Everything you should be Checking on your School Minibus

Everything you should be Checking on your School Minibus

Transporting Children can be a tricky business. Teachers cope with those who get travel sick, those who always need the toilet and the ones who want to sing as loudly as possible all the way there. Don’t let the school minibus be another complication to add to the list!

Every school should have a detailed checklist for the driver to complete before the minibus is used. This is essential to conform to Health and Safety requirements and particularly important after school holidays, when the minibus may have been standing unused for a long period of time.

Here is our guide to the minimum checks you should be making before the children climb aboard including minibus services we can provide;

Exterior Checks

  • Check all lubricants and fluids (oil, coolant, windscreen wash) in the vehicle
  • Check tyre tread depth and examine tyres for cuts and damage
  • Check tyre pressures (including spare wheel)
  • Ensure all lights are working correctly (headlights, indicators, breaklights, hazard lights)
  • Ensure the windscreen and windows are all clean and free from damage
  • Walk around the vehicle and check the bodywork is in good condition and free from damage

Read more : Tyre Wear: Causes, Legal Tread Depth and Tips to Reduce Your Tyre Wear

Interior Checks

  • Check driver’s seat is adjusted for the driver and that mirrors have been adjusted accordingly to provide a clear view of the road behind
  • Seat belts (all of them) are working and good condition
  • Know which fuel is used and the check fuel level
  • Check all dashboard instruments are working
  • Check the location of first aid kits and fire extinguisher
  • Check relevant paperwork such as MOT test certificate 
  • Check wipers and washers are working effectively


Read more : A Complete Guide to your Diesel Particulate Filter

Brake Checks

Brakes should be checked before any passengers travel in the bus

  • With the engine running check the handbrake is functioning correctly 
  • Depress the brake pedal to ensure it feels firm
  • If you can do so safely an off road brake test is recommended.  To do this drive at a low speed of around 10mph then apply the brakes firmly.  The brakes should work efficiently to bring you to a swift stop and no pulling to one side of the vehicle should be experienced.

In addition to the above checklist, every minibus should have an annual MOT even when brand new. This should happen every 12 months regardless of age. You will also get a copy of safety inspections for your record which we will keep on file for 15 months.

For a more detailed school minibus pre-drive checklist, please visit The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents website.

Additional information on minibus safety checks

Use these key points as a guide to help you plan and set up a compliant and effective maintenance system for your vehicles;

Minibus Safety Checks

1# Drivers must report promptly any defects or symptoms of defects that couldadversely affect the safe operation of vehicles. Reports must be recorded and provision should be made to record details of any rectification work done.
#2 Drivers’ defect reports used to record any faults and rectification work must bekept for at least 15 months.
#3 Safety inspections should be pre-planned, preferably using a time-based programme.
#4 The safety inspection record must include:
- Name of owner/operator
- Date of inspection
- Vehicle identity (registration mark/trailer number)
- Make and model
- Odometer (mileage recorder) reading, if appropriate
- A list of all the manual items to be inspected
- Details of any defects
- Name of inspector
- Full details of any repair work and who did it
- A signed declaration that any defects have been repaired satisfactorily and the vehicle is now in a safe roadworthy condition.
#5 Records of safety inspections must be kept for at least 15 months for all vehicles, including vehicle/s that have been removed from the operator licence.

These are just some of the points, but not all of the requirements form safety inspections - see gov.uk for the full guide.

What we can offer ...

Rivervale Minibus Services

Here at Rivervale we can offer a range of minibus services including;

✔️ 10-12-14-17 week safety checks
✔️ Minibus Class 5 MOT's
✔️ Full servicing to manfacturer's schedules
✔️ Full repairs and tyres
✔️ Local collection and delivery
✔️ Courtesy vehicle subject to availability
✔️ Service washes
✔️ Free starbucks coffee while you wait for your minibus to be serviced

Give us a call on 01273 433 480, press 3 for servicing, and book in your minibus today. Alternatively, you can also fill out our request a callback form. 

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