All hired drivers should be well trained and experienced. However, it is important to brush up on essential points every once in a while. These points are especially useful for those that transport a number of passengers, whether they are with a retirement home or operating a school bus.
Everyone likes to get their beauty rest before they put in a long shift. Be sure to allow your drivers adequate time off to ensure they get the rest they need. Don’t give your drivers demanding hours and provide them with ample rest time. It can be tempting to double up your driver’s shifts when a busy season strikes, but resist the urge to do so. Consider having a driver on reserve, ready to call when schedules do conflict.
Inspect the Vehicle Before Every Trip, Especially the Tires
After being in the business a while, one can easily tell when something doesn’t look okay. Have your driver take a quick walk around, inside and out, of the bus to make sure everything appears to be in working order. Check for holes, tears, or low tire pressure. Make sure your spare is ready to go too!
As always, be sure to keep your regular service appointments. Maintenance will expand the life of your bus and equipment. This will also ensure small problems are found and dealt with before they become major headaches.
Vehicle Weight Should Never Exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
Check your manual for the exact number. Though it’s not really an option to run your vehicle through a weighing station every time you transport passengers, keep an eye on the amount of people boarding. As a general rule, don’t seat more passengers than you have seats for. Lap sitting and cramming people into one seat isn’t safe. Never double up on seatbelts and only allow one passenger per seat.
These aren’t only risks to encounter when you have too many people on board. Try to readjust seating when there are a limited number of passengers along for the ride. Only have 5 passengers in your 20-passenger bus? Consider asking them to spread out a little instead of sitting in the same group of seats.
It’s also helpful to remember not to let your passengers bring too much luggage. Evenly distribute luggage when you can, as well. Be sure to place heavier items towards the lowest part of the vehicle.
Don’t let passengers overload their luggage. Give them a bag limit ahead of time. Follow those guidelines and you’ll be okay in most circumstances.
Ensure All Passengers Are Buckled Up and Side Mirrors Adjusted
Do a seatbelt check before you drive off. Double check you can see the most out of your mirrors. This guide can be a good start, but adjust according to your vehicle specifications.
Replace Old Tires
As stated in point three you want to make sure your tires are in tip-top shape. Old tires can shred easier, leading to accidents and unwanted side of the road time.
Safety is Always First
As all these points address safety.. Make sure to use common sense when driving. If you or a driver doesn’t feel comfortable transporting someone, then there is no obligation to. Don’t drive in weather conditions that are too hazardous or put your passengers in any situations you wouldn’t put yourself in. Wait out the storm, even if it means your schedule is going to be delayed. A delayed schedule is a much better option than to risk passenger injury.