January 14, 2018
By: Dwayne Page
All DeKalb County School buses have passed state inspection.
State Troopers Darryl Winningham, Ned Martin, and Craig Wilkerson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, inspectors for this district, completed their evaluation last week of all 36 buses in the fleet including the 4 substitute buses.
Trooper Wilkerson said inspectors found no major defects or deficiencies.
“This year everything went really well. The main issue we ran across though it is very minor is the cleanliness of the buses. The mechanical side of it (inspection) went really well. I think the worst thing we had to do was change a tire on a bus. If there is a defect found its usually fixed within five to ten minutes. There’s not been a bus parked for longer than 20 to 30 minutes at the most during inspection,” said Trooper Wilkerson.
“We do a complete level one inspection on the buses. We go from the bottom to the top and inside, outside but the biggest thing we’re looking at is the tires to make sure they have proper air inflation and for tread depth wear. We look at the steering boxes. We make sure there’s nothing wrong with the tie rods and ball joints. We check the exhaust system for leaks. We also check the lighting system and anything that has to deal with the stop signs for when the children are unloading and loading to see that they are working properly,” Trooper Wilkerson continued.
The inspectors conduct an annual inspection for three days in January but unannounced spot checks are done during the year.
Jimmy Sprague, Transportation Supervisor for the DeKalb County School System said he is pleased overall with the results of the inspection and gave credit to the bus drivers and mechanics Michael Agee and Justin Coats.
“DeKalb County is blessed. We have good bus drivers who are very safety conscious. They look out for these kids and make sure they get to school and home safely everyday. I can’t give them enough praise for the job they do and in helping to maintain their buses. DeKalb County should be proud of them,” said Sprague.
Whether it’s a scheduled or unannounced state inspection, Sprague said the buses “are ready at any point and any time and that says a lot about the operation we run here. The drivers keep a check on the buses and if something is wrong we know about it and get it fixed. We couldn’t have the transportation department we have if we didn’t have the drivers we’ve got and the staff we have at the bus garage. It speaks volumes,” Sprague concluded.