Bus Drivers Fight To Reduce Stress And Fatigue

Driver fatigue is a real issue and authorities estimate that driver fatigue accounts for almost twenty percent of the national road toll in Australia. The Transport Roads and Traffic Authority has launched driver fatigue advertising campaigns in an attempt to educate drivers to the early warning signs of fatigue and to Stop. Revive. Survive.

There are a vast number of people who rely on public transport in Australia. Buses are one of the major forms of public transport. As driver fatigue is such an issue, the aim of this article is to examine the unique nature of fatigue experienced by urban bus drivers.

Fatigue is difficult to observe but the early warning signs are recognizable. Yawning, tired eyes, restlessness and drowsiness seem the most obvious. The causes of fatigue include inadequate rest, extended periods of concentration, boredom and STRESS. The sometimes disastrous effects include failure to stay within lanes, fluctuations of speed, impaired reaction times and falling asleep at the wheel.

Metropolitan bus driving is one of the more stressful occupations and surprisingly with one of the lowest monetary recompense. This stress is because of the nature of the work. They are considered professional drivers and the pressure is on them to drive safely and to maintain tight and often unrealistic schedules. There are external factors such as variations in traffic that affect their performance and bus drivers often have no control over this environment. Research suggests that this type of mental and physical strain contributes significantly to driver fatigue in commercial drivers.

The common misconception is that the bus driver’s only responsibility is to transport commuters from point A to point B. Metaphorically speaking, the fine print in this contract includes the handling of money, ticketing and dealing with the general public. Each of these areas then have their own sub-clauses.

  • Dealing with cash can be stressful enough on its own. At the end of the day the driver is required to balance the books. The driver is expected to look after the money and it is not uncommon for a bus driver to be confronted by a thief and robbed. In some cases they are then expected to carry their cash tin to their car after their shift rather than leave it in a secure locker at the depot. Why? Because the employer did not provide lockers for the drivers.
  • Drivers are required to issue tickets based on authorized concessions. They are also required to validate tickets before allowing the entry of passengers.
  • Dealing with the public is often an underestimated challenge. There are your everyday requests for directions and sometimes there are language barriers. Drivers are sometimes needed to assist the disabled and the elderly. They also have to deal with the undesirable, aggressive type of passengers who may deal out a certain amount of verbal or even physical abuse.

All of this interaction is mentally and physically draining.

Other factors causing fatigue to bus drivers are:

  • The exposure to heat and glare caused by the design of windshields in the buses
  • Inadequate air conditioning and temperature control within the drivers cabin and in the passenger area of the bus. The exposure to heat and the inevitable complaints from the passengers also have a negative impact on the performance of the driver.
  • Driver seats are often ergonomically inadequate causing back and neck pain. The steering wheels on the buses being manufactured more economically are sometimes too large for the less physical drivers. These have caused shoulder problems which result in chronic pain and inadequate control over the heavy vehicle. Continuous exposure to pain result in higher levels of physical fatigue over time.

Some of the above issues could be resolved with adequate support from management. Positive relationships with management result in better job satisfaction and safer working environment. There are instances of unrealistic tight route schedules where drivers attempt to adhere to timetables with little allowance for delays caused by variations to traffic conditions. There are cases of pay cuts rather than pay rises and an erosion of their conditions relating to toilet and shower facilities and lunch rooms.

There is a domino effect when it comes to bus driving and stress and it all begins at the top. Driving a bus itself is a serious enough challenge. When bus drivers must contend with management for a basic level of pay, conditions and adequate equipment, they tend to consider that their safety is considered only secondary to the overall operation. Stress and fatigue are closely linked and potentially the result is disastrous.

Motorcycle Repair: Four Common Bike Problems That Need Fixing

For bikers, motorcycle repair is an essential aspect of owning a hog. Your machine is constantly exposed to the elements and undergoes a lot of wear and tear that has to be kept in check. In order to enjoy every ride and extend the life of your vehicle, it helps to have a good working knowledge of its parts and operation, as well as a thorough understanding of common problems you might encounter.

Let’s look at four common issues your motorcycle may have that require professional repair jobs.

1. Fuel Contamination

If a bike sits unused with fuel in the tank, that fuel can become contaminated and prevent the machine from starting. The gas goes stale and clogs the fuel system. If you plan to retire your vehicle for the winter, buy a fuel additive solution that can prevent the gas from expiring and clogging the engine. When this doesn’t work, bring the bike to a motorcycle repair center to clear away fuel contamination and get the motor running again.

2. Blown, Punctured, or Worn Out Tires

New bikes tend to come with fairly low-grade tires. Even though these tires are functional, they wear out fairly quickly and are more susceptible to blowouts. When you buy a new hog, plan to upgrade your tires in order to prevent trouble out on the road. Aside from that, have a mechanic replace your tires every couple years, or according to the schedule recommended by your service manual. When you do experience blowouts or tire punctures, trust a professional to replace the damaged tire rather than doing it yourself. He or she will know how to fit the tire on the wheel to ensure the highest possible performance and prevent further issues.

