Ways to Identify a Great School Bus Driver
published on April 22, 2022 by Sonia Mastros
bus routing software, route optimization, school bus routing software, school bus driver, School Bus Routing, school bus driver shortages, inefficient routes, outdated routes, inaccurate routes, route efficiency, state reporting, re-routing, bus shortages
A great group of bus drivers means that you can have one of the best fleets to manage, making it easier for you to do your job and stay on route with schedules and plans. However, being able to create that group and find those highly professional bus drivers that can handle the stress and responsibilities of being a driver can take a little time to put together. Usually it means looking at resumes and credentials and other such things, but there are also some personality characteristics and other things that can't be found on a resume that need to be addressed, too.
How can you find the best of the best when it comes to bus drivers? Instead of just hiring anyone and trying to mold them to your own wishes, use this cheat sheet to find only the best school bus driver out there.
1. Patience with the kids
There is no denying that kids can get rowdy on a bus, and having to juggle driving such a large vehicle and making sure the kids aren't misbehaving takes quite a bit of skill and patience to master. Someone who is quick to frustrate and can't handle juggling such responsibilities is obviously going to be a bad choice. A school bus driver needs to be able to handle all of that--and more--easily.
2. Quick to respond to issues
Going in the same theme, sometimes things can go awry and a issue might arise during the bus route. Instead of the bus driver not knowing what to do and making things worse, they should be able to know how to act quickly during a "what if" scenario to stay on time, with the route, and keep everyone safe.
3. Great route management
You have all of the information needed to set up the perfect routes, you have the bus routing software to make sure it all happens, and your bus driver needs to be able to follow through and also have great route and time management. They need to be able to know their route through-and-through, otherwise you might have a lost driver on your hands that is wasting too much time.
4. They know what they're driving
There are obvious differences between a huge bus and someone's personal car, even when it comes to a larger SUV. That is why a bus driver needs to be able to handle the two differently and understand that a bus needs to be a place of safety, which means driving in such a way to ensure this. A great school bus driver will always make the best judgement when it comes to driving the bus to make sure they stay on route without having to drive like a mad person.
5. Getting to the garage or lot on time
At the end of the route (and day), the school bus driver must be able to get their vehicle back to their garage or lot in a timely fashion--without having to take too many personal stops or just disappearing altogether. All buses should be parked at the lot or garage that ensures all the buses are accounted for and everyone keeps to their schedule.
6. Safety first!
Although this is the last trait on the list, it doesn't mean it should be diminished completely! In fact, it is as important as the first characteristic on this list (if not more). A professional and great school bus driver will always follow the route and stay on time, wear their seat belt, and make sure all rules of the road are followed. The bus will stop at railroad crossings, all traffic lights are respected, and the bus driver doesn't speed, no matter what. Everyone is happy and safe!
What do you think? What are some other ways to spot excellent school bus drivers? Let us know in the comments below!