Hertz Northern Bus, currently with five clients, Graham Construction, L’ecole Canadienne Francaise, The Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Division, Saskatoon Public School Division and Whitecap Dakota First Nations, has been transporting school children in the Saskatoon area for over 42 years. Our fleet of over 90 units travel over a million kilometres and complete some three million passenger pickups and drop-offs per year with a safety record that is unsurpassed. A sophisticated computer system tracks drivers, passengers/routes and fleet maintenance data. All these things coupled with our fundamental philosophy of providing outstanding service by fostering a close, positive relationship between school driver, parent, pupil and company ensures that Hertz Northern Bus will continue to enjoy success and growth for many more years to come.
Driving a school bus on a daily route involves much more than simple being able to safely move a large piece of equipment down city streets and rural roads in all types of weather conditions. You are not only required to have a keen eye for observing potentially dangerous situations that occur outside your bus, but you also have the responsibility for maintaining discipline for up to 72 sometimes rambunctious passengers to ensure that every passenger arrives at their destination safely and comfortably. Additionally you are required to do procedures such as daily circle checks around your bus, checking and maintaining fluid levels, and cleaning the bus.
Next to safety while driving, the most important quality you possess is the ability to interact and communicate effectively with students, parents and schools. You must be able to be seen as a person who is in control at all times – someone who your passengers will listen to and respect. This quality is best summed up by describing it as someone who is “firm, fair and friendly.” A mature, positive attitude is essential as you will be called upon from time to time to deal with difficult situations, such as a student who will not behave or parents who do not always agree with your actions. As any other professional employee, you are well-groomed and neat in appearance at all times.
If your application is successful, you will need to pass a provincial medical exam, prove your driving record with a driver’s abstract and provide a criminal record check. You will then be enrolled in our Driver Training Program where you are instructed in the safe operation of a school bus by our SGI-certified Driver Instructor. When you are deemed ready, your instructor will arrange an appointment for you to take the necessary SGI written and road tests. After you pass your exams you will get some practical work experience and then your name is added to our company’s Spare Board. Basically, this is a list which contains all our new drivers and is used by regular route drivers when then need a day off and require a substitute. You may need to stay on this list, working casual hours, for a number of months before a daily route assignment becomes available to you. Charter work will be assigned to drivers as needed. Due to the limited hours paid and seasonal nature, this job is definitely for those seeking a part-time career only. Being a school bus driver is not for everyone. It is a demanding position with a great deal of responsibility. However, it is also very rewarding as you develop positive relationships with other employees and the people who trust you with the safety of their children every day.