Page 1

BUSRIDEMAINTENANCE.COM

THE EXCLUSIVE MAINTENANCE RESOURCE FOR THE TRANSIT AND MOTORCOACH INDUSTRY


Table of Contents About MCI Parts Service

3

The advantages of web-based learning 4 By MCI Parts, Service and Support Business

Parts inventory management

5

By MCI Parts, Service and Support Business

Plan on it: The merits of preventative maintenance

6

By MCI Parts, Service and Support Business

2

BUSRIDE MAINTENANCE | M C I P A R T S A N D S E R V I C E

busridemaintenance.com


MCI Parts Service About MCI Parts Service World-class fill rates, extensive OEM inventory, value-priced Coach Guard® parts, valueadded kits and expert customer service: MCI Service Parts has the parts you need to make your MCI, Setra and other-maker coaches more reliable, with competitive prices and speedy delivery you can count on. OEM coach parts MCI carries a vast catalog of new OEM parts for MCI and Setra as well as virtually all other-make coaches and transit buses, along with remanufactured parts to offer you more ways to save. In addition, we put together value-added kits and retrofit packages that can save you labor on your own shop floor. OMNIplus OMNIplus is the global leader for OEM Setra and Daimler bus and motor coach parts, now supplying MCI Service Parts. MCI is proud to partner with OMNIplus so that you have fast, easy access to a full catalog of Setra parts and world-class logistics, assuring maximum coach uptime wherever your travels may take you. Coach Guard® parts Our very own private label backed by MCI’s own product expertise, Coach Guard is a line of more than 800 value-priced parts offering OEM quality and performance — oftentimes featuring improvements based on customer input. The result: products that contribute to reduced maintenance hours, longer life cycles and overall savings. Vintage Parts If you’ve got an older or out-of-production MCI or Setra coach, now it’s easier than ever to access vital parts. We’ve partnered with Vintage Parts to make sure that you can find the legacy parts you need, when you need them — just like for current-model coaches. Shop our parts catalog as usual, where VPI items will be marked, or visit Vintage Parts online or call them at (877) 846-8243, to access hard-to-find parts, same-day shipping, a 30-day nofault return policy, and more!

DELIVERING ON THE PROMISE Our inventory is kept at distribution facilities in Louisville, Kentucky, and East Brunswick, New Jersey, as well as at our Service Centers and Authorized MCI Service Providers to ensure that the parts you need arrive when you need them.

Visit www.mcicoach.com to learn more! busridemaintenance.com | BUSRIDE MAINTENANCE

3


Parts & Service

The advantages of web-based learning By MCI Parts, Service and Support Business

Nothing matches hands-on training when it comes to enhancing technicians’ maintenance and repair skills. Online learning tools, like the new Learning Management System (LMS) by Motor Coach Industries (MCI) for example, can give technicians a comprehensive, convenient, customizable training resource they can use at any time, in their own shops. “LMS allows operators to reduce classroom time, and gives the required flexibility for students to take the courses whenever it fits their schedules,” says Scott Crawford, MCI technical training manager and creator of the program. The MCI LMS is comprised of more than 150 online modules, most of them under 15 minutes in length, covering virtually all systems and components found on MCI and Setra coaches. Currently being used by more than 70 companies, the library will grow as technology advances. Convenience It helps to break courses down into small components, so that operators can map and closely monitor the education plans of their technicians. In the MCI LMS, each module additionally includes a knowledge quiz at the end, along with the ability to generate certificates for passing. Most modules are intended for technicians, but several are designed to benefit drivers and other personnel. “When a student is registered, the system will start a transcript to document all training that is completed – just like high school or college,” Crawford says. “There’s a date and time stamp, and each course varies in length, depending on the topic.” The biggest advantage is convenience – technician training that’s 24 hours per day, seven days per week. “I was looking for a system to incentivize my guys, to let them know the steps they need to climb,” says Gene Wordekemper, director of maintenance at Arrow Stage Lines. “There’s nothing better than sending technicians to Louisville for a week of hands-on MCI training, but picking which ones should go is difficult. With LMS, I can see which technicians have that cando attitude, and those are the ones you send to training because they’re engaged.” 4

