THERE’S ANOTHER ONE ALONG IN 5 MINUTES TIME

THERE’S ANOTHER ONE ALONG IN 5 MINUTES TIME

THERE’S ANOTHER ONE ALONG IN 5 MINUTES TIME

The title was Father’s phrase to describe women and buses! ….. however, keeping things on an even
keel the subject is buses.

“Never run after women or buses, there’s another one along in 5 minutes
time”

With three months of intensive training and driving I have certainly had an enormous amount of variety.
I doubt that I have driven two buses that are the same and that keeps me on my toes trying to find all
the switches and buttons. I’m reliably assured that the Cortez/Dolores school district is the only one
left in Colorado that operates manual versions of the said school bus. The autos are definitely in the
minority but no doubt as the newer ones replace the vintage manuals then the next batch must surely
be automatics.

Once round the Equator, new engine, and of course manual!

Recently a “demo” model was parked outside the Cortez bus barn and shortly thereafter there was an annoucement that Cortez was acquiring 3 NEW buses. So far two have arrived from Thomas and one
has been put into service already. They tell me the problem with being allocated a new bus is that as
soon as the activity trips begin the new one is whisked away and you end up with a beaten up spare! I
have noted that there are two “tour” buses numbers 49, and 50 which never seem to go anywhere
which I find a bit strange. Perhaps they are for the “chosen few”…….. “one day Glasshopper!”

The TWO new buses arrive

Over at the Dolores barn I was prepping the No 3 spare, the faithful “Turtle”  which nobody likes, when
a gentleman started asking me questions about same. The “Turtle” which is a Genesis flat fronter
with a forward engine and 78 seats is not very popular with the drivers as it doesn’t have  the retarder
system and is a bit down on power. They tell me it fishtails but so far it seems OK to me. It turns out
the said gentleman is the School Superintendent and he is about to buy another bus to replace the
D11 that I often get tasked to drive. I suggested he look at the Bluebird Vision that I frequently drive at
Mancos when senior driver Sharon is away on the long distance activity runs.

The Genesis, yes it’s long, very long !

Sharon’s Bluebird Vision 71 seater….. a joy to drive

Mancos is in the throws of getting 2 new drivers, one of whom will replace Sara who left around the
end of Feb but to date neither of them has passed the CDL driving test. Good for me as even when
they do get their qualifications I doubt they will be doing many of the activity runs which of course are
normally taken by the senior drivers.  Very much a “pecking order” when it comes to the perks.

Just a few of the 27 routes left to drive and then have a check out in the “new buses” as they have a
few switchery quirks and newbie doesn’t want to be sitting there with lights, bells and whistles all
going off and having no idea how to cancel same!

All the bells and whistles

Mirror, mirror on the wall………

It seems the flatfronter tour buses need an extra course, difficult to know why as they seem to be the
same as the Mancos tour bus I’m already driving. Maybe I’ll get a bye on this one or perhaps I’ll have
to twiddle my thumbs and wait in line to be selected.

The Mancos flat front rear engined pusher tour bus

Cortez 49 & 50…… look the same to me !

The Director tells me there are several routes coming up this year which might be good for
continuity although I think I much prefer the variety and driving all the routes in 3 different districts.
I’m sure I’ll be guided in my decision in the near future.

TONY DOWN

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