Kids are a family's dearest treasure. When we send them off to school, we are entrusting them to a system we expect will keep them safe. For this reason, school buses are the most regulated vehicles on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), students are 70 times more likely to get to school safely on a school bus than in a car. As a professional school bus driver, here are some safety tips to consider:
When picking up or dropping off kids, make sure children are away from the bus before moving and especially if reversing.
Be cautious of kids in neighborhoods. This is especially true if the streets have no sidewalks or are lined with trees and bushes.
Look for kids running up to the bus when they are late. They might run out unexpectedly and not be aware of traffic.
When picking up or dropping off, stop for a few seconds and keep the door closed until other vehicles have come to a stop.
School bus seats are designed to protect the passenger when seated properly. Ensure kids are seated when the bus is in motion.
Make sure children are not reaching out of or dangling anything from the windows.
Let children know to not rush back to the bus if they forgot something. This might cause them to dart into the street. You can always turn in any found objects to the school office.
Make sure all children that need to have crossed the street completely before retracting the crossing arm.
Always instruct kids to be silent when driving through a railroad crossing, so as to be able to hear train warnings.
Always put safety ahead of schedule requirements.
These are mostly common sense suggestions which you should keep in mind. They are in addition to specific regulations you learned for your Class B CDL test. If you would like to learn more about becoming a Professional School Bus Driver and bus driver training, contact Advanced Career Institute for details.
Now that you’ve completed Bus Driver Training, I’m sure you’re wondering, “What exactly do bus drivers do during the day?” School bus drivers have an extensive break during their morning and afternoon routes. However, this break isn’t long enough for drivers to get a part-time, so they must find an alternative way to spend their time.
Keep reading to find out what many bus drivers tend to do during their downtime.
Drive Multiple School Bus Routes
Oftentimes, school bus drivers will choose to drive a variety of routes for the school system. Typically, high school students start earlier than middle school and elementary students. Many drivers will run their first high school route, and then proceed to run a second route to pick up middle school or elementary students depending on the start times of the different schools. This helps to shorten the downtime between their morning and afternoon routes.
Sometimes, school bus drivers will choose to drive for school field trips, sporting events and other extracurricular activities to make an extra buck and to lessen the downtime during the day.
Work Additional Jobs Within the School System
Many drivers tend to work in other areas in the school system. The most common jobs for school bus drivers to work are either in the school cafeteria or as a janitor. Most times, a bus driver's break between their routes aligns perfectly with the school’s lunchtimes, making a cafeteria worker seem like an ideal option to not only earn additional money, but to fill their time during the day.
Also, some bus drivers work as mechanics in the bus garages or barns. Usually, bus drivers take their buses back to the garage after their morning routes which makes it easy for them to work directly in the same garage on other buses that need maintenance.
Take Advantage of Downtime
Lastly, some bus drivers take full advantage of their downtime. Many bus drivers run side businesses during this time and on their own free time to earn additional wages. However, some school bus drivers use this time to run errands, do household chores, spend time with family, eat lunch, and even take a quick nap.
Despite the extensive downtime, school bus drivers take on a huge responsibility. Not only are they responsible for navigating the road while behind the wheel of a huge vehicle, but they are also responsible for safely transporting 40+ kids to school and back home. Although it comes with huge responsibilities, a bus driving career is extremely rewarding.
Are you interested in becoming a school bus driver? Advanced Career Institute offers Professional Bus Driver Training in California. ACI campus locations can be found in Fresno, Merced and Visalia. To learn more, check out our Class B CDL Training Program!
Once you have completed your trucking or bus driving education, it is time to find a job. However, this is easier said than done. Drivers and truckers fresh out of school may have a little difficulty finding work if they aren't prepared. If you want to be prepared so that you can find as much work as possible, read on.
What do employers look for beyond just a clean driving record?
Everybody knows that employers are looking for a clean driving record. However, they also want to see that you have completed education at a respectable school. Any experience you may have is also very important in the hiring process.
What are some ways to impress employers?
There are some things you can do to stand out when trying to get work. One of the best things to do is research the company thoroughly. Also, remember to dress professionally when going in for an interview.