3. Poorly Lubricated Chains

Your motorcycle’s drive train consists of a chain, which, powered by energy from the motor, forces the rear tire to spin. Don’t neglect your chain. It’s crucial to your bike’s performance. A poorly oiled chain can break or slip, causing a skid and putting riders at risk of a serious accident. This is why you need to regularly check and oil the bike’s chain. Your service manual should tell you what kind of chain grease works best for your model, but you should also ask your mechanic about the most industry-trusted greases.

4. General Uncleanliness

Regular riding causes debris to collect on your bike’s interior and exterior. Too much gunk and grime can slow you down, and can even lead to serious mechanical problems if left unchecked. Bring your hog in for regularly scheduled maintenance or diagnostic tests in order to detect these issues, clean out soiled parts, and prevent serious trouble.

The best way to prevent problems before they happen is to be your own mechanic, at least in spirit. Knowing and understanding the mechanics of your vehicle will allow you to maintain it and keep it performing at its highest level. But when it comes time to make a motorcycle repair, professional mechanics have the tools and know-how needed to disassemble and reassemble your vehicle, make clean fixes, and get you back on the road.

What Do You Need to Know When Building Your Own Computer?

Some people want to build their own computer versus buying one that is already put together. There are many different reasons for doing so. Some like the challenge of it. Some want to control all the hardware that is in the system so that it runs the way they want it to. If you are thinking about doing this on your own, there are many things that you need to know about this process before you start buying the parts to begin.

First of all, you need to know how to install hardware. If you have done installations of video cards and DVD drives before, you have some of the basic experience you need. If you can’t do these easier installations, you might want to pass on building your own machine.

Do proper research about your hardware. While you might not expect it, some hardware just doesn’t work well with other hardware at all. You need to do your research to make sure that everything works with the other parts of the computer.

You need to know how to install an operating system on your own. Generally the installation part isn’t the most difficult but downloading and getting all the drivers and hardware to work together on the software side.

Know that building your own computer might actually cost more than a bundled machine. The reason is that you aren’t getting a discount on all the parts and many times are paying individual shipping on each component. To save some money consider using a bare bones kit or using some of the parts in the computer that you already have.

Be sure that you try to think somewhat long term with your computer. Get a motherboard that you will be able to add on to at a later time. This means that you can upgrade the RAM, add a new video card, or other components down the road.

Luxury Wedding Cars – Be Unique

When it comes to making decisions about your wedding and the type of transport that needs to be arranged then there are various options open to you. Whether you have your wedding in a traditional church location, a registry office, or somewhere a little more unusual, these days there are lots of vehicle choices to choose from to get you there on time.

The traditional wedding vehicles are vintage and classic wedding cars that can easily be found for hire. Just take a look through the yellow pages, in your local paper, or online for a list of companies that hire out classic wedding vehicles.

Vintage wedding cars offer a very elegant and chic way to arrive at your wedding venue; mostly they involve cars that were made before the 1950’s. For sophistication then you really should go with a Rolls Royce, Lincoln, Austin or Ford as they are truly beautiful cars. Vintage cars might be old but they are extremely well looked after and maintained and their engines purr like a pussy cat. Due to their age they often are more comfortable for brides as they offer more space than newer models.

Mostly vintage cars used for weddings are white, however there are a few variants to be found on the colour scheme and if you have the time to search around you might find a two-tone car, generally a white body with black, maroon or dark blue roof.

Classic cars can be manufactured after the 50’s and as late as the 80’s and include well known names such as Daimler, Mercedes, Jaguar, Rolls Royce and Bentley. Just think of a typical James Bond movie and you will be on the right track. These cars are easily found in white and silver. Generally a classic car is chosen for the Groom and Best Man as their luxurious interiors are comfy and calming for what can be a nerve-wracking journey.

An alternative for the Groom and Best Man is a sports car. Anything from a BMW to a Ferrari, a Porsche to a Mercedes can now be hired as wedding cars and are a popular choice with lots of young couples. It’s even possible to drive this yourself, although of course you have to be prepared to pay a high premium to cover any accidents that might happen.

Most vintage and classic wedding car hire companies provide a uniformed chauffeur to get you from place to place on the big day so there is no need to worry about who will drive, everything is taken car of for you.

Seen a lot more these days and another choice for your wedding is the stretch limo. Limousines are linked with true glamour, chic, and extravagance, people who have far too much money have been using chauffeured limousines as a mode of transportation for hundreds of years.

It is worth looking around at different wedding car companies before hiring a vehicle as costs vary widely with each one. Prices are usually set depending on if a chauffeur is included, the mileage involved and how long you require the vehicle. You will need to have some idea of your requirements before you can get a quoted price. There is no point in giving prices here as it all depends on the model of car you want, if you hire more than one car then you should ask for a discount.

When you hire a wedding car there are companies that will provide extra’s at extra cost, such as ribbons and bows to decorate the car, flowers and even champagne. Check what is included in the price before you agree to anything as you should know exactly what you are getting for the price.

Hiring a luxury wedding limousine on your big day is sure to get you noticed and is the height of sophistication. You could even fit the whole family into one! Check online for luxury limousines and wedding cars in your area and find something unique for your own special event.