Traveling in a group or convoy,

The company charter department , designates a lead bus driver and following drivers are numbered 2-3-4 and so on. Usually the lead bus is the driver with most experience. Well you would think so, but its not always the case. So while its important to stay in order ,this can not always happen, and you do the best you can. Also while you may not be in order when you arrive at the pick up location, it is important to remain in the order that you were in when you left the pickup location and return in same order. Once the passengers are off and safely away from the coaches then and only then the coaches should leave safely, once this happens ,the coaches are no longer near the location, if any individual driver wishes to return to there respective place of origin or next place of on duty service. They may do so, some drivers like to stop n get coffee, or something. The drivers in the multi coach trip are usually all professional , SO in which order they are in should not make any difference.

Baltimore Md. Tour Bus Parking

A Drive mentioned this to me last week, and I’m going to see for myself today,5/29/2014, and will see first hand. I hope. But it looks great according the Baltimore Md. Web site. Check it out.
Hi, drivers, I finelly got to visit and spend the afternoon at Baltimore’s new Parking Facilitiy, It’s great, but a little tricky to get to if you don’t have the directions, and at the time I went the directions were not posted on the web site. And the directions to leave are not the same as getting there. Because when you leave parking lot the sign says buses no right turn, and the directions tell you to turn right.
You also need to pay meter with credit card only. No cash. Not sure about debit cards though. It’s very clean, lots of room in trailer, and lots of parking spots. As far as the pump-out station ,its dump your waste into a hole that has a steel plate over it, and you better get lined up DIRECTLY OVER THE HOLE. Your going to have to supply your own water, or bucket to get water inside building, plus have your own chemical. Good luck ,I definitely recommend it ,its not that far from downtown, and its very secure. With a person on duty to open and close gate.
Oh yea, bring your lunch or whatever with you, you can always order something, but I didn’t venture out into the neighborhood because it didn’t look good. Or just not for me.

Queens Mid Town Tunnel, NYC to Long Island N.Y. and other low bridges in the NYC AREA.

Over the years, I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked this question, can we go through the Tunnel with a Prevost H345 Model, the answer is YES . Likewise we can go through the Central Park transverse at 96th, 86th, and 79th street. The sign says 9.9 feet , but if you stay towards the middle you can make it. I’ve been doing it for many many years.

Apps for Bus Drivers

I had the pleasure of talking to a driver from Lake Front Bus Co. While parked at Washington Monument last week, he showed me an app for your phone well at least a smart phone. It looked very interesting but I couldn’t down lose it to my old phone , but I will as soon as I upgrade my shone.
It’s called iExit. Try it I think you’ll agree.

Sitting on the drivers seat.

So what makes a driver comfortable when driving the bus.?? I realize that we are all different, big, tall, short, skinny, fat, young and old. Male n female. One thing that always puzzled me is ,that some drivers like to sit on the floor, or in the lowest possible position and that I think would be uncomfortable. Maybe thats because I’m tall and my legs get cramped in that position. But I’ve seen drivers like me ,maybe skinnier ,sit that way. When sitting at the kitchen table you don’t sit on the floor. If your at a desk in your office ,your not on the floor.
Ok, here’s another complaint ,I’m using a 2012 Prevost H345 Model, with a three point seat belt, ok I’m a big guy ,I think these guys totally didn’t think about us, because I can barely buckel it, and forget about reaching forward to get anything in front of you, because its that tight. Just saying .

Bus Parking for Nationals Park, in Washington D.C.

Ok, am I krazy ,but wouldn’t you think that when the people who came up with the idea of having a Baseball Stadium in an already over crowded area, they would at least make provision’s for the many Charter Busses, that would be bringing thousands of fans to the Games, a place to PARK DURING THE GAME. they don’t even have a decent  area along the street to drop off or pickup the passengers. So we drivers ride around in circles, hoping to get a legal spot, which is very unlikely, and we ride around the local neighborhood  trying find a spot that’s illegal and hope we don’t get a parking ticket. And don’t upset the local residents. Oh yea there is a Bus parking lot its Lot W, at $75.00 per game. And there usually only a couple busses in there. The rest are cars because the price for cars is $10.00, its around five block from stadium.

