I Plan On Becoming A School Bus Driver For New York State, But Have Two Questions.

Topic 32705 | Page 1

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Travis M.'s Comment
member avatar

I turned 21 years old not too long ago, and my grandfather worked as a School Bus driver he tells me it's a good job for retirees and college students willing to work part-time. I got my CDL Class A when I was 18 but the issue is a federal law (a really absurd one in my opinion) did not allow me (since I was under 21) to drive in interstate commerce so I felt so relieved to get that evil K restriction removed from my CDL shortly after my 21st birthday.

1. Why exactly do you need to redo the skills test for Passenger and School Bus endorsements? I understand there are passenger items to look for, but when you think about it, they'll literally teach you all that on-the-job. It seems absurd to me that a CDL Class A or Class B driver cannot drive a Class C Bus (more than 15 passengers) because literally we drive heavy trucks so there's no reason to assume we can't handle buses.

2. For school bus drivers only, do you love what you do? Who would you recommend this job to, and who you believe should stay away.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Interstate Commerce:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Banks's Comment
member avatar

Most school bus companies already have resources in place to help you get hired. Apply and explain your situation when somebody reaches out.

Dave T.'s Comment
member avatar

From what I understood when I got my CDL , you can take the endorsement test just like any other one but you have to actually have the bus to take the passenger skills test. I tried to get mine just to have it but didn’t have access to a bus to do so. You could also look at a tour bus company. The big one here in town is pretty hard up for drivers as well as the local school board. If you talked to them I’m sure they’d be glad to help you with the testing and employment.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Travis thinks this is absurd:

I got my CDL Class A when I was 18 but the issue is a federal law (a really absurd one in my opinion) did not allow me (since I was under 21) to drive in interstate commerce so I felt so relieved to get that evil K restriction removed from my CDL shortly after my 21st birthday.

Travis statistics do not confirm your opinion (not even close). 18-20 year-old CDL holders are 6X more likely to be involved in an accident while operating a CMV. Dislike it all you want this mandate existed for a good reason. Unfortunately, we are at risk of it being rolled-back to allow 18 year-old CDL drivers to operate interstate. I'm not going to debate you or engage in an argument, but having been out here for quite a while, I strongly believe the restriction should continue.

Click this link: Drive Safe Act

He thinks this is also absurd (there is a theme here):

Why exactly do you need to redo the skills test for Passenger and School Bus endorsements? I understand there are passenger items to look for, but when you think about it, they'll literally teach you all that on-the-job. It seems absurd to me that a CDL Class A or Class B driver cannot drive a Class C Bus (more than 15 passengers) because literally we drive heavy trucks so there's no reason to assume we can't handle buses.

Because it's the law. Do you want to drive a school bus? It has nothing to-do with handling a large vehicle. It's not absurd...you've got additional human elements, lives to consider while driving a bus. You are responsible for everyone on your bus; ensuring the safety of school aged kids. Take it seriously, stop acting like you know-it-all and pass the test.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

Interstate Commerce:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

George B.'s Comment
member avatar

Well said, G-Town!!

BK's Comment
member avatar

A fellow driver I know from my days with Schneider, retired from OTR and decided to work part time as a school bus driver. Even though he was a seasoned CDL driver, he still had to go through very specific training to get his school bus endorsement. And it was a tough educational course. Why? Because the safety of young people is at stake.

From what I know, most school districts and school bus contractors cannot find enough drivers. So there is some definite demand in this field.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

BK wrote:

A fellow driver I know from my days with Schneider, retired from OTR and decided to work part time as a school bus driver. Even though he was a seasoned CDL driver, he still had to go through very specific training to get his school bus endorsement. And it was a tough educational course. Why? Because the safety of young people is at stake.

Exactly! Thank you Bruce.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

GrayBeardinPA's Comment
member avatar

Good Morning From Disney! I’m on vacation. I’m School Bus Driver, It’s nice not to deal with 54 middle schoolers this week.

The Company I drive for brands itself as “Precious Cargo Specialists “, We are and more. You become a very public face of the local Community and have an important role in it. Which means The community is watching and you engage with them on a daily basis. You are driving one of the most visual icons on the road.

You are driving a 38 foot Bus that has a tail that swings wide. Whereas in a Combined, you are worried about off-tracking what your trailer is doing . Actually unaware of what your tail is doing is one of the most common rookie mistakes. You go down/make turns on roads where Trucks are prohibited, even though you the same size as some of the those prohibited trucks.

As a school bus driver, you are temporarily given physical custody of the kids on your bus. Which means the state and school district wants to ensure that you can effectively and safely drive them in your care. So you will be required to go through mandated reporter training and along with a comprehensive background check.

I’ll write later this evening as I’m on vaca. I have a lot more to chime in on.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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