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September 21, 2015

Ourinitiative evolved from the success of our DriveSMART anti-idling/fuel efficiency program and our ambition to discover greener ways to continue reducing our environmental footprint while keeping students safe during the winter months. Launched in 2014, theprogram continues the educational aspect of training our teams to work smarter, not harder, in preparing for extreme weather.

StartSMART explores the realities of winter vehicle operations and empowers our team members to think dynamically regarding winter emergencies. We apply our collective experiences to develop new practices that keep operations running effectively and responsibly. StartSMART focuses on reducing warming-idling, starting buses correctly so as to reduce maintenance assistance, operating the engines in an eco-friendly manner, shutdown procedures and proper parking and effective storage methods. These techniques come from years of experience and a knowledge of engine component composition gained from working directly with our suppliers and manufacturers.

  • Salt’s effectiveness to melt ice significantly diminishes at temperatures below 10ºF.
  • Idling a diesel bus engine does not generate enough heat to defrost the windshield or warm the interior.
  • If temperatures are below 20ºF, you should start your vehicle every two days, to keep the engine in prime condition.
  • Driving a vehicle will warm it more efficiently than idling.
  • Every minute of idling equates to 2.1 miles of wear and tear on a vehicle.
  • Windshield solvents can have varying results depending on your climate. Select solvents manufactured for your temperature range to guard against freezing.