Motor Coach A/C

Here we are again, at least for us that live and work around the Northeast part of our country its starting to get warm,and in some places HOT, and that’s when we hear driver can you make it cooler in here. You turn up the dial to max COOL and nothing, oh yea the shop says it was working fine last night when it was inside the building and temps were low. I’m not a mechanic, or A/C technician, but that’s not the time to check it, do it outside in the sun or something.

Communication, between drivers, on all types of trips.

Well this is a complicated subject, and obviously doing a charter by yourself is not to bad the only people you need to stay in contact is the group leader, and the dispatch/office. Depending on the company you work for makes a difference what kind of two-way radio, or Nextel cell phone, or if your old school a CB Radio. All these are great as long as everyone is in good working order, plus the drivers know how to use them. I suppose the best way of communication between drivers is cell phone, and having a wireless head set. Also a driver must have the other drivers n group leaders numbers. I now have company business cards with my name and I write my cell number on it. Now when doing a multiple bus charter and there are one or more farm out coaches traveling with your group it is very important to get there cell numbers. Oh, yea, don’t forget to have a working charger,

Bus tires,

I upset a Driver yesterday, while I was parked at Arlington Cemetery, us usual when a bunch of drivers get together in one place they start BS’n , ok, so a driver asked me , while looking at the bus front tires, what do you think of these tires, how do they handle? Maybe my response, was probably to blunt for him , I said I don’t know i don’t really give a FFFK. So he walked away and shook his head, I said wait let me explain, he said never mind ,I said give me a chance and you’ll understand, he didn’t want to listen. So I let it go for a little bit, then I found him and said, look don’t get mad or upset,  I can explain my answer ,he said I was jerk, and he said he doesn’t give a F–k, I said ok now we are even, so I explained that I don’t drive the same bus every day or long enough in a row to compare how they handle, he said don’t you look at the tire during pre-trip to see what make tire it is, I said HELL now as long as it passes inspection that’s all I care. He said he was a one bus one owner operation, and it matters to him how long it wears out. I said but that’s not a drivers problem like me. Or other drivers that just drive, for a company. He didn’t like that,
So today I asked another driver who happened to be an owner of twelve busses, he said I don’t care who makes them ,I get them cheap as I can save money ,because basically if you have good drivers, they will keep an eye on them and let you know if they are wearing bad and need adjustment. A good driver will avoid pot holes, curbs, and other things that will damage a tire. Our company puts over 150,000 miles a year on each bus. So they are going to wear out fast any how. If your a professional driver you can handle any vehicles, Or maybe I’m just an asswhole.

goDCgo

goDCgo, Washington DC newest web site for tourist, truck and bus information, also has a new interactive map for you smart phone or tablets, I’ve checked it out its kool, at least its a start ,that’s a whole lot more than any other city that I know of that has such an animal. Lol. I’m going to put it to the test next week May 13-14-15, http://goDCgo

Boston Bus Parking, or lack of it.

Well here I am up in Boston and Bus Parking hasn’t gotten any better, what was I thinking, I’ll have to look around and see what I can find.  Come on fellow drivers help me or us “out of towners” find the good spaces.

Electronic Logs,

Ok, I haven’t used one yet, but someone let me know, with electronic log system your on duty when ever your behind the wheel and driving correct, I spent over an hour in NYC today lookin for a place to park legally on street. No normally we don’t put that down, that sure is going to eat up my on duty driving hours if I have to to that every day . Yes. Or no.???
Well I’m getting better at using this damned thing, one thing I’ve learned is that YOU MUST MAKE A CHANGE OF DRIVER STATUS THE SECOND YOU STOP THE COACH, if your going to make the most of your ON DUTY NOT DRIVING TIME OR OFF DUTY TIME, THIS IS A MUST THING TO DO. Doing a paper log gave us the advantage of going back and round off our time to nearest or next closest quarter of the hour.

