F L E E T place the foam, it often makes fnancial sense to replace the seat cover at the same time. Again, turn to a reputable supplier who can verify the integrity of the foam. Seat cover manufacturers are always looking for new technologies and new manufacturing processes that will re- sult in materials better able to with- stand the ravages of time, sun and busy children. In the meantime, regu- lar cleaning and inspections of the cov- ers can increase their life expectancy while easing tight budgets and help- ing to ensure the safety of the children who use the seats every day. and torn seams. Pay particular atten- tion to whether any foam is visible. This indicates that the fre block capa- bility of the cover has been destroyed, and the seat cover should be replaced as soon as possible. 4. Most damage that is detected should result in a new seat cover. Al- though repair kits are available, it's dif- fcult to vouch for the consistency of the chemicals they use. Many new seat covers are designed to ft over existing covers, making installation easy. 5. When replacing school bus seat covers, be sure to use a reputable sup- plier, and always ask that materials be authenticated. Materials should meet the criteria of the school bus upholstery fre block test established by the Nation- al School Transportation Specifcations and Procedures. 6. An inspection of the seat cover may reveal damage to the foam. Like a seat cover, foam can be replaced with- out purchasing an entire seat. How- ever, when the decision is made to re- Weather, too, can impact the life ex- pectancy of a seat cover. Temperature extremes and direct sunlight take a toll, which is why seat manufacturers have introduced vinyl covers that provide protection against the damage caused by ultraviolet rays. Here are steps that school transpor- tation operations can take to effective- ly care for and, when needed, replace school bus seat covers: 1. For feets in areas where sun and heat are a regular occurrence, change the direction a bus is parked so that each day a different side of the bus ab- sorbs the sun's rays. 2. Nothing takes the place of a regu- lar cleaning schedule when the goal is to extend the life of a bus seat cov- er. A simple monthly regimen requires nothing more than mild soap and wa- ter. Anything harsher and you run the risk of damaging the vinyl. 3. As you clean the seat cover, it's also a good idea to inspect it for damage or signs of wear. Look for blisters, cracks Tony Everett is vice president of transportation solutions at HSM.

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