More than 80 school bus technicians and general service managers were joined by students from a local high school to attend a one-day training seminar on basic lubrication fundamentals, oil analysis lab reporting and transmission fluid exchange as part of a program designed to identify tomorrow’s student transportation professionals.
The students belong to a the Dallas County Schools Co-Op program at Skyline High School that began in 2006 to give students an opportunity to learn basic mechanics. This was the second consecutive year Hydrotex provided training to Dallas County employees but the first time students participated. Also presenting with Hydrotex was BG Products Inc., which demonstrated the transmission fluid exchange.
“I learned a lot in the training about engines oils and transmission fluids and how to extend the equipment life,” said Alexis Rueda, a student in co-op program, Through Dallas County Schools Co-Op Program, I’ve learned how to prioritize responsibilities and work with groups. The program is going to really help me with my future success.”
Amzad Hosein, shop supervisor at Dallas County’s Kleberg Service Center, said the operations plan on extending the program to all 12 of the local service centers.
“The topics Hydrotex teaches is what technicians do on a daily basis; so it is important that the students in the co-op program attend this training day for hands on experience,” Hosein added. “We hire 95 percent of the students who come through the Co-Op Program; this provides students with summer jobs and full-time jobs.”
Dallas County operates and maintains 2,200 school buses, so correct maintenance practices and continuing education programs to keep current technicians shop and to identify future employees is crucial, said Paul Jacobs, the senior fleet manager. The four-day training consists of both classroom and hands-on learning designed to instill the value of preventive maintenance practices to reduce operating and maintenance costs and to extend the life of equipment.
“Eventually, we would like all technicians to be able to interpret oil analysis results,” he explained. “Knowing how to evaluate the oil analysis helps us maintain the engines and be proactive in our maintenance.”
Continuously improviing preventive maintenance practices is the key to a successful lubrication management program, said Dwight Gleaves, vice president of pupil transportation at Hydrotex.
“Training can result in a safer bus fleet, longer equipment life, less downtime and savings in parts and labor,” he added. “Dallas County Schools not only places value in the correct training and continuous education, but they also consider it a huge morale booster for all of the service centers.”
In addition to the “Principles of Lubrication,” Hydrotex also teaches fuel management seminars and application-specific training to school districts and companies nationwide.