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SPECIAL REPORT


School Bus Industry Training Support With the introduction of more alternative fuel-pow-


ered and electric buses, school bus manufacturers and suppliers are increasingly focused on technology con- venience and the high number of usable parts across all fuel types. Organizations such as the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC), stand ready with training programs and assistance to set up infrastructure for cus- tomers venturing into new technologies. All major OEMs also offer specialized training at their main factories, as well as at industry conferences—and even virtually. IC Bus partners with its dealers to offer tradition-


al training, as well as online courses, to its customers. The manufacturer sponsors multiple sessions of IC Bus University, a popular training program that is now in its 11th year. For the program, IC Bus customers travel to the Tulsa Bus Plant in Oklahoma for four-day sessions that are instructed by the people who design and build the vehicles. This year, for the first time, IC Bus is offering an advanced program for technicians who have previously attended IC Bus University, but who are looking for more in-depth training. “Alternative fuel-powered vehicles are often easier and most often less complicated than today’s diesel-powered


products,” said Alan Stegich, regional service manager for IC Bus. Last year, Blue Bird Corporation provided high-stan-


dard training to nearly 800 technicians through the New Blue Bird Academy. This year, the bus manufacturer is offering customers (mostly technicians) factory-based, hands-on training at its facility in Fort Valley, Georgia, in partnership with suppliers, including ROUSH CleanTech, and at the STN EXPO Reno. Factory training events and onsite training are used to provide technicians with the knowledge and skills to safely work with and around diesel alternatives. “Blue Bird equips technicians who work on Blue Bird buses, with the confidence to work with any of our fuel options. We use all of the available resources, in order to train technicians on how to handle and work with alternate fuel options,” said Glen Braly, technical training manager at Blue Bird. Later this year, the company will launch a new three-


tiered technician certification program through its Blue Bird Academy for anyone who wants to learn about its products. This first tier, called Associate Level, is web- based and open to all industry professionals, whether they work on Blue Bird buses or not. Advanced Level, the second tier to be released in 2020,


Buck’s Since 1951


Buck’s Wheel & Equipment “We are the school bus parts specialists”


Buck’s Wheel & Equipment is your #1 source for School Bus Parts. Buck’s Wheel supplies all your major bus parts including Switches, Lights, Seats, Seat Covers, Bluebird, Tomas and also International parts. Please contact your sales representative for any further details and shipping.


Service Dept. • Collision Center • Parts Dept. • Spring Shop Serving the Industry for Over 65 Years.


5101 North Main Street Fort Worth, TX 76179 www.buckswheel.com


20 School Transportation News • FEBRUARY 2019 Bucks_0718_HH.indd 1


Phone: 817-332-1228 Toll Free: 800-792-1011


6/6/18 11:08 AM


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