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Six Strategic Inspection Points for Your Next Motor Coach Rental Departure

January 23, 2017

Here are six stragic inspection points for your next motor coach rental with a driver prior to your trip departure:

1.  Inspect the driver.  Make sure your driver looks well rested, clean, sober, and neatly dressed in uniform.  Ask your driver to show you his/her CDL license and medical card.   Make sure the license and medical card are valid and current.    Federal laws prohibit you from copying or writing down any of the personal information regarding the driver.  Check your drivers’ attitude at the door by communicating your expectations upon arrival at your facility.  Is the driver well-spoken, kind, friendly, competent, and cooperative? If the driver becomes belligerent or argumentative, call and get another one.

2.  Inspect the exterior of the coach.  Ask your driver to open and close the luggage bay doors to make sure they work properly.  The coach should have the name of the carried you hired on the coach with the DOT and MC numbers displayed prominently.  Otherwise, the carrier may have farmed out your charter to a carrier you know nothing about.  While this is not always a negative warning signal, the carrier may not have done their homework in their substitution efforts.

3.  Inspect the interior of the coach.  Walk through the inside of the coach and make sure that it is clean enough for the standard you expected.  Check the seats, overhead bins, and carpet as you move through the interior.   If you see any broken armrests, missing window shades, or trash in the coach, let the driver know immediately.  If you fail to do this, your group could be held responsible for damages that they did not cause or create.  How does the coach smell inside?  Open the restroom and flush the toilet at least once.  Make sure that the restroom has toilet paper and no trash.

4.  Ask the driver to perform a systems test.  If time permits prior to departure, ask the driver to test the PA and entertainment systems.  The driver should be the only one touching the operating controls as you may inadvertently shut the coach down if you attempt to navigate something you are completely unfamiliar with.  As the group leader, take the initiative to have these two systems tested in advance to ensure your communication and entertainment aspects continue without any interruptions.

5.  Confirm your itinerary with the driver. Compare your copy of your detailed itinerary with the one the carrier has provided.  If they are exactly the same, everything should go smoothly departing and returning.  If there are any discrepancies between the two, they must be resolved before the coach leaves your facility.  Otherwise, your group may be late to arrive at their destination and miss their orientation; or the carrier may send you a budget-busting invoice after the trip because they never received your final itinerary and charged you for additional days, time, miles, or hours.

6.  Check your paperwork.  You should have a copy of your charter agreement, your drivers name and mobile number,  the dispatch number for the carrier, and the list of the carrier regulations.  Your group leaders should be provided with a copy of your detailed itineray as well the carrier rules so they can enforce them while your group in riding in the coach.  If you have a mechanical or medical issue while on the trip, this information will come in handy just when you needed it!

This article was published by Craig Speck with Speck Ground Transportation.  He can be reeched at 817-477-3003 or 817-437-8702.  Visit His Website Here!  Craig has written three books to keep traveling groups out of scams, crashes, and lawsuits.  His books are available upon request and will teach your group how to travel safely as well as help you gain absolute confidence in the most dangerous activity your traveling group will ever engage in.  Stay safe with Speck!

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