6 Qualities You Should Look For When Hiring a Bus Driver

school bus driving picking up a kid

It is vital to offer your customers the best products and services as a business owner. It isn’t only because you want to get big profits. It’s also mainly your desire to create an amiable and robust customer and business relationship that’ll guarantee a lifelong trade partnership. 

It has taken quite a long time to prepare and organize for your bus business to start. At last, the opportunity is here; however, you have to hire a bus driver that fits your standards. In truth, it isn’t solely about your principles, but the state’s as well.

So, before hiring just anybody for the job, you have to know exactly what qualities you’re looking for in a bus driver. Here are the six most notable and crucial traits a bus driver candidate should have before hiring them.

6 Traits to Look For When Hiring a Bus Driver

1. The minimum federal law state requirements have to be met

There’s no doubt about it. Before hiring anyone for the job, the applicants must meet the minimum federal law state requirements to become a bus driver for your company. What are these main requirements?

  • The applicants are high school graduates with a diploma or equivalent.
  • At least 18 years old, but 21 is a more appropriate age level as they’re legally adults.
  • Have good psychological and physical health and have passed the medical examination.
  • They should have an excellent visual capacity of up to 70-degrees and sharp hearing abilities.
  • A previous experience in driving is a great plus point.
  • No criminal record.
  • Spotless driving records.
  • They have passed the Commercial Driver’s License or CDL with all the necessary endorsements included in the documents as proof.

2. The applicants have completed all the necessary training

Or are willing to go through the training period before being officially hired for the job. The training period more often lasts for a month up to three months. 

The training focuses on driving courses, such as the different types of maneuvers when driving a bus. It starts with the basics and moves forward to the routes and expectations they’d expect while on the road. Other times, the pieces of training are held inside the classroom, and the topics are about:

  • Municipal and state traffic laws
  • Bus’ safety equipment and other driving practices
  • Your company’s regulations and rules
  • Bus routes
  • Schedules
  • Fares

3. They have to have passed the endorsements

There are different endorsement requirements for all individuals who want to become bus drivers. Aside from the CDL that’s with the designated regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are a few more.

These are the “Passenger” and “School Bus” endorsements. The “Passenger,” or commonly known as “P,” requires everyone to drive with at least 16 passengers in the vehicle, including the driver. The “School Bus” or “S” is a requirement after passing the “P” endorsement. 

What does the process look like? It’ll sometimes change from one state to another. Nonetheless, it still involves the typical procedures of taking written examinations, applying for the Commercial Learner’s Permit or CLP, road skills test, etc.

4. Patience is a bus driver’s middle name

Every type of work requires a patient, especially when dealing with other people within their work location. It is the same for bus drivers. A quality you should look for when hiring a bus driver is that they have the patience to deal with passengers or anything on the road.

Bus drivers meet many people while working and come in different ages, professions, and lifestyles. Some passengers could be unruly for several reasons, or the traffic’s a real headache. It would be great to hire someone who remains calm and composed and handles these stressful situations with a clear mind to continue operating without any trouble.

When a bus driver is calm under any form of pressure, you and the passengers are guaranteed that their safety is the utmost priority of the driver. What’s more, these are the kind of rational people when making any decision.

5. Their customer service abilities have to be superb!

As you would have expected, bus drivers meet many people on the road. Their passengers come from a diverse walk of life and are entirely different. The bus driver you must hire is someone with superb customer service abilities.

Yes, they need to be courteous to the passengers. The first impression they give the passengers is a big assurance ticket that people will feel welcome, appreciated, and comfortable to catch another ride with your company’s buses. It would even be better if they were helpful to the people and assisted them when they could. Every positive experience counts and is a big plus for your company.

6. The drivers should be kind but great leaders too

Should bus drivers behave to have excellent leadership skills? If you consider it, they have to lead the bus they’re currently driving. The passengers will mostly rely on the drivers to ensure they’ll travel well, comfortably, and safely to their destinations.

At times, some things could happen on the road. The driver must take a stand and show the passengers their confidence when handling different or difficult situations. When a driver is prepared, more people will rely on the driver and the business’s capacities.