Industry veteran Brad Barker recently released a new edition of his manual on school bus preventive maintenance, which he told School Transportation News he spent the past year updating.
An ASE-certified master school bus technician with 40-plus years in the school bus industry, Barker has worked on Blue Bird, Thomas Built and IC buses. Currently, he works as a bus specialist at Rush Truck Center of Salt Lake City, which is the IC Bus dealer in Utah. The former fleet maintenance supervisor at Park City Schools has worked as an industry consultant the past few years.
In addition, he has served on several committees in Utah and represented school bus technicians on the writing committee for the 2010 National Congress for School Transportation Specifications Sub-Committee. In 2006, he represented Utah at America's Best Technician Competition and took first place in the nation.
Barker told School Transportation News he is also trying to complete his Diamond Certification through Navistar as a certified IC bus tech.
“All of this just helps me become better at what I have done all my working life, and that is being the best bus tech I can possibly be,” he said. “I need to do this so I can help my peers and customers work through and resolve mechanical issues.”
Bob Williamson of Premier Transportation is one customer who relies on Barker's bus maintenance manual.
“I was impressed with the detail and how thorough the manual is. Definitely a valuable manual to have here in the office,” said Williamson.
Barker noted that he himself has relied on the experience of others, printed documentation and other resources in order to learn about new products and repair techniques.
“Being a good mechanic requires perseverance, patience, attention to details and the ability to work out puzzles,” he added. “I love the challenges this career has given me.”