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Bigger is Not Always Better... Getting the Job Done

By Randy Henson
 
The state of NC has almost 14,000 buses on the road daily covering 100 counties. These buses travel over 650,000 miles a day in order to deliver 750,000 kids to all corners of the state. Over $400 million is spent annually to accomplish the awesome task of delivering North Carolina’s school children safely to and from school.
 
As everyone in our business knows, bus garages are the bases of operation for the fleet of buses in each county. The personnel working in these garages perform a variety of services designed to keep the buses running smoothly. Technicians, Directors, Cost Clerks, TIMS specialists, Fuel Truck drivers, Receptionists, Route Supervisors, Transportation System Coordinators, Parts Managers, Shop Foremen, Operations Managers and Lead Mechanics are just a few of the job titles found working in a garage at most counties. Generally the larger the garage, the more offices, garage bays and job assignments can be found. 
 
BUT not every garage have the luxury of hiring one person for each job title.  At least three garages across the state have only THREE employees to fill all of the job titles previously listed. Clay, Hyde & Tyrell counties have the distinct honor of proving to everyone that BIGGER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER.
 
Their profiles:
 
HYDE COUNTY SCHOOLS



From left to right: Tammy Sadler, Cost Clerk/TIMS, 20 years; George Williams, Director, 24 years; Johnny Stokesberry, Technician, 5 years
 

  • Number of garage employees including director: 3
  • Regular bus drivers employed: 12
  • Name of bus driver with most years behind the wheel:
    Dawn Credle, 20 years Service
  • Number of activity buses: 3
  • Students transported daily: 378
  • Fuel used daily: 150 gals.
  • Miles buses travel each day: 829
  • One fuel truck. No wrecker
  • Service bays: 2

Unique features about the operation:

Director & Technician perform all PM’s & MI’s, fuel buses, change tires, manage parts, and every other function of ensuring buses are ready to go each day. The Cost Clerk/TIMS operator also serves as the secretary for the Superintendent. 2004 is the model year of their newest bus.
 
During 2003 Hurricanne Isabell flooded the bus garage with four feet of water. The water was up to the top drawer of filing cabinets. They lost all records, 2 activity buses, several staff vehicles and their service truck to the flooding.  The Central office had to be moved to the HS for remainder of the year while the building was being cleaned and gutted. 



CLAY COUNTY SCHOOLS

Pictured from left to right: Bill Martin, director, 31 years; Judy Rumfelt, Cost Clerk, 12 years; Howard Worley, Technician, 25 years.

  • Number of garage employees including director: 3
  • Regular bus drivers employed: 19
  • Name of bus driver with most years behind the wheel: Aud Brown, 30 years - She has been driving since high school.
  • Number of activity buses: 6
  • Students transported daily: 907
  • Amount of fuel used daily: 124 gals.
  • Miles buses travel each day: 990
  • Estimate of yearly budget: $368,000
  • No fuel truck or wrecker
  • Service bays: 2

Unique features about the operation:

The Bus Garage, High School, Middle School and Elementary School are all located on the same campus. 
Their one service truck is 12 yrs old with only 45,000 miles.  From 1997 to 2007 they did not receive any new replacement buses.



 TYRRELL COUNTY  SCHOOLS

Pictured, from left to right: Eddie Reynolds, director, 23 years; Pandora College, TIMS/Cost Clerk, 11 years; Michael Spruill, Technician, 11 years

  • Number of garage employees including director: 3
  • Regular bus drivers employed: 11
  • Name of bus driver with most years behind the wheel - Sheila Reynolds and LA White have 21 years of service.
  • Number of activity buses: 3
  • Students transported daily: 370
  • Fuel used daily: 75 gal.
  • Miles buses travel each day: 559 miles
  • Estimate of yearly budget: $173,420
  • One Fuel Truck, No Wrecker
  • Service bays: 3

Unique features about the operation:
 
Tyrrell County schools bus garage maintains 25 vehicles owned by the County Commissioner. Vehicles such as; patrol cars, water department vehicles, senior program buses, and County Maintenance department vehicles. Three quarters of their school bus fleet are 2004 or newer.
 
TIMS/Cost Clerk’s other duties include but not exclusive to: Federal and State cash management, accounts payable, payroll for both transportation and food services, bookkeeper for food service, BUD trained, AS400 light computer software maintenance, and split front desk receptionist duty.

If any of you in a larger county feel overwhelmed with your current job duties, please call Clay, Hyde or Tyrrell counties to complain!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
 
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