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Pickens’ buses safest in state

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Damon Howell / Photo
    Pickens Schools Bus Shop & Fleet Supervisor Tracy Allday, right, with his trusted team of technicians. Pictured are (l to r) Nathan Hamby, Joel Collis and Shane Chadwick, with Allday.

    Pickens parents who send their children to school on a bus can rest assured they’re in good hands, because the local system was the top ranking bus fleet in terms of safety in Georgia this year.
    “This is a great accomplishment,” Pickens Schools Director of Maintenance and Operations Stacey Gilleland told the school board at their recent meeting, May 12th.

    Gilleland reported that the Georgia Department of Public Safety Motor Carrier Compliance Division’s annual bus inspection of the Pickens fleet returned significantly lower findings than the next best system in the state. Pickens had a three percent finding rate. The next best ranking system had a 10 percent finding.
    Gilleland credited Pickens Schools’ Bus Shop & Fleet Supervisor Tracy Allday and his team of technicians for keeping all 82 buses safe for students. Allday said the inspection process is rigorous, but without what he calls a top-notch crew    it wouldn’t be possible.
    “This is definitely a team effort,” he said. “One person can’t do this alone. It’s all the guys here who work hard.”
    If buses don’t meet inspection requirements they’re pulled off the roads, which is bad news for school systems.
     “I’m glad we’re not like some of those systems down in Atlanta where they lose half their fleet,”Allday said. “That’s a mess.”
     Allday also said the system is in need of drivers, and he encourages anyone interested to contact the transportation office. Training classes are free. Applicants must have a clean DMV record. You can apply in person at 330 Harmony School Road, Jasper, Ga. 30143.
    “We’ve got good buses,” he said, “and overall buses are the safest vehicles on the road.”