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Bus Discussion => Bus Topics ( click here for quick start! ) => Topic started by: desi arnaz on March 22, 2011, 05:07:43 AM

Title: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: desi arnaz on March 22, 2011, 05:07:43 AM
http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Tour+bus+overturns+on+Interstate+93%3b+23+injured&articleId=0644aa1b-a79e-4365-b49a-612ab7ef6de5 (http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Tour+bus+overturns+on+Interstate+93%3b+23+injured&articleId=0644aa1b-a79e-4365-b49a-612ab7ef6de5)
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: Busted Knuckle on March 22, 2011, 05:31:34 AM
Man I just wish they'd stop it already!
 :(  BK   :'(
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: artvonne on March 22, 2011, 05:49:54 AM
  No kidding. And really, I bet many of the injured passengers were not belted in. How responsible are they for their own injuries if they refuse to buckle up?
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: belfert on March 22, 2011, 06:32:26 AM
Most buses do not have seat belts so pretty hard to buckle up.  I don't think seat belts are standard yet on new buses.  I believe they are still optional.
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: buswarrior on March 22, 2011, 07:07:45 AM
The problem is a business model that is non-compliant with industry practices and legislated statute.

Coaches that are effectively ungoverned, driving schedules that defy hours of service, little to no maintenance, or facilities in which to do it.

Training, due diligence on background checks, quality assurance checks, follow-up on incidents, all missing.

Driver professionalism discouraged: no rest facilities provided for a driver who has to drive overnight, low pay, back to back shifting, work shifts scheduled around the clock, no regard to the facts of the human condition in work/rest/sleep cycles, disregard for hours of service, completely in some cases, constant threat to losing one's job for reporting anything wrong. And the deep secret of financial penalties for being late, or otherwise tarnishing the company's "image"...

JUST DRIVE, as FAST as it will go,  OR BE FIRED.

a sad existence, to be sure.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: Len Silva on March 22, 2011, 07:23:47 AM
The problem is a business model that is non-compliant with industry practices and legislated statute.

Coaches that are effectively ungoverned, driving schedules that defy hours of service, little to no maintenance, or facilities in which to do it.

Training, due diligence on background checks, quality assurance checks, follow-up on incidents, all missing.

Driver professionalism discouraged: no rest facilities provided for a driver who has to drive overnight, low pay, back to back shifting, work shifts scheduled around the clock, no regard to the facts of the human condition in work/rest/sleep cycles, disregard for hours of service, completely in some cases, constant threat to losing one's job for reporting anything wrong. And the deep secret of financial penalties for being late, or otherwise tarnishing the company's "image"...

JUST DRIVE, as FAST as it will go,  OR BE FIRED.

a sad existence, to be sure.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
I agree 100%, but I am not among the apparent majority here who believe we already have too much regulation.

Regulations cost money, regulations increase the "size of government", and regulations save lives.

Seems like a pretty simple matter of priorities.
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: luvrbus on March 22, 2011, 07:37:48 AM
It will be something to watch they have started already people that fly home on the taxpayers dime in Gulf Stream Jets writing laws for buses LOL what a joke 

good luck
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: belfert on March 22, 2011, 08:37:17 AM
I agree 100%, but I am not among the apparent majority here who believe we already have too much regulation.

Regulations cost money, regulations increase the "size of government", and regulations save lives.

Regulations for most of these issues already exist.  How many drivers already fudge their logbook or keep one copy for them and one for DOT?  How many vehicles are run with conditions that would take them out of service if the DOT inspected it?  The issue here is operators figure it is cheaper to pay a fine when stopped then to follow the rules.

One problem in the truck/bus industry is paying drivers by the mile.  They drive fast to get higher hourly pay.  Drivers tend to be relatively low paid so they want to run as many miles/hours in a day as they can.  A driver away from home can either sit in their sleeper or at a truck stop being bored or they drive more to make more money since they are away from home anyhow.

From time to time there are proposals to require some sort of electronic devices in commercial vehicles so drivers can't fudge log books.
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: Len Silva on March 22, 2011, 10:01:02 AM
I never knew that!  It seems nothing short of insane to pay a bus driver by the mile.  It's bad enough that OTR drivers get paid that way but it certainly should not apply to buses or local trucks.

A few years ago I lived in North Central Florida where there was a rash of dump truck accidents from a large road project.  They were being paid by the ton-mile, thus over weight and speeding.  The powers that be insisted on a different method of paying drivers and the accident rate fell over night.

