School bus contractor First Student announced 11 locations nationwide recently earned the Blue Seal of Excellence given by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
Blue Seal shops have the knowledge and training required to diagnose problems precisely and accurately so that buses are maintained and repaired to the highest safety standards. In order to become Blue Seal certified, at least 75 percent of technicians performing diagnosis and repairs at the location must be ASE certified. In addition, each area of service offered in the maintenance shop must be covered by at least one ASE-certified technician. Currently there are at least 4,405 ASE school bus technicians and 1,445 master school bus technicians, according to the ASE website.
ASE, an independent nonprofit organization, was created in 1972 to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service by testing and certifying automotive professionals. The Blue Seal of Excellence is the highest certification level given by the organization.
The First Student locations include:
- Boone Grove, Ind.
- Montrose, Colo.
- Bozeman, Mont.
- Naperville, Ill.
- Chattaroy, Wash.
- Newberg, Ore.
- Cincinnati New Castle, Pa.
- Indian River, N.Y.
- Providence, R.I.
- Linden, Mich.
“Our maintenance teams recognize the impact of what they do every day,” says Todd Hawkins, First Student senior vice president of maintenance. “Their hard work and discipline result in safe and reliable school buses, which provide students with the best start and finish to the school day.”
First Student’s maintenance best practices and streamlined procedures are among the most stringent and innovative in the industry. The company develops customized fleet management and maintenance programs that not only comply with all federal and state requirements, but also have a proven record of helping school districts reduce vehicle downtime, improve reliability and lower the overall costs of transportation.
ASE's seven tests for the main elements of school bus maintenance and repair include: Body Systems and Specil Equipment; Diesel Engines; Drive Train; Brakes; Suspension and Steering; Electrical/Electronic Systems, and; Air Conditioning System and Controls.