BUSRIDE MAINTENANCE | M C I P A R T S A N D S E R V I C E

“I know how shops can be – Mondays are really bad, or shop business is seasonal, or some other distraction,” Crawford adds. “Taking the classes as necessary is a huge advantage.” Tracking progress LMS include a sophisticated tracking and reporting component. Operators and their maintenance directors can create their own education plan by requiring technicians to take the courses they choose to meet company needs and goals. “A lot of shops do training,” Crawford says. “But how good are their training records, if they even exist?” Managers can also track technician progress, with the system keeping track of data such as whether technicians are meeting deadlines for taking courses; how many courses have been taken; test scores; how many times a technician has taken a particular test to pass; and which course completions are overdue. Tracking technicians’ progress can be a big money-saver when it comes to compliance issues. “Systems like this can help safety compliance for OSHArelated issues,” Crawford says. “For instance, we have a Tire Safety course for OSHA compliance. This course is required by any technician who services a tire. OSHA refers to servicing a tire as anyone who adds air to a tire or removes and tire and wheel assembly from a wheel end . Since this course is owned by the Tire Industry Association, there is a small fee of $55 per location attached to the 3 ½ hour course. Whether the location has one technician or 400 technician at the location, it is $55 a year. That’s very inexpensive considering the fines involved with OSHA violations.” Compatibility A good LMS is designed to work in PC and Mac environments, and on smartphones, tablets and Blackberries as well as on laptops and other computers. Catalogs of courses are conveniently arranged by system, technician level, manufacturer and more. Those who would like to see what MCI LMS can do for them should email training@mcicoach.com. The online system is currently being offered free of charge to MCI and Setra operators.

busridemaintenance.com


Parts & Service

Parts inventory management By MCI Parts, Service and Support Business Parts inventory management can make or break the efficiency of a maintenance shop. A technician’s ability to quickly locate a needed part or component often means the difference between extended downtime or a quick turnaround. Thankfully, there are some basic best practices that operators can employ to ensure their parts inventory management is as efficient as possible. “It’s all about organizing the department; finding good vendor relationships; having a comprehensive management software; overcoming specific challenges; and knowing that quality is as important as pricing,” says Scott Crawford, Motor Coach Industries (MCI) technical training manager.

Overcome specific challenges To maintain optimal efficiency, operators must keep their eyes on a few in-shop factors: • Know usage rates. Have an adequate amount of parts available on the shelf and ready to go. • Know part lifespans. Rubberized products, for example, start deteriorating upon production – stocking shelves with products that do nothing but sit can greatly reduce useable lifespan. In short, don’t understock and definitely don’t overstock. Unused parts mean wasted money.

“There are so many purchasing factors beyond price.”

Tie it all together All of these factors are more easily managed through a comprehensive maintenance software suite. “Management software can tie together work orders and maintenance data to give operators a better picture of their parts inventories,” Crawford says. “If people don’t have that software, they often don’t have any way of physically tracking parts locations or orders.” Maintenance management software can also provide an objective look at vendor performance, tracking whether or not vendors are honoring orders, delivering on time or meeting operator standards. “Reports allow operators to hold vendors accountable,” Crawford says. “They give you solid proof of what vendors are really doing. If vendors are not performing how they’re supposed to, operators can deal with it while having all of the facts in hand.”

Good vendor relationships are key It’s important to get a reliable vendor with quality service. When it comes to bus parts, there are so many purchasing factors beyond price. “Parts quality is a huge consideration,” Crawford says. “I personally recommend that operators buy exclusively OEM or OEM-approved parts, and stay away from knock-offs above all else.” Crawford points out that OEM parts assure mechanics of fit, familiarity and performance because they match those that came with coach when it rolled off the assembly line. While OEM parts tend to be more expensive, many offer the added value of a manufacturer’s warranty. Crawford says that operators should research and rely on vendors who supply those OEM- or OEM-approved parts, noting that MCI aftermarket offers non-OE supplier parts only after testing them for form, fit, function and durability. MCI developed its value-priced, private-label Coach Guard® line using the same process, building relationships and warranty terms with each non-OE vendor. That level of confidence is perhaps even more important as technology changes. Many coach owners seek to upgrade their older coaches so they can benefit from model improvements. MCI is often able to engineer aftermarket parts for older coach models to keep them up-to-date, which often means increased reliability, durability and lifespans.

