Driving a Motorcoach sounds fun and easy right? While this is an incredibly rewarding career, it takes diligence, training and expertise on the operator’s part to be successful. The driving part of a Motorcoach driver is the easy part, but, what you might not know about this type of job may surprise you. Our professional Navigators are in control of the most elite fleet of motorcoaches in the Northwest; this requires you to always be on top of your game when behind the wheel-for passenger safety as well as protecting the half million dollar Motorcoach you are operating.
It takes a special person with great skill and know-how to do this job. Safety of people is your main concern, including those that are not even on your coach, and with that comes a lot of responsibility, More than you ever thought possible, However, the right person with the right skills, attitude and training, the word professional is not far from reach.
With high demand of group charters comes high demands for coach operators, Long hours and busy itineraries can make a coach operators day very long. Staying on top of the game is key even when stressful request of the group are present.
The word professional is someone in a field that requires special knowledge, skill, established practices, procedures and methods and are certified in that field either by Certificate and or License. The Professional also dresses the part, being Professional includes your appearance. Being clean and well groomed sends a positive message to passengers that you take pride in your professional position and makes the company well represented.
Motorcoach operators start their day when they wake up at home, Being on time every day and working by the minute is one of the most important things in this job. Knowing or expecting of delays can result in poor customer service, timing is everything. Some days could start very early while some others may start at 11:00pm. Many times Motorcoach Operators shift sleeping habits from night time to day time depending on requirements for sleep before a trip.
Inspecting the equipment to make sure it is safe to be on the road with is also a requirement of the Professional Operator, Making sure the coach is safe and ready for travel is #1 on the list of the operators check list. Pre-trip Inspections must be thoroughly done with nothing left unchecked.
In many cases, Motorcoach Operators drive during the late night hours, mainly when traveling with youth groups or sports teams. In other cases operators could be driving local shuttles around major cities during conventions or other events. The Professional Motorcoach operator is ready to handle all types of travel, including but not limited to Nationwide or Regional travel and local.
On multi day charter trips Motorcoach operators are given itineraries which include all points of interest the group will be heading to. In most cases these final itineraries are supplied a few days before the day of the trip. The Professional does not wait for the day of the trip to start planning the route. Looking ahead and making plans is key. Waiting until the last minute will leave too many unanswered questions the operator may need, and that, can cause major problems later. “Know before you go.”
The Professional is prepared and ready for the trip well before its go time. Trip planning is one of the most important parts of the job.
Today’s Motorcoach operator works with GPS and Professional Maps such as trucking atlas and metro street guides, however, the operator should have good understanding of both incase of failure or loss of either tool.
Imagine yourself with GPS running your trip for you but then breaks and leaves you with no options, always have a backup plan so you are always ready for anything. The ability to navigate your coach to and from places without stopping and asking for directions is one of the most important professional skills you would need. A Professional operator makes it all look easy.
Some passengers may ask you if you had ever been to the place they are going before and are shocked that you found it for the first time with no difficulty.
Paperwork; Nobody likes to do it but, in this industry, it must be done and laws are in place to make sure it is done safely and correctly. Following federal regulations is another part of the professional, the reasons all come down to safety.
The professional coach operator must keep accurate and up to date Logs. Keeping inside the Regulations set by the D.O.T. are in place to keep operators and passengers safe.
Preparing yourself for work is also important, poor sleeping and eating habits can affect you readiness for hours of safe driving, certain medications can also cause fatuige making you unsafe to drive. Eating the right foods before you drive can help you through your day. Exercise and good sleeping habits are a must.
Motorcoach operators must also deal with loading and unloading large amounts of passenger luggage and sometimes schools will have band equipment coolers and other heavy and bulky items that motorcoach operators must load. In addition to helping passengers board and de-board the coach at all stops. Assisting mobility impaired persons onboard and into seat can also be requested including operation of a wheelchair lift and the securing of wheelchairs in the coach.
Driving safely means so much, driving in poor weather or heavy traffic can make a simple driving day a stressful one, short driving times between points and just the fact of knowing that people are watching your every move can be stressful, however, many people are impressed with how the Professional stays in control of him/herself during these otherwise stressful situations.
