Tim Speer from Yadkin County Schools Transportation Department went to Tulsa Oklahoma, toured the Hydrotex Lubricant factory, raced go carts, and WON the 5th annual NAPT “America's Best” School Bus Inspector Competition. Tim finished 1st at the state level in June and won the honor of representing NC at the national competition. Tim had previously finished 2nd in 2005 at the National Diagnostics competition.
Tim is looking for at least 30 defects on 3 different buses that were rigged by the NAPT crew.
Seventeen states sent twenty-six technicians & inspectors to Tulsa, home of HydroTex Lubricants, the major sponsor of the event.
The contest is staged by NAPT (National Association for Pupil Transportation) each year to encourage on-going training and development of the nation’s school bus technicians & inspectors.
The participants also attended several seminars dealing with maintenance & inspection issues.
The participants had to take a written test and inspect three school buses that were rigged with numerous defects and safety problems. This year the event used 2004 IC school buses which Tim was very familiar with. “I did not put any unnecessary pressure on my self to win but I hoped for the best. There are a lot of good people that show up at these competitions” says Tim.
Lebo & Tim display a participation plaque given before the winners were announced.
Tim & Lebo both encourage all technicians in NC to participate at the state competition next year in Sunset Beach. “Being able to compare notes and job roles with school bus people across the country is the best part of going to these events” says Tim. “The information that I bring back to NC will help me do my job even better”
Lebo Raynor from Johnston Co. who finished 2nd at the 2008 state level competition, represented NC well in the National technician competition. The technicians had to diagnose and repair a problem on two specially prepared school buses. The contestants also had to sit at a table set up with various challenges which were designed test the participants ability to operate various tools used in repairing school buses.
Lebo Raynor is trying to debug a bugged bus.
Lebo concentrates on an event while “Judge” Rick Jennings from Wilkes County observes.
All of the contestants and observers were given a tour of the HydroTex manufacturing plant located in Tulsa. HydroTex is a major supplier of various lubricants & fluids used for hundreds of applications from transportation to food service to oil well drilling.
The evening after the competition, the competitors and guests were taken to a nearby Bowling Alley & indoor go cart track for a little fun and entertainment. The NC & SC crew had some serious competition on the track as each state was trying to prove their driving savvy.
Tim is so good he can impersonate Elvis while simultaneously inspecting a school bus !!
The NC crew L-R, Lebo Raynor, Tim Speer, Dennis Wood, Rick Jennings, Billy Sugg, Randy Henson.
North Carolina has won 1st place 3 times out of the last 5 years. “We are the state to beat” exclaimed Dennis Wood, Director of Yadkin Co. Transportation.
Randy Henson & Rick Jennings (a former Natl. champion) whom both served as judges at the NAPT competition, found time to take in a few sites while in the Tulsa area.
America’s Best school bus Inspectors
1. Tim Speer - Yadkin BOE Yadkinville NC
2. Robert Williams - Spring ISD - Spring TX
3. Ryan Texer - Colorado Springs District #11 - Colorado Springs, CO
“The state contest is a good preparation for the national event. Neither one is easy and takes a lot of concentration to do good at either event. We have some top notch mechanics in NC and is why we do well at this competition.” Explains Tim Speer. “Í plan to return next year.”
Tim wins an all expense paid trip to the NAPT convention at Myrtle Beach in October where he will receive recognition in front of a national audience of his peers.