What are important things to include in your resume?
The most important things to include in your resume are your training and experience. This is fairly obvious. However, there are other important things to include. You should include your other jobs, as the employers may be looking for certain areas of experience that drivers normally don't have.
Where are good places to look for driving jobs?
The best place to look for driving jobs in this day and age is the Internet. There are many jobs websites that have a lot of bus driving and trucking jobs listed. However, everybody is applying to these jobs. You may have a better chance if you use the contacts you made at your driving school to get work.
If you want to learn more about search for trucking or bus driving jobs, contact our job placement department! We help all students and graduates find their next job opportunity.
Parents trust bus drivers to be their eyes and ears during their child's school travel. What can a bus driver do to ease parent anxiety and ensure emotional and physical safety for the children in their care? A school bus driver who follows these three tips will help worried parents feel confident and secure.
1) Nurture a personalized relationship with each child.
Learn the name of every child on your route and greet them daily. Ask them how they're doing--if they tell you it's their birthday, or they're about to take a trip or they have new shoes, take the time to comment. Bring it up during the next week, saying things like "How was your trip?" "Those shoes still look great!" or "How did your birthday party go?" Children are more relaxed and comfortable when they feel recognized and important.
2) Establish a stable routine.
Make sure all the children on the bus know what you expect of them. Letting them know your standards of behavior and safety compliance will help them feel more secure (and they'll be telling their parents). Use a calm voice when addressing your passengers, and make sure you apply the rules consistently to all children equally. Children thrive with clear, consistent boundaries.
3) Be transparent.
If there is an issue between children on the bus, notify all parents immediately with your observations. Don't make assumptions or judgements; make sure all parents receive the same information. If you have to make decisions about disciplining children on the bus, make sure it's clear to all parties exactly what the violation was and why the discipline is called for. Staying calm and providing clarity are important ways to prevent children from feeling frightened.
The bus ride between home and school helps children learn about independence, accountability and collaboration. Parents count on you to provide a safe, consistent environment for their children while they practice these skills. By following these three tips, you can show parents that their children are in competent, nurturing hands on your bus.
Do you have other ideas on how school bus drivers can ease parent anxiety and keep children safe? Send us your thoughts through our contact us page. Or share the article on Facebook and tag Advanced Career Institute!Know anyone who would be a great school bus driver? Tell them to check out our Class B CDL training. Our training will have them on the road to their new bus driving career in no time!
Looking for work in the white-collar world can be tough. You need top-notch education and training, which can be very expensive and time-consuming. Perhaps you’ve thought of making a major career change. Finding a new profession can be much easier in the blue-collar world.
Professions in the blue-collar world that are always in need are those requiring people with CDL licenses. People with CDL licenses drive semis, school buses, and other labor-based vehicles. While you still need specific training, you’d be able to obtain your career goal in a much shorter time frame. If you already drive a car or truck, studying for a CDL license is relatively easy to do.
What is a CDL License?
A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) serves several purposes. First and foremost, it lets prospective employers know you’re a qualified, professional driver. Drivers that hold CDL status must have good working knowledge of weight limits, vehicle size and vehicle control.
Secondly, a CDL license endorses what you can drive and what weights you can tow. Endorsements for a CDL license are tested separately. There are also several categories of CDL licenses. The categories, or classes, of CDL licenses are A, B, and C.
Classes A and B are broken down into commercial and non-commercial use. Class C licenses are broken down into commercial and basic use. What you can tow with the licenses is broken down into Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). Motorcycle licenses are another form of CDL.
Below is the information regarding commercial towing and driving information for the State of California:
Commercial Class A CDL license holders can tow the following:
[caption id="attachment_9933" align="alignright" width="198"] Class A CDL training with full size tractor trailer combination vehicles.[/caption]
- Single vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 lbs. (semi tractor-trailers)
- Trailer buses or more than one vehicle (tandem trailers). These types of vehicles need special endorsements.
- Any vehicles that fall under the categories of Class B and/or C.
