SMITHVILLE – Ensuring safe travels to and from school is State Highway Patrol inspector Marv Jose’s primary job.
Jose covers Ashland, Wayne, Holmes, Stark, Summit, Richland, Lorain, Medina and Huron counties, which include 55 school districts.
Contacting each district, he schedules a primary inspection. He then inspects the electrical, safety, structural, mechanical systems of around 1,200 buses annually.
“The first six months of the year, the inspections are scheduled.” said Jose as he neatly placed an annual inspection sticker under a window. “My second visit is a total surprise. I show up and tell them which bus numbers I want to inspect right then and there.”
Most recently, Jose visited the newly renovated Diesel Technologies lab at the Wayne County Schools Career Center to complete his inspection of Green Local and Career Center buses. The two districts maintain a sharing agreement that includes transportation.
Students service the fleet
“Our students regularly service the fleet,” said Diesel Technologies instructor Ben McConahay, whose students, along with Green Local bus mechanic Dave Hagenbaugh, helped prepare the buses for inspection. “They change oil, brakes, filters and grease the buses to keep them in proper working order.”
Hagenbaugh goes through a pre-inspection with the students to help them know what to look for. In a typical year, Diesel Technologies students are able to follow the inspector in pairs and ask questions during the check.
They had to observe from afar this year, but still benefit from seeing the inspection as it happens.
The lesson ties in with preventative maintenance inspection lessons, and the brakes, steering and suspension curriculum covered in the class.
“The inspector being here is great for the students,” said McConahay. “It shows them what testing and regulations are required for commercial vehicles and school buses. Something they’ll have to be familiar with as technicians in the workforce.”
Diesel Technologies is one of 27 programs at the Career Center that prepare students for a college, work force or military pathway.
For more information on the Career Center and its programs, visit www.wcscc.org.