The way we see it, there are two major reasons to invest in your transportation. Reason number one is safety – ensuring your vehicles provide the highest level of protection for passengers. Reason number two is appearance, which we believe goes hand-in-hand with safety. A fresh coat of paint may not provide any extra reinforcement, but when your vehicles look clean and well cared for, your community will come to recognize your organization’s commitment to safety and quality. As people see that you are serious about these two things, they will almost always remain loyal to your brand.
But quality doesn’t always translate to “new.” Often, our body shop team can take an aging vehicle and restore it in a way that reflects excellence on your business. This is why we like to think of ourselves as the “Bus Plus” Professionals. In addition to new and used bus sales, we have the tools to help our customers get the most miles out of their current vehicles. To help put this concept into perspective, we want to share with you one of our recent out-of-the-box projects, a fuel truck facelift for Transylvania County Schools.
We sat down with Transylvania County Schools Transportation Supervisor, Keith Wilmot, to recap the process.
Keith, tell us a little about your fuel truck.
Our fuel truck is on the move daily. We refuel 35 school buses and 27 activity buses at seven schools across Transylvania County. Our county is relatively small, so we can get the job done without accruing a ton of miles. However, since the fuel truck is out in the elements every day, it was looking a little shabby. We had some areas of rust to take care of and a paint job was desperately needed.
Was replacing the truck an option?
Our buses are priority number one. Because we allocate as much of the budget possible to safe and reliable student transportation, the fuel truck needs to last us another ten years. Mechanically, the truck was great, so we didn’t want to replace it. But unfortunately, with its high visibility in our community, we needed to take care of the aesthetic issues.
What bothered you most about the truck?
Our biggest problem was rust on the fuel tank and in the bed of the truck. Not only was the rust an eyesore, but it would have surely reduced the life of the tank had we not addressed the issue. We wanted to make a small investment now to avoid a significant cost down the road.
Any other major concerns?
In addition to avoiding further damage to our truck, we wanted to portray a consistent image of quality in the community. We didn’t want parents to see our new buses being fueled by an old, rusty truck. Our school system aims for quality and safety across the board, so the truck needed to be brought up to meet our standards.
Why did you approach Carolina Thomas about the task?
We had already worked with the body shop professionals at Carolina Thomas when one of our activity buses was damaged. They told us that they had recently finished building a state-of-the-art body shop and were able to offer competitive pricing, so we gave them a shot. They made our activity bus look brand new, so we knew they’d be able to work wonders on the fuel truck.
What was the process like?
Julie Greene at Carolina Thomas was great to work with. I sent her photos and details, and she was able to quickly provide an estimate over email. This saved our small team a great deal of travel time and expense. After the truck was in their shop, they restored our rust issues, painted the entire truck, and replaced the lettering and graphics. Their team went above and beyond by delivering the truck back to our shop. I could tell you how amazed I was at the results, but instead, I’ll let the before and after pictures speak for themselves. (See photo gallery below.)
Is there a Vehicle in Your Fleet that Needs a Facelift?
It was our privilege to help Transylvania County Schools find a smart solution to their problem. We were able to find an affordable way to extend the useful life of their equipment while presenting a well-maintained image to the community. Is there a vehicle in your fleet that needs a facelift? Our body shop professionals can restore any vehicle to look as if it just rolled off the factory floor. Let’s talk about your restoration project today. Call Julie Greene at (800) 440-3492 ext. 363 to get started. We look forward to hearing from you!