AFTER reviewing motorcoach history and outlining the transition period of development, the author says that operation and maintenance go hand in hand, but too much stress is placed on maintenance methods and not enough on operation. He has yet to find a transportation superintendent who makes motorcoach operation a subject of paramount importance, although the manner in which the coach is driven may decide whether that particular coach makes money or loses it.
In the author's opinion, the success of any coach and its freedom from repairs are dependent upon how well the driver knows how to drive it and, secondly, upon systematic lubrication and scheduled maintenance. The selection and training of drivers is a function of the transportation department, and too much stress cannot be laid on these functions and on continuous close supervision so that the department is certain that the vehicles are driven correctly.
The author advocates that all drivers spend two weeks in the repair shop before assuming their duties as operators, and also that drivers' fitness as operators be passed upon by the maintenance department before the drivers assume their positions. He suggests also that, when selecting transportation inspectors or supervisors, men having a mechanical background be chosen so that they may be better qualified to note carelessness and abuse of the vehicles by the driver and to report intelligently on the vehicles' defects when they ride in the motorcoaches.
In conclusion, the author remarks that passengers represent the income of the coach business, because without passengers there can be no income. Profits are measured by the difference between income and the expense of operating coaches. The expense, therefore, is equally as important as the income. Consequently, as much effort should be made toward keeping the expense low as in keeping the income high. Eternal vigilance is the price of low-cost maintenance. No maintenance is good unless it is systematic, because, otherwise, important items are sure to be overlooked. In the organization of the system it is necessary that the buildings, equipment, men and management all be combined to produce one result; namely, keeping the fleet in running order at the minimum cost.