You are able to drive vehicles that are:
- Any legal combination of the vehicles listed in Class A
- Vehicles of any type that are rated for Class B and/or C drivers
Commercial Class B CDL license holders can tow the following:
[caption id="attachment_9942" align="alignright" width="199"] Class B CDL training for bus drivers using both commercial buses and school buses.[/caption]
- Single vehicles rated with a GVWR of 10,000 lbs. or less
- Vehicles of any type that are rated for Class C drivers
You are able to drive the following with a Class B license:
- Single vehicles with a GVWR weighing 26,000 lbs. or more
- 3-axle vehicles that weigh more than 6,000 lbs
- A bus (except a trailer bus), or any farm labor vehicle. Endorsements are needed for these particular vehicles.
- All vehicles that fall under Class C licensing
Licensing regulations change periodically. You’ll need to check your State guidelines for the most up-to-date information.
Who Can Benefit From a CDL License?
Having a CDL license opens many doors for employment opportunities for both men and women. For individuals with families at home, there are many trucking companies with regional or local jobs that get their drivers home each night. Driving and towing certain weights isn’t difficult, as long as you follow the regulations regarding log books. Finding loads is handled for you by dispatchers with your company.
Semi-driving is only one of many options for you if you obtain a CDL license. There are plenty of positions driving straight trucks or buses. Bus drivers can find work for schools or tour buses.
Once you’ve made the decision to obtain a CDL license, companies that you work for may have programs available in order for you to add endorsements for specific jobs. Getting endorsements for additional weight limits or job types will require a little more time, but is well worth adding to your license.
Sure, working a typical 9-to-5 job has its benefits. Having a CDL license has just as many - it also offers the perk of a daily change of scenery. For more information on how you can get your Class A or Class B CDL, call us at 1-877-649-9614 or fill out the form. We’ll answer any questions you have, and help you get your new career started today!
In every city, there are bus drivers. The transportation of children via school buses has been popular since the 1930’s, and continues to be a widely used medium of transportation. The demand for quality bus drivers is rising at a steady pace, especially in growing suburban areas. Even in times of economic struggle, kids still need a way to get to school. Here are 10 reasons why you should become a school bus driver:
1. You have great people skills.
A career as a bus driver means being around different types of people every day. This can include teachers, parents, school officials and of course, kids! Being able to communicate and understand all types of personalities are important traits for successful bus drivers.
2. You enjoy working with kids.
If you love kids, a career as a bus driver could be very rewarding. Having the ability to make the children feel comfortable is just as important as knowing how to drive the bus.
3. You like to drive.
Controlling a large vehicle can be exciting for some, and daunting for others. If driving is fun for you, the life as a school bus driver can be both challenging and relaxing.
4. You care about children’s safety.
Fortunately, the number of school bus accidents per year is very small. This is because of careful drivers who make the safety of their passengers their top priority. Quality drivers make sure to monitor on-board conduct and see that the kids make it into their homes. They also enforce safe board and de-board procedures on a daily basis.
5. You remain calm under pressure.
Bus drivers face severe weather conditions, difficult children, and overwhelming road construction at any time on the road. If you have a patient manner and are able to keep a clear head when unexpected issues come up, these situations can be fun challenges for you.
6. You are looking for a flexible work schedule.
A typical bus driver usually works early in the morning then late in the afternoon with a long break in-between. There is also the option of driving to and from field trips or other school activities for extra hours. A bus driving career could be the ideal solution if you're trying to avoid the ordinary 9 to 5 job.
7. You want a job with rewarding benefits.
School systems show appreciation to their bus drivers by offering them bonuses. These can include extended vacation days, health and life insurance, and retirement plans.
8. You don’t want to get a four-year degree.
Starting a school bus career doesn’t require spending four years in college. Every driver must go through a training program and receive their CDL before employment.
9. You want to get paid well.
A career in the bus driving industry can mean making up to $41,000 per year. There are also several opportunities to pick up extra hours, as well as receive employee benefits from the school.
10. You don’t want to spend money training.
Many schools will cover their drivers’ official training programs to ensure top-quality employees.
Interested in learning more about how to become a school bus driver? Read more information about our Class B CDL training.