Organize the inventory “Smart operators organize parts by sections,” Crawford says. “They know that all of their electrical parts are in one section, hydraulic parts in another, and so on.” The physical layout of a parts department is no less important than the software used to manage it. Fast-moving parts should be located near the parts counter, for example, so that technicians aren’t wasting their time navigating the entire department. Parts should be stored in a clean environment. Temperature control is preferred but not always available at smaller locations. This series will continue in the November 2015 edition of BUSRide with, “Taking control of preventative maintenance.” Scott Crawford serves as technical training manager for Motor Coach Industries, Des Plaines, IL. Visit them online at www.mcicoach.com. To get the full story, read the MCI eBook on www.busride.com/ebooks

busridemaintenance.com | BUSRIDE MAINTENANCE

5


Parts & Service

The merits of preventative maintenance By MCI Parts, Service and Support Business In this day and age of rising expenses and tight profit margins, there is ample reason for fleet managers, even those with just one bus, to examine their preventative maintenance (PM) practices. Have a plan If there are so many urgent repairs going on in your shop that you don’t have the time or money to do your preventative maintenance, you’re in trouble and it’s going to get worse. The trick with maintaining a fleet is to avoid this vicious circle in the first place. How can you do that? Have a preventative maintenance plan and make it your number-one priority to stick to that plan. This is a challenge that will have to be met if you’re going to stay in business; it’s that simple. But, you might ask, if you have a brand new bus what could go wrong? It’s under warranty, you say? Yes, newer is better, but should you neglect mandatory things like drive train oil changes, you could be in for a rude shock. It’s not unheard of for engine, transmission and axle manufacturers to demand maintenance records if they see evidence of poor maintenance resulting in a failure. In some cases, you could even be refused those repairs under warranty, and that could sting for a long time. Usually it won’t come down to anything that dramatic. However, delaying or neglecting PM will dictate that you’re just going to pay for breakdowns and repairs sooner and more often. More than just oil changes Good PM goes way further than merely an oil change and a lube job. Think of your coach as an active preservation project. Consider your equipment as irreplaceable, and instill every attitude and take every step to further those objectives. Scheduling a routine PM cycle can also mean all of your service parts and fluids are on hand and waiting. This will help keep the coach out of service for shorter periods and keep the shop turnaround times shorter. Making it happen So, now that you’re sold on preventative maintenance, what does it take to make it work? It takes a plan. That plan can take the form of a computer program, or it can be done on paper using log books or file folders, supplemented with a simple chalk board. Every maintenance action taken on every vehicle should 6

BUSRIDE MAINTENANCE | M C I P A R T S A N D S E R V I C E

be carefully recorded, but there has to be a plan. Looking at section 10 of MCI’s maintenance manuals will provide much of what is needed as far as the basic requirements, but to take things further, one should consult with one’s engine and transmission distributors for the latest PM requirements. An example of a PM requirement is Service Bulletin 3039. Caterpillar requires thrust washer end play to be checked at every oil change interval or 10,000 — 12,000 mile intervals on all coaches configured with a C12 or C13 engine and a ZF transmission. Consider using oil analysis at every oil change to detect problems, preventing unneeded down time. Preventative maintenance training may be available for the technicians doing the work. MCI’s training department offers on-line courses through the MCI Learning Management System (LMS) on various topics including preventative maintenance — https://training.mcicoach.net. You have to have an account created to utilize the LMS. If you do not have an account, contract the Training Department at training@mcicoach.com. Paying for it — and making it pay So now you have a new chalk board and, some new log books, and the shop is all fired up about this new initiative. The PM initiative must be budgeted and funded. The shop manager should be expected to furnish weekly or monthly staff reports to the management showing which objectives have been met or describing shortfalls. In smaller organizations, it may be helpful to farm out oil changes and lube jobs if workloads become oppressive; however, an inspection by an in-house employee is still highly important, and must be documented. Your PM program will have to be encouraged and respected by every level of your organization and all the departments, especially at the leadership level. Without their active support, the initiative will fail miserably. All managers need to be flexible, reasonable and work to accommodate the group objectives. Once you have it all in place, chances are, you’ll have far fewer of those urgent repairs and bad-for-business breakdowns. And in the end, your PM plan should more than pay for itself. Visit MCI online at www.mcicoach.com. To get the full story, read the MCI eBook on www.busride.com/ebooks.

busridemaintenance.com


www.busridemaintenance.com

Key factors in parts management  

BUSRide presents a new eBook from Motor Coach Industries!

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you