The white motor coach eased into a parking spot on the lot at the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center, Mount Joy campus. With a hiss of hydraulics that sounded like a sigh, it stopped and settled into its new life in retirement as a training passenger bus for the CTC’s Commercial Driving program. Executive Coach, Inc., headquartered in Lancaster, donated the passenger bus to the CTC. The motor coach had reached a point where it had many thousands of miles left in it but was old and used enough to be moved out of active rotation.
Dale McMichael, President and Owner of Executive Coach said that the bus was hardy and had plenty of life left to be useful in its new role – as a training tool for future Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) trainees. McMichael said, “The Lancaster County CTC is a major source of drivers for Executive Coach. We’re happy that this bus will help prepare future drivers for careers with us and in the region.” McMichael said that it just makes sense for a CDL student to get a passenger endorsement for their license, given that it isn’t much more work to secure the endorsement at the time and if a driver with a CDL wants to go back later in life and get a passenger endorsement, they must go through CDL training all over again.
Mike Pasqualucci, the Lancaster County CTC Director of Transportation, said that the bus will be invaluable to the CDL program, particularly for drivers seeking a passenger certification for a CDL Class A or B, the class of license needed to drive the large 40- to 56-passenger charter motor coaches.
Pasqualucci said that driving a motor coach or bus is very different from driving a tractor trailer. He explained that driving an automatic transmission motor coach does not require the additional skill needed to incorporate the manual transmission clutch into driving. Pasqualucci said that some drivers have difficulty mastering the coordination and multi-tasking necessary to shift and drive a tractor trailer but are perfectly able to maneuver an automatic transmission bus.
“With the addition of the motor coach, our CDL program has the capacity to offer real-world, behind-the-wheel experience during training for our students to take out into the real world,” Pasqualucci added.
The new training motor coach glided smoothly through the Mount Joy lot, giving way to a couple of tractor trailers maneuvering through the steps of CDL testing. The CDL program at the Lancaster County CTC continues through the winter, with new classes starting each month. Prospective students interested in earning a CDL can contact Deb DiEugenio at 717-653-3003 for program details and registration.