Motorcoach, also called motor coach operators, drive privately operated buses for tour companies.
Drivers may transport passengers for short- or long-haul trips.
Most major tourist destination cities worldwide provide intercity coach tours in which drivers also work as guides.
The job requires some training and offers a moderate salary.
In this article, we are going to guide you on the basic information about how to be a Motorcoach Driver.
Be A Motorcoach Driver.
Motorcoach bus drivers usually transport passengers on chartered trips and tours that may last up to several days.
While transporting tour groups, these drivers make sure all passengers are comfortable, on schedule and accounted for when boarding the bus after each stop.
They also handle maintenance checks and proper upkeep on the vehicle.
These transportation experts must have very flexible schedules and be willing to spend extended periods of time away from home.
Let’s look at the various responsibilities of a motorcoach driver
Motorcoach Drivers Responsibilities
Motorcoach drivers operate charter buses to transport passengers for trips and tours.
Drivers must follow predetermined routes to collect and drop off passengers.
They may also make unscheduled stops if requested by tour guides or passengers since drivers serve at the convenience of the tour group.
Drivers are responsible for the safety of the passengers and must observe all traffic laws.
As employees of a tour company, drivers also serve as customer service representatives and may act as program directors.
The job requires drivers to operate vehicles for one or several days, depending on how long the tour is scheduled.
Drivers inspect the coach for safety and ensure that maintenance is performed at scheduled intervals.
Motorcoach drivers also maintain records and collect fees, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Requirements For A Motorcoach Driver.
There are various requirements that makes you eligible to work or be a Motorcoach Driver such as:
- Education Requirement
There is no degree level required to become a motorcoach driver, but you must possess at least you must have a high school diploma
- Licensure Requirement
Motorcoach drivers must have a clean driving record and a commercial driver’s license with the correct state or federal endorsements for coach driving.
Drivers must successfully complete a coach driving course that includes zig-zag driving, how to drive on highways and city streets, and backing up.
They must be able to handle a 45-foot bus and lift luggage weighing up to 50 lbs.
In most cases, some employers will offer to train you in order for you to secure a licenses
Training for motorcoach drivers lasts up to eight weeks and is usually provided by the employer through a training school.
Motorcoach Driver Experience Requirements
Many companies require a minimum of three years of commercial driving experience before a candidate can be hired for the position of motorcoach driver.
However, entry-level drivers can be hired if they fit the position, although they would generally be started at or near minimum wage until they gain additional driving experience.
Basic Skill Requirements
Below are the basic skills that a motorcoach driver must possess:
- A valid operator license is required
- Four to five years of driving experience
- Good health and physical fitness
- Tourism or customer service experience
- Excellent communication skills
- Organizational and record-keeping skills are good to have
- Knowledge of destinations, routes, legislation and regulations an asset
- Second language is an asset
- Secondary school diploma is preferred
- Training in first aid, defensive driving, basic auto mechanics and customer service recommended
Motorcoach Driver Work Environment
Drivers operate large vehicles on congested city streets or over long stretches of highway.
The job requires physical strength.
Fatigue is a major safety factor among all drivers, who must stay alert and aware of their limits.
Operators drive in different types of weather, including rain and snow. Drivers may face unruly or intoxicated passengers. Dealing with passenger complaints is common.
The job often takes operators away from home for long hours or for days.
How Many Hours Can A Motorcoach Driver Drive?
A motorcoach driver must not work for any longer than 9 hours in one day, 56 hours in one week, or 90 hours in any two consecutive weeks.
The coach driver must take a minimum of 11 hours of rest per day and an unbroken rest period of 45 hours in a week.
Motorcoach Driver Salary Outlook
Motor Coach Drivers in America make an average salary of $37,640 per year or $18 per hour.
The top 10 percent makes over $64,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $21,000 per year.
The Steps-By-Step Process To Be A Motorcoach Driver
Let’s see what steps you’ll have to take to become a motorcoach driver.
Step 1: Earn A Commercial Driver’s License With Passenger Endorsement
A class B commercial driver’s license (CDL) with a passenger endorsement is mandatory to drive a charter bus.
Some companies offer on-the-job training, or training and licensing can be obtained through a CDL driving school. Training includes classroom study about commercial vehicle operation and safety instruction, as well as driving time in an actual bus.
These programs can last several weeks or months, or until the required number of hours has been completed.
In order to earn a CDL, you must pass the state-issued exam. The CDL exam varies by state but adheres to the minimum standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
An additional test must be passed demonstrating knowledge and skills specific to transporting passengers to obtain a passenger endorsement on the CDL. A physical examination is also required.
Keep a safe driving record. The Department of Public Safety, or other regulating offices in a given state, will not issue a commercial driver’s license to individuals with poor driving records. Standards for what constitutes a good record vary from state to state, and employers may have their own standards that are more stringent than those of the state.
Step 2: Gain Experience
Since some motorcoach companies require driving experience, it can be beneficial to find related employment for a couple of years.
A job driving for a trucking company can provide the experience of driving a commercial vehicle long distances, while a job as a local bus driver can provide experience with passengers and bus equipment.
Live a clean lifestyle.
Employees who drive a motor vehicle may be subjected to random testing to ensure they have no controlled substances or alcohol in their systems.
Holding a CDL is automatic consent to be tested for such substances.
Failing a test can be grounds for job dismissal and revocation of a CDL.
Step 3: Keep License Current
As with any driver’s license, a CDL must be periodically renewed.
The renewal process and timeline vary by state.
A fee generally is required as well as a valid medical certificate.
Step 4: Advancement
Advancement is typically possible by becoming a truck driver or delivery truck driver, or by obtaining a supervisory position at a motorcoach company.
To become a motorcoach driver, you must obtain and maintain the proper driver’s license, along with maintaining a clean driving record and being free of controlled substances.
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a motorcoach driver.
So if you are considering becoming a Motorcoach Driver, now is the best time to take up that job because according to the U.S. Statistics from 2018 and 2028, the career path as a Motorcoach Driver is expected to grow by 5% and produce 32,800 job opportunities across
the United States of America.
So what are you waiting for?
Start the journey!
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