In short: A Professional Motorcoach Operator travels the country, protects the equipment and passengers, Loads and unloads passengers and luggage, keeps accurate paperwork, Navigates across America, through states and into cities smoothly and safely in sometimes stressful situations finding destinations for the customer and passengers and does it all with a smile.
1. Maintain current status of all qualifications for commercial driving according to company, local, state, and federal regulations.
2. Assist passengers as needed during charters and tours. Perform required pre-trip and post trip vehicle inspections to ensure vehicle is safe, clean, and ready for travel.
3. Complete all necessary paperwork promptly and accurately according to company, state, and federal agencies.
4. Complete all training and testing as required by the company, state, and federal agencies.
5. Must be able to lift at least 50 pounds.
6. Keep a professional appearance and demeanor at all times while on duty; and while in uniform, or while wearing any form of advertisement for Northwest Navigator. This is while maintaining the highest standard of personal hygiene, and/or grooming.
7. Drivers may be required to drive up to 10 hours a day and/or a combination of driving and on-duty not to exceed 15 hours except where off-duty options apply in a 24 period as stated in the FMCSR’S.
All applicants for the driver position must meet the minimum qualifications as set forth below:
• High school diploma or GED equivalent
• US Citizen or permanent Visa
• Must have CDL class A or B w/Passenger and airbrake endoresments for at least one year.
• Must have an acceptable driving record (MVR)
• Must be physically capable to perform the essential job functions.
• Is able to read, write, and converse in English, understand traffic signs, as well as respond to official inquiries and fill out all required reports.
• Must have no conviction of a felony.
• Must comply with all other applicable qualifications for employment established by regulation and by the company
• Must satisfactorily demonstrate acceptable driving behaviors during a road test.
- Physical Qualifications
The most important qualification in order to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle is the physical qualification. Unless you are physically qualified and carry a medical examiner’s certificate you may not drive a commercial motor vehicle.
Part 391, Subpart E of the FMCSR clearly states the physical qualification requirements. You may not drive if you:
• Have lost a foot, leg, hand, or arm unless you have been granted a skill performance evaluation certificate
• Have an impairment of the finger, hand, arm, foot or leg that inhibits your ability to perform tasks associated with driving a commercial motor vehicle. Unless you have been granted a skill performance evaluation certificate
• Have high blood pressure that will interfere with driving
• Have poor hearing
• Have vision affecting your ability to see with both eyes; objects that are far away, objects to the side, or traffic signal colors; (glasses or contact lenses may be used to correct some of the abilities)
• Have any mental problems that will interfere with your ability to drive a commercial motor vehicle safely.
• Have chronic asthma, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis that cause you to have chest or breathing problems
• Have heart disease, causing you chest pain, fainting, or shortness of breath
• Have any sickness that will not allow you to safely drive a commercial motor vehicle such as loss of consciousness or/and loss of ability to control the vehicle
• Have loss of feeling or movement in part of your body
• Use certain drugs and/or dangerous substances; unless they are prescribed drugs or substances given by a doctor, who is aware of your medical history and job related duties and as long as the drugs or substances do not affect your ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
• Have a current clinical diagnosis of alcoholism
You are required to have a medical exam performed by a physician familiar with FMSCR regulations. If you have not had a medical exam in the past 24 months, or have suffered a disease or injury that has affected your ability to drive a commercial motor vehicle, you must get a DOT physical before you will be allowed to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
• Trains new hires as needed
• Washes/Details exterior and interior of motor coaches to a very high company standard.
• Inspects coaches for cleanliness.
• Safely operate all wash equipment.
• Work with common household chemicals. Training and safety gear provided.
• Keep wash bay clean.
• May work overtime depending on season
• Recruiting new members as needed
• Comply with all company policies and procedures.
• Pre-employment drug and alcohol testing required.
Report Vehicle new vehicle damage to manager Immediately
Report any incidents/accidents as they happen
Complete nightly production logs, time sheets