On June 14, 2018, 106 mechanics from 34 of Florida’s school districts successfully completed an intensive four-day training held in Daytona Beach.

Training was provided by professional instructors from Cummins, Allison, Stemco, NAPA, Braun, Ricon and the three major school bus suppliers in Florida. Trainers from IC, Blue Bird and Thomas Built Buses captivated the technicians and afforded them hours of hands-on diagnostic and repair training in the latest techniques for maintaining and repairing school buses.

A recent trend in many school districts is the addition of air conditioning on school buses. Trans/Air, RAC and MCC, major air-conditioning manufacturers, all offered classes in these specialized systems.

In addition to attending the class, many technicians remained during after class hours to sit for online examinations to be certified as vehicle service technicians or the coveted master repair technician. Twenty-seven technicians are now FAPT certified master repair technicians and 11 are certified as vehicle service technicians. One additional technician passed the examination to be certified as a parts service technician.

Robert Manspeaker, director of the School Transportation Management Section (STMS) of the Florida Department of Education, says, “the dedication to students, work ethic and sincere efforts to provide the highest level safety possible is evident right here in this room with the commitment of you men and women.”

In its 29thyear of being offered, this training continues to be the result of many hours of hard work by the Volusia District Transportation team and the Florida Association for Pupil Transportation Committee on Bus Qualifications and Standards. During this four-day workshop, an additional 60-plus technicians from around the state passed their School Bus Safety Inspector hands-on test under Mr. Manspeaker and his staff who assisted in the testing. This will help alleviate the severe shortage of qualified bus safety inspectors required to certify every 30 days that the bus meets all safety requirements.

For additional information, please contact the Florida Association for Pupil Transportation at execdir@faptflorida.org.