The problem with regulations is even where the laws exist, enforcement is expensive and we the people are often not willing to pay the price.
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: billy6941 on March 22, 2011, 10:09:17 AM
I can't speak for anyone but myself about driving conditions in the tour bus industry. I have been driving for 14 years, 11 with my present company and in that time nothing serious has happened and we have coaches on the road year round. We have an excellent maintenance crew, coaches that are kept up and good drivers. The company has 33 coaches, a combination of J4500's and E4500's. We have our own section in the DOT manual, which allows us to be on duty 20 hrs in a day and to drive 15 hrs, up to a maximum of 80 hrs in 8 days. I have never  had to be on duty or drive for that many hrs. We tour throughout Alaska and Western Canada, with a lot of short trips around Anchorage and Fairbanks. IMHO, the best tour company in the US....Bill
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: belfert on March 22, 2011, 10:15:28 AM
I never knew that!  It seems nothing short of insane to pay a bus driver by the mile.  It's bad enough that OTR drivers get paid that way but it certainly should not apply to buses or local trucks.

I don't how many bus drivers are paid by the mile.  I know a lot get a day rate or even an hourly rate, but I am sure some must be paid by the mile.  I guess I was just lumping together all truck and bus drivers who get paid by the mile.

I've heard of some linehaul bus drivers only getting around $100 a day.  That would be $26,000 a year if one worked five days a week.  Not a whole lot to live on.
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: luvrbus on March 22, 2011, 02:52:42 PM
Brian, I don't think good drivers work for a 100 bucks a day my friend owns Swift Transportation In Phoenix I heard drivers start at around .31 cents after 5 years get over .40 per mile that is over 200 bucks a day and they get all kinds of bonuses to go along with that they do ok 


good luck
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: desi arnaz on March 22, 2011, 03:20:23 PM
i went to see the bus this afternoon, unfortunately i couldn't get close enough to take a photo. the side looked almost perfect only missing all the windows and the front top window was missing. looks like it could hit the road for travel at any time.
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: fe2_o3 on March 22, 2011, 04:13:00 PM
"The crash is being investigated by Trooper Eric Piche of Troop F"

It's gonna be alright...It's being investigated by F Troop...Cable
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: JackConrad on March 22, 2011, 05:02:14 PM
The area we live in is covered by Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) F Troop.  Years ago, I talked to an older Trooper that said he was really glad when the TV show F Troop went off the air, although most people only knew them as FHP, not by there troop designation.  Jack
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: RoyJ on March 22, 2011, 05:16:23 PM
Brian, I don't think good drivers work for a 100 bucks a day my friend owns Swift Transportation In Phoenix I heard drivers start at around .31 cents after 5 years get over .40 per mile that is over 200 bucks a day and they get all kinds of bonuses to go along with that they do ok 


good luck

Bus and coach drivers up here get between $14 to $17 per hour, so factoring 13 hr max per day, you can get up to $220. On a 2 - 3 day tour, you're also looking at $80 - 90 in tips. I've even heard of drivers selling bottled water for $1, and making $30 or so per trip.

Still lower than most long haul truckers, but the work is much more pleasureable. I'd take lower pay + 4 star hotel over truck sleeper and no shower any day!


Back to origional topic. These events are tragic, but there's not much regulations can do. I wonder if tires were an issue. Up here, many coaches run all position tires year round, or mild traction tread. Very few drivers can chain up, as there isn't space on modern coaches.
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: buswarrior on March 22, 2011, 07:28:16 PM
Sliding a coach off the road and flopping it over in the ditch all by yourself in the snow is driver error.

Ran most of my career on all position tires, as have most of the middle aged and older coach drivers.

All position tires would still be a viable choice for a 40 foot coach for commercial operations, though they are dwindling in number now.

Traction tires showed up relatively recently on coaches and are good for keeping the 45 foot coaches from getting stuck in the parking lot. The 45 footers are a real pain for getting stuck, weight distribution and tire loading is the devil for them.

However, traction tires like to sing and howl out on the highway...passengers don't always like that.
 
Once moving on a snow covered highway, directional stability of any tire type is quite acceptable.

In a snowstorm, if given the choice of any vehicle, my first choice has always been a coach. Nothing is more well rounded and stable in performance, especially as it gets deeper and rutted.

For a busnut, if you go off onto the lawn regularly, I'd go for some modest traction tires on the drives.

We've all seen the rally pics where it rains and someone spins their tires on the grass... it's all over after that.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: RoyJ on March 22, 2011, 09:40:46 PM
Traction tires showed up relatively recently on coaches and are good for keeping the 45 foot coaches from getting stuck in the parking lot. The 45 footers are a real pain for getting stuck, weight distribution and tire loading is the devil for them.

Don't most 45' models have liftable tags? Or atleast a drain valve? I bet a loaded 45 footer without the tag would put a CRAPLOAD of pressure on the drive axle!

My lil 35 foot coach definitely has no traction problems. Having a T-drive (more rear overhang), my weight distribution is almost 30/70 when loaded.
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: RJ on March 23, 2011, 02:26:14 AM
All -

After having been a professional charter bus driver myself, putting over 80,000 miles per year on various makes and models of coaches way back when, I totally agree with Buswarrior:

Sliding a coach off the road and flopping it over in the ditch all by yourself in the snow is driver error.

The generic catch-all term the CHP (and other HPs) usually use is "driving too fast for conditions," even if that means plodding along at 25 mph in 2nd gear on an icy highway in a white-out blizzard.

HOWEVER:

What's the possibility that maybe, just maybe, the coach hit some black ice, changing it's direction towards the center median.  Driver now helpless until the front axle regains it's grip, panic setting in and now (incorrectly) hard on the brakes.  LF wheel hits the soft grassy median, already soggy from too much winter weather and over she goes.

The accident investigation is not complete yet, and, as usual, the MSM only reports bad news first in attention-grabbing headline form, the heck with reporting the truth even if it's staring them in the face.  Bad news sells, Pollyanna doesn't.

I'm not taking the driver's side here, just pointing out that far too often folk, especially non-industry "armchair professionals" and attention-whore politicians, are way too quick to pass judgment before all the facts come to light.

Those carriers operating "under the radar" have been a problem, especially on the East Coast, for a number of years.

I'll address charter driver pay in a new thread.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 ;)
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: desi arnaz on March 23, 2011, 04:04:01 AM
i was not there, but there was not much of a storm going on that night.
btw strange you mention Pollyanna as littleton nh is the Pollyanna town where the author was born.
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: belfert on March 23, 2011, 02:27:49 PM
I think most charter operators pay more than a lot of the linehaul guys.  I am a bit surprised a charter company would allow drivers to sell bottled water though.

I know a Megabus customer who had to help the driver stay awake once because he was falling asleep.  Personally, I would have called 911 and reported him.  I don't know if low pay had anything to do with it.  Maybe the guy had a day job too since was driving the night run?
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: buswarrior on March 23, 2011, 05:41:45 PM
A loaded 45' er puts a crapload of pressure on the steer tires.

You gotta push them through.

Dumping the tag axle pressure is only a marginal variable. And makes things worse if the drives are someplace they can sink or dig themselves in.

And you can create a condition where when you dump the tag, it lightens the steers via the seesaw, then it won't steer without some weight back on the front...

You still need enough traction between the drive tires and the ground to shove the fronts and drag the tags through the accumulation.

All the weight ratios between steer/drive/tag and the weights on the tire contact patches are significantly enough different on the 45 foot coaches that they can be quite a different animal than a 40 footer under limited traction conditions.

45 footers have some of the traction troubles that used to be reserved for the heavy trucks, and we in the coach business never had to think about.

Busnuts will have greater challenges with 45 foot coaches getting off the lawn, if they stray onto unimproved surfaces...

happy coaching!
buswarrior

Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: happycamperbrat on March 23, 2011, 10:58:16 PM
F Troop? Now that's funny!!!!  ;D ;D ;D


Not that Im old enough to know who/what F Troop is though.......... umm, hmm   ::)
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: RoyJ on March 23, 2011, 11:44:07 PM
I think most charter operators pay more than a lot of the linehaul guys.  I am a bit surprised a charter company would allow drivers to sell bottled water though.

All depends on the size of the company. And by "charter", I don't mean Greyhound or Megabus, those are more formal linehaul companies. I mean the companies that does scenic tours, school trips, sports team trips, etc.

With some smaller companies, drivers take their buses everywhere between runs - Walmart, visit nearby friend, McDonalds. And as long as they're safe, reliable, courteous drivers, why not? (within reason)
Title: Re: bus crash 5 miles from my home.
Post by: artvonne on March 24, 2011, 09:56:11 AM
  While its sad to see a Bus wreck, we should all try to keep things in perspective. First, as noted, our wonderful Media loves to twist everything for greater impact. But if you take just 5 minutes and read through the NTSB website, you find the number of Bus crashes to be remarkably low. They are without a doubt, the safest vehicles on the road. Now when I say Bus, I mean OTR intercity Bus, not School Bus, and the NTSB seperates them.

  In reality, news today has all become more national. Things you never would have heard about 10 years ago will be all over the news coast to coast within minutes or hours. Except of course real political news you should know about. They dont want to tell you whats happening two states away....

  And a Bus crash? They approach it like an airplane accident. Even a little Cessna going down will make it onto Fox and CNN now, so a Bus has no chance of remaining benign. Keep it between the lines folks, were being watched like never before.  Saw a billboard headed out of Little Rock yesterday : Hit by a Big Rig? Call 1-800 XXX-XXXX. Makes ya wonder. Its a jungle out there.