Owning a minibus can be great fun; they can be excellent to take on road trips, and may even be helpful for large families. While they aren’t as large as a full coach, they are often big enough to carry 15+ individuals. They are also exceptionally useful for those who require group transportation for a business. This makes them an ideal choice for schools, daycares, residential care centres, hospitals, and more. Proper maintenance of these vehicles requires an understanding of how they work, and how they differ from a car or truck. Both seasonal maintenance and regular maintenance tasks are required for these vehicles.
In the United Kingdom, the Vehicle Operator Services Agency (VOSA) outlines guidelines for maintaining a minibus correctly. It is vital that you follow their outlines to ensure safety and legal status of your minibus. You should engage in regular checks–in fact, your minibus should be checked on a daily basis at a surface level if it is used each and every day.
Periodic Maintenance Checks
You should run periodic maintenance checks on your minibus. Special attention should be paid to certain areas to ensure that they are in ideal shape each and every day. You should:
- Check all first aid kits to ensure that they contain all items
- Ensure fire extinguishers are on the minibus and charged
- Verify that passenger lifts are in working order
- Check all passenger restraint systems
- Check wheelchair clamps
- Review webbing restraints
- Verify that each seat is in working order
- Check the heating, cooling, or air conditioning systems
In addition to these points, you should also check mirrors, oil and window fluid levels, and transmission fluid levels weekly.
Change Your Oil Periodically
Changing your oil is just as important on a minibus as it is on a car. Your oil should be changed every three to four months, or every 3,000 to 7,000 kilometres. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, most garages should be able to handle the job in just a few hours. If you do decide to change your own oil, make sure that you have thoroughly reviewed the process, and check within your owner’s manual or service manual for model-specific issues. Also remember that used engine oil needs to be recycled.
If your minibus is used regularly, you should evaluate the tyres at least once per week. This will ensure that your tyres are properly filled with air and free of holes. Monitor for issues while driving; it’s common to feel a slight bump on one side if you’ve got a flat. A tyre gauge can be kept in the dash or within your tool kit for quick verifications.
When Your Minibus Breaks Down
When your minibus breaks down, it’s important to visit a certified garage who knows how to deal with these larger machines. Be sure to ask whether the company handles minibus and coach vehicles. Repairs are typically fast, but may take a few days. If you need a coach to provide you with transportation while your minibus is being repaired, Coach Hire.