Casey Middleton and Patrick Maloney took home the “Blue Trophy” for winning the 10th annual NAPT America’s Best School Bus Inspector and Technician Training and Skills Competition held near Seattle last week.
Middleton works for Tulsa (Okla.) Public Schools while Maloney works for Douglas County (Colo.) Schools near Denver. Meanwhile, Bryce Ivie of the Utah State Patrol finished second and Ryan Texer of Fountain-Fort Carson Schools in Colorado came in third place in the inspectors category. Jon Studivant of Ozark (Ark.) Public Schools finished second and Bill Alsko of Hopewell (Va.) School District third in the technicians competition.
The event featured hands-on inspections of 77-passenger, 2011 model-year IC CE conventionals with MaxxForce7 diesel engines and Allison PTS2500 transmissions and air brakes (shown in photo above). Technicians also sought to find pre-determined defects on Blue Bird and Thomas Built Buses donated by Federal Way and nearby Lake Washington School District No. 414.
In addition to the competition, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) provided a sample test and several training sessions on electrical diagnosis, brake systems, fluid analysis, inspections, seating certification and inspections.
ASE is one of America’s Best sponsors, along with Delco Remy, Hydrotex, Thomas Built Buses, Voith, and Zonar Systems. The Washington Association for Pupil Transportation and Paccar hosted the event this year. Other 2013 event sponsors included Blue Bird, Cummins Northwest, Harlow's Bus Sales, Schetky Bus & Van Sales, Seon, and Valley Freightliner.