How Training Bus Instructors Can Improve Time Management During Skill Development

Posted on May 24, 2018 by Louie Maiello - Also by this author

As instructors, you are setting an example to your students. What kind of a message are you sending if you cannot get through your day smoothly and effectively?
As instructors, you are setting an example to your students. What kind of a message are you sending if you cannot get through your day smoothly and effectively?
As a training bus instructor, have you ever found yourself nearing the end of your training day and realized you may not have ample time left to cover all basic skill development tasks scheduled for that day? This happens quite often. Hoping to cover what was not administered during any particular basic skill development day on the following day due to poor time management can cause a domino effect by not allowing sufficient time for skills that are normally scheduled to be taught on catch-up day.

Rushing through the tasks and not providing the time needed to fully absorb what is being taught will surely frustrate the new candidate trainee.

How can you improve your time management?

  •     Ensure every instructor is teaching the same basic skills daily throughout the training session. This is important should you need to replace an instructor on any given day. This will ensure that the only thing changing when a new instructor steps in during the basic skill development portion is the instructor and not the curriculum for that particular day.
  •     Student-to-instructor ratio is the key element in determining how much behind-the-wheel time each trainee should receive. Too much training can be just as detrimental to the success of the trainee as too little training. Smaller agencies may be forced to only entertain one or two new candidates. This is tough, as too many skills may be thrown at them due to the daily excessive behind-the-wheel time available to them. Working with Human Resources to provide at least three candidates for training bus skill development, and no more than four when planning a new class of candidates, is also cost effective.
  •     Basic skills are usually covered the first four days if your program is strictly driving skills first, allowed by ‘show me’ days, which require the student to ‘show you’ they can move forward to route-familiarization training. Classroom activities should begin after the washout of those who did not successfully qualify with the driving portion, according to the standards of the training department. This is the most effective way to create world class operators. To put it simply, many new bus operator candidate training programs are excessively long. Way too long.
  •     To keep your time management in check, ensure you have a well-planned out digestible list of basic skills that will be taught on each day. Begin with calculating the time it takes to travel to your training area, the time to cover all skills scheduled for that day, and also include meal time and break times. Finally, include the one-on-one time spent with each of your students near the end of the day for performance review documentation of their behind-the-wheel time and the drive time back to the depot. This should reflect their daily eight-hour spread.

As instructors, you are setting an example to your students. What kind of a message are you sending if you cannot get through your day smoothly and effectively, covering all tasks, all within your students start and finish time of their eight-hour tour of duty? Don’t just talk the talk but walk the walk.

Time management is rarely taught to a new instructor during the break-in period with the seasoned instructor. Don’t overlook it.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (2 Comments)

More Safety Corner Blog Posts

March 23, 2020

Be smart like a virus

One advantage to sustained critical incidents like coronavirus is the ability to do things differently and better.

March 12, 2020

Helping transit agencies prepare for COVID-19 with no-cost contingency plans

Agencies are left to figure out how best to provide transit service while minimizing the spread of the virus and contending with expected drops in ridership and driver availability.

March 9, 2020

10 reasons not to panic about the coronavirus

What we certainly have is a pandemic of fear...But it is also right that we must not panic... there are causes for optimism.

March 5, 2020

Whack-a-mole is a lousy crisis strategy

The response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak seems a bit whack-a-mole. It’s hard to see the strategy through the chaos because all you’re doing is reacting.

February 11, 2020

Must lives be lost before feds fix FMVSS 302?

In bus interiors, the key combustible components are seating materials, and the federal regulations for seat cushioning and covers are grossly insufficient and outdated for fire safety.

See More

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (2)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation