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CCS bus maintenance earns perfect score on inspection

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Chilton County Schools bus maintenance department received a perfect score on this year’s inspection by the Alabama Department of Transportation.

“They go through each of our busses from one end to the other making sure we are doing our job of keeping them safe and keeping the maintenance up,” shop foreman Glen Johnson said.

There are 78 items checked by the inspector in the categories of safety, maintenance and cleanliness of each of the school buses.

The department is responsible for all of the 127 school buses that Chilton County Schools owns.

“With a fleet the size of ours, scoring a perfect 100 is really unusual,” Johnson said.

He said this is what the department “works toward every year” and it “felt good” to have the hard work pay off.

Johnson said employees taking pride in their work is a major contributor to the department’s success.

“They are some of the best,” Johnson said.

He said staff tries to be proactive and work as a team to prevent issues before they create an unsafe situation.

“We have an outstanding team here all the way around,” Johnson said. “I would like to thank all of the bus drivers for doing their part for the inspection, making sure the buses are clean and ready.”

Johnson said he was also thankful for the work of mechanics: Mike Thomas, Travis Mims, Jeff Moore, Jeremy Bowman and Austin Robinson; transportation supervisor Steven Hunter; front officer staff Kelly Cummings; parts manager David Robinson and routing coordinator Allen Bazzano.

Cummings assists in keeping the necessary paperwork up-to-date. Bazzano secures substitute bus drivers when needed, so the mechanics can keep working. Johnson said this was a factor in helping the department achieve a perfect score.

School buses are inspected locally every 20 days. ALDOT completes an annual inspection in February to insure the buses are up to state standards.

The state inspector said a perfect score is rare for a school system the size of Chilton County Schools.

How old the buses are is also a factor considered during the inspection. Johnson said the buses range for 2007 models to 2020 models.

CCS has been trying to replace buses that are 10 years old or older for the past few years.