School buses being prepped for freezing temperatures

School buses being prepped for freezing temperatures

Posted:
Problems with school buses during the deep freeze led Knox County to close schools earlier this month. Problems with school buses during the deep freeze led Knox County to close schools earlier this month.
"I don't expect to have much trouble.  But then my daddy always said these buses are like your heart. You never know when it's going to stop," explained owner Greg Gentry. "I don't expect to have much trouble. But then my daddy always said these buses are like your heart. You never know when it's going to stop," explained owner Greg Gentry.
The head mechanic at Gentry Bus Lines showed us how they're pouring an additive to thin out the diesel fuel, making sure every battery is charged, and turning on the bus engines an hour and a half earlier than normal. The head mechanic at Gentry Bus Lines showed us how they're pouring an additive to thin out the diesel fuel, making sure every battery is charged, and turning on the bus engines an hour and a half earlier than normal.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – More than eighty bus companies provide school bus services to the Knox County school district.

When we had the freezing temperatures earlier this month, we're told almost all of them had some sort of trouble.

So schools were closed, and parents and guardians were upset that it happened.

The last time it was freezing 12-year-old Ezra Mostella had to wait ten minutes for his school bus before the family found out schools were closed.

"It was bad because cold and I barely had a jacket on me," he said, explaining how he did not enjoy standing outside.

"When it's cold I feel like they could do better maintenance on the buses. They need to be ready for weather changes because a lot of parents are working and they are at work worry about whether their kids got on the bus," explained Ezra's grandmother Patsy Parker.

This time, bus companies are being extra cautious. The head mechanic at Gentry Bus Lines showed us how they're pouring an additive to thin out the diesel fuel, making sure every battery is charged, and turning on the bus engines an hour and a half earlier than normal.

That being said, they tell us all the preparation in the world can't prevent something from going wrong when it's icy cold.

"I don't expect to have much trouble.  But then my daddy always said these buses are like your heart. You never know when it's going to stop," explained owner Greg Gentry.

Ezra is hoping his bus won't have issues on Wednesday. But he's hoping for something else even more.

"I'm hoping they cancel school so I can have some fun," Ezra said.

Every time it's very cold, there's more money involved. Things like extra work hours and extra fuel to run the engines longer come into play.

That expense though is absorbed by the bus companies themselves.

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