Students all over the United States rely on school buses to transport them to and from school each day. Ensuring that these buses are in top-notch shape in regard to fuel and equipment can prevent them from being recalled and reduce school transportation costs, increase efficiency, and improve accountability. There are several practices that help prevent issues with fuel, equipment, and lubrication in your school bus fleet.
1. Actively Maintain Your Fleet
In general, well-maintained vehicles are less likely to break down unexpectedly. Maintain your fleet by reviewing fuel performance, tire pressure, and parts that need routine replacement. Changing fluids and important moving parts occasionally is important in ensuring that all buses work as they should. Doing so can ensure that students are safe on these buses at all points in time. Maintaining your fleet can also help reduce what would be larger repair costs.
2. Measure Fuel Usage
Mileage performance is a widespread, ongoing challenge that school bus fleet managers experience. An EPA article showed that the average school bus burns about half a gallon of fuel for every hour idling, showing that a bus that idles for 30 minutes per day uses about 45 gallons of fuel in idling per year. As such, measuring fuel usage for each bus in the fleet can help you understand the data behind fuel costs and how to reduce them.
3. Utilize Fleet Tracking
With school buses, transportation transparency is absolutely essential. Tracking your fleet can be helpful in both your and the school administration’s ability to monitor buses’ locations. Using GPS fleet management software can show all parties involved if there’s a route deviation, bus breakdown, or some type of delay. This can make dispatching a replacement bus quick and efficient as well.
4. Develop a Vehicle Replacement Plan
Most fleet managers will experience having to replace one or several vehicles in their fleet. Having a solid, detailed vehicle replacement plan in place can help ensure that you’re able to secure a replacement vehicle as soon as possible. It can enable you to meet all your fleet needs, even with one or more vehicles missing.
5. Maximize Each Vehicle’s Life Span
Making the most of your school bus fleet is important in managing a cost-efficient and effective fleet. Because replacing vehicles is expensive and can reduce the amount of work your fleet can perform, trying to maximize each one’s life span is important. You can do this by taking preventive measures and monitoring them at all times. Tracking fuel performance, observing how the vehicles are being used each day, and maintaining each individual vehicle can maximize their life spans. This also reduces costs and improves the efficiency of your fleet.
If you’re curious about what type of fuel to use for your school bus fleet or how to become more efficient in your fleet management, you can contact our team at Reeder Distributors. We’ll help you select the best, most efficient means of getting the kids to school on your school buses.