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School Bus Training Seminar Report

One Day Seminar Thomas Buses

The day started off at 6 am with myself and 2 fellow Mechanics driving to Kelowna a couple of hours out of town. A quick stop at Tim Horton’s for a coffee and breakfast made the morning complete. We arrived just after 8 am and met up with one of the Kelowna Mechanics in the bus yard.

He was just about to fire up one of the Natural Gas school buses and bring it into the shop. Curiosity took over and we asked for a quick run down on this technology and how it’s working out for their fleet. Terry went through the explanation like an old pro with safety precautions and mechanical tidbits with this Cummins designed engine.

The range is 400 kilometers and on top of that there isn’t a large network of fuelling stations around. The bonus with natural gas is the clean emissions which is a huge savings in fuel and maintenance. The infrastructure is the highest cost of all but the gas provider played a big part in installing the necessary equipment along with training all the personnel. I took a video covering all this and will post it here soon.

The One Day Thomas Course

So it’s amazing how much you can learn in one day. I used to struggle using these sites trying to find parts and electrical schematics. Gerald, the instructor from First Truck in Vancouver did a great job going through the steps needed to find any part desired with the related schematics using a few easy steps.

It just required starting out in the right section, highlighting a part and clicking on a link in the toolbar. I used to struggle clicking back and forth in “no man’s land” so to speak looking for a “needle in a haystack”. After finding out how to navigate the two web sites Thomas and Freightliner provide it’s like night and day compared to past struggles.

Troubleshooting Electrical Problems

The biggest frustration we had in our shop was finding electrical schematics. It’s like shooting in the dark when you don’t have a schematic in your hands. I would compare this to building a house and not having a blueprint of the water lines and electrical circuits when a problem occurs.

We are presently looking for trouble with the J1939 wiring which is the information highway for all of the driver and computer commands. This is what the big advantage is with multiplex wiring because of the speed these commands communicate with each other. When everything goes nuts with several things not working at the same time it’s usually the J1939 system.

Using the ‘Parts Pro’ wiring in ‘AccessFreightliner’ we located both terminating resistors in the j1939 harness. Without this tool it might have taken hours to find the resistors. When testing the wiring the reading should be 60 ohms. Any other reading means either a resistor has failed or one of the 2 wires in the harness has an open or short to ground.

Thank you for reading this post and please comment below. If you have taken any kind of course similar to this one I would like to read your experience going through it and if it helped you with troubleshooting electrical problems.