Looking for Charter Bus Drivers,

I know that sounds like an add for employment, but what I’m lookin for is Charter Bus Drivers to participate in THIS Blog, and help further a need to get drivers all around the country better informed, with up to date information about our world.  I came up with the idea a few years ago, I handed out business cards, I got lots of one time responses ,when I talked to drivers most all thought it was a great idea, especially now that most of us have some sort of smart phone, tablet, kindle, laptops, most coaches have Wi-Fi now. So its easier to communicate with each other, I was off this site for a long while , just recently re-activated it. And was surprised to see the activity I missed. That gives me hope. So PLEASE pass this on to your fellow drivers, I have 32 yrs as a driver from Greenport L.I.  N.Y. I presently drive for Hampton Jitney. My area of coverage is mostly from Virginia to include Canada- Niagara to Quebec and beyond. Thanks for your help, hope to see you on the road.

Washington D.C. Motorcoach information.

Well I did two trip to our Washington D.C. earlier this month, and while the season was just beginning ,it was business as usual already, very limited parking, but I will say, that there is a new website for D.C. – goDCgo.com. there is a section dedicated to your groups and Motorcoach’s.

Electronic Log/GPS-TRACKING

YES fellow drivers here at Hampton Jitney, we are officially hooked up,

image

Here it is, dispatch knows where you are 24/7/365.

2014 , I’m still driving , and big changes are coming. This year,

https://carloscite.wordpress.com/

Windshields

On a scale from one to ten, one being best ten being worst. How important is it to have a clean windshield. I never seeces to amaze me that driver will travel with bugs ,dirt, scum, smears  and not even lift a hand to clean it. But all DOT cares about is if the quotes work, they might check to see if your windshield fluids are working. Usually not checking that. But how many times have you started driving into the sun or at night and had the glare blind you. Just thinking .

High School Prom Trips

I and the other Drivers’ I was working with yesterday and night. Had an interesting encounter when we arrived at the Jericho Terrace Caterers in Mineola N.Y.. Waiting there were Nassau County Taxi and limousine commission officers , They waited till all students were off the coaches , then identified them selves , with there badges and ID. They were basically interested in drivers license , medical card , and vehicle registration and insurance card. This my first encounter with this sort of thing. They said they usually do this with Limos and party vans. Checking for alcohol , drugs and amount of passengers in  vehicle, I guess they tend to put to many people allowed per vehicle. I guess limos can only hold maybe eight to ten people and some companies are willing to put more than legally allowed. Well we were OKAY . So I guess the moral of the story is always be prepared.

Multiple coach trips.

Am I the only driver that understands the concept of traveling together. Wether it’s two coaches or ten coaches . Obviously it’s much easier with two than ten. All you have to do is play follow the leader. correct? Well I know it’s not that easy especially if drivers don’t talk to each other. Also if the leader has no idea of where he or she is going. I supposed you could keep in contact with each other using you company supplied cell phone , nextel phone, even if you had a cb radio. But then you have to know where the hell your going, and be ready for obstacles like road closures. Not that would be to easy. Good luck drivers

Dot inspection:

Okay drivers need some clarification, on a basic subject. I looked this up and it’s seems to be at least to me, unclear wether an inspector has to give a driver time to get current, cought up  the time he or she stops the coach to do a DOT inspection. Does the inspector have to give you any time at all. Like five, ten, twenty minutes. Or is this totally left to the inspectors’ discretion.  I was given a violation for not being current, my log was started in the morning of that day but did not have a line drawn across to the point at my destination and place of the DOT inspection ( same place) . I said how can I be current if you didn’t give me time to get cought up the time I pulled into the parking lot. He said I don’t have to give you time. He asked for log book as I pulled into parking lot to unload passengers, as I was unloading .I appealed this with Pa. State Police office , nothing happened. I guess don’t give them your log book until your current, but then they’ll say your not being compliant. Damned if you do Damned if you don’t. What’s do you think. It’s all in who or how you interpret the law.