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Chapterminutes for October 19 2010

Moderator: harlanpudneyjr

williamburgess User avatar

Here's the gist of the meeting yesterday.

Meeting was held at the South Colonie CSD Bus garage @ 9:00 am, Sponsored by Eric Starring, Fleet services manager of BG Products & Deposit Control Systems.

DOT reps Rusty Seastrum and Jim Leonard answered quite a few questions and gave some examples.

a) Above the driveshaft in the rear of an unidentified bus , a brake valve hangs below the frame making the valve and hoses vulnerable should the drive shaft come loose from the differential. It was not caught on initial inspection nor was it addressed by the operator. This was brought up for 2 reasons. 1. to show things can be missed by both the inspector and the operator. 2 just because it was put into service like that does not make it right. After it was determined there was a problem with this unit and others like it, DOT contacts the manufacturer and works with them to bring those vehicles up to meet the regulations.

b) On-spot chains are OK to install as they are a safety Item

c) FIRE SUPPRESSION, The law was passed 4 years ago. We have a final draft and not all issues have been addressed yet. Looks to be 3-4 yrs out.

not sure if it is going to be retrofit to older vehicles. What we do know is it must be a "clean agent" no dry powder or corrosive. There are 2 types of approved units 1 has a "hose melt" system the other is a nozzle type. They will be automatic and manual discharge. Cost to install will be 1500-3000 ea vehicle. After discharge, refill of bottle will cost about $10/lb most bottles contain 10 lbs. Plus parts and installation. Still must carry portable fire extinguisher. Rusty said to remember both are for "fire suppression " not to put the fire out. Use the time to get people away from the bus and let the bus burn.

d) Inspector consistency, We have worked on this for years. Never will you get every inspector doing it the same thing the same way, they are all human. There is a new program whereby an audit of inspectors will be done. They will all be looked at by # of inspections and defects discovered per man per region. This will tell if there is a pattern either by the inspector or if it is region wide.

e) LED lights will be standard equipment on OGS contract buses. Most likely within 2 years.

f) Roof strobes are still optional.

g) Backlit destination signs, DMV has legislation changing law from backlit to reflective signs

h) Inspector not allowed to "poke" @ rust to check for structural holes. Does not include exhaust system

i) multi piece exhaust manifold per manufacturer ok to "puff" will seal when hot. Black wisp not automatic A failure

j) Outside labeling of buses with track seating. Must have Maximum "APPROVED" floor plan capacity. Cannot just move seats and belts around to suit needs. Must have all approved floor plan in bus.

k) All reportable accidents/incidents must be reported either by call center or by calling your SMVI as soon as possible. minor things that can wait can be recorded and told to your MVI on his next visit.

l) Must account for all mileage. If vehicle goes anywhere there must be a means for accounting for the miles. Make out a DVIR with the beginning and ending miles and put in the comment section what the bus did. Example, sent to dealer and road tests or administrative use no students. etc.

m) Rusty gave a brief on the retirements and how it may affect the program. Jim said the department has to do more with less. It was commented on that safety always wins but may not be the case anymore. There was discussion on 9 month or longer stickers. It may be a possibility for operators with a 95 % or better pass rate. Will have to wait and see.

After Rusty left there was a discussion about having a rep from DOT at the manufacturer level to head off potential problems with the install of things like A/C. It was addressed by Ira because of his vast knowledge on the subject. He said this is a dealer issue and DOT works with them to rectify the situation. He is familiar with what the operator was talking about and wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page. It would do little to have a rep at the manufacturer because there is 49 other states they build for. The regulations are sent to them and it is their responsibility to be compliant. Once the bus is at the distributor it is the dealers responsibility to install accessories on the vehicle in accordance of the regulations. If for some reason the bus is inspected before the accessories are installed it goes back on the installer to follow the regs and if the operator sees that it is not in compliance they need to go back to the dealer or whoever did the install and make them aware of it. They should also notify their SMVI and he can follow up with the proper people. If it happens to be found as a defect upon DOT inspection, you need to work with the SMVI and your MVI so your district is not charged with an A defect if it is not warranted.

It was brought up from someone wondering if IC was going to do something about the access to the under seat heater, they are a pain to replace. Nothing new on that.

Bluebird recommends replacing the heavy circuit breakers with fuses if you are having issues with them loosening up or vibrating out. Thomas said the same thing.

Elections were discussed and nomination forms were handed out. Harold said they would also be mailed. Harry wanted to remind everyone about the Christmas party, it will be at the Holiday Inn on December 3rd in Saratoga.

Next meeting will be Nov 30 @ LBS in Mechanicville, Diagnostics and trouble shooting. Eric From BG said there are many free services to their customers call him for details 518-857-3997

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