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BUS REPORT Fall 2010

Thomas Built Institute Grows

Photo of training class at work

In 2009 the Thomas Built Institute was created to help ensure best practices are used for inspecting, maintaining, diagnosing and repairing bus and engine systems on new and late-model Thomas Built school buses. Only in its second year, the four-day workshop is rapidly growing in popularity among school bus fleet managers and technicians. This year's training attracted more than 100 attendees from across North America. In fact, demand is so high, Thomas is considering expanding the program to include additional workshops.

For many attendees, this was the first chance to work with SCR technology on Thomas buses, and the small, hands-on classes allowed the students to return home with valuable maintenance experience.

"The SCR segment of training relaxed a lot of fears after the attendees realized the added technology was simpler than imagined," said Mike Stotler, training services manager for Thomas Built Buses. "It was encouraging for the class to realize how little had actually changed in terms of maintaining SCR-equipped buses, and they walked away looking forward to putting that training to use on their own buses."

Changes for next year's program may include an increase in computer-based classes that offer the technicians more training with the tools they use in the field.