Guide to Daily Pre-Trip School Bus Inspections

Guide to Daily Pre-Trip School Bus Inspections

A pre-trip inspection is an important daily practice for school buses and other large vehicles. It's essential to ensure the safety of all students on board as well as the bus's performance. A quick inspection usually doesn't take more than a few minutes, but it can make sure that the vehicle is in good condition before the daily journey begins. During inspection, exterior and interior components need to be carefully checked. By performing a pre-trip inspection every day, drivers can avoid any potential problems or safety hazards that could arise if the vehicle is not up to standard. Taking the time for this essential inspection ensures student safety and optimal performance of the bus on its journey.  With the right inspection preparation, your transportation department can function better and safer than ever. Let's get started!

1. Check the mirrors.

Start by checking your school bus's mirrors. This quick step is essential for drivers to ensure that the vehicle's mirrors are all in alignment and positioned correctly. Completing this quick step ensures that the driver has an unobstructed view of their surroundings while driving, making it safer and easier to maneuver within the area.

2. Check the windows and windshield.

Next, check the windows and windshield of the school bus. This step is important to ensure that there is no debris or dirt on the glass that can obstruct a driver's view. Ensure that all windows are securely closed and clean before continuing with the rest of the inspection. If there is any dirt on them, use a window cleaner to remove it before moving on to your next step.

3. Check the tires.

The next step of your pre-trip inspection is to check the tires. It's important to look for any visible signs of damage such as bulges, cracks, and wear. If your school bus has a tire pressure gauge, use it to ensure that all tires have enough air in them for a comfortable ride. Checking the pressure is even more important in the colder months, when pressure can quickly change. Additionally, be sure to inspect the tread of each tire to make sure it is deep enough and not worn down. If you find any issues with the tires, they should be addressed before driving the bus.

4. Check under the bus if there are traces of leaks.

Next, it's important to check under the bus for leaks. This step is important because leaks can cause damage to parts of the vehicle and can also be hazardous for passengers on board. Look for any traces of oil or liquid that could indicate a leak in the engine area or fuel system. If you find any leaks, report them to your supervisor or in your inspection checklist.

5. Check bus interior condition.

Next, check the interior condition of your bus. Look for any signs of wear and tear or damage that could be hazardous for passengers on board. Check to make sure all interior components such as seats, lights, emergency exits, and other equipment are in working order. Make sure the interior is clean and free of any major debris or dirt that can cause distractions while driving. Additionally, look for any signs of water or mold damage that could affect the interior condition and comfort of passengers, especially after any significant rain or snow.

6. Check all engine fluid levels.

Next, it's important to check all the engine fluids of your school bus. This includes checking the coolant levels when the engine is cold and oil levels when it is hot. Additionally, check other fluids such as brake fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield wiper fluid. If you need to add any fluids, make sure to use fluids specified by your bus's manufacturer. It is also important to check all fluids periodically throughout the year as they can significantly affect how well the vehicle runs and how safe it is to drive.

7. Double check for any braking system alerts.

Next, it's important to check for any braking system alerts. Make sure all brakes are working properly and that there are no brakes stuck or brakes that need to be adjusted. Check for any warning lights or indicators on the dashboard of your bus and make sure they are all in the off position. If there is an alert or indicator lit up or brakes not functioning properly, the bus should not be driven until it is inspected by a professional.

8. Check all exterior lights.

Finally, check all exterior lights of your school bus. This step is important to ensure that the vehicle is visible while driving and can be seen by other drivers on the road. Check brakes lights, reverse lights, headlights, turn signals and any other exterior warning lights to make sure they are working properly. If you find that any of these are not functioning properly, replace them with new bulbs before driving the bus.

9. Report any negative findings.

As mentioned above, it is extremely important to report any serious or dangerous findings during your daily pre-trip inspection.  If you find anything that could potentially be hazardous to the passengers or the bus itself, report the findings to your supervisor and do not drive the bus until it has been inspected and fixed. Taking these precautions is essential for ensuring a safe ride for everyone on board.

10. Record your inspection.

EZDistrict makes it easier for bus drivers and supervisors to report, track, and report daily trip inspections. This helps ensure compliance with safety regulations and provides visibility into the condition of the bus before each trip. With EZDistrict, you can easily record any findings from your pre-trip inspection in one central place and generate reports on demand. This makes it easier to track and report on the condition of your bus over time and to ultimately ensure that students are transported to school in a safe and suitable vehicle.

These are the key steps that you need to follow when conducting a pre-trip inspection of your school bus. By performing a quick pre-trip inspection every day, you can help ensure student safety, optimal performance of the bus, and prevent any unnecessary problems from arising during your trips. Additionally, performing daily inspections ensures that any signs of damage can be handled in a timely manner. Reach out to one of our representatives today to see how we can help your district by improving your transportation department with EZDistrict software.