EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- They're the ones we trust to deliver our most precious cargo safely.
And right now local school districts are making sure their buses are ready to roll before area kids hop on.
We're just weeks away from school bells ringing across the Chippewa valley.
WEAU 13 News looked into what schools do to make sure the buses are ready.
Two weeks from now 100 big yellow school buses will be rolling out of the Eau Claire Student Transit garage.
“We transport about 7,400 students a day,” said Tami Harvey, the safety director for Student Transit.
But before the wheels on the bus start going round and round this fall, all of the buses have to be checked over to make sure they're safe for students.
“Everything gets a complete detail inside and out. Motors are gone over. That bus, no matter how old it is, is like brand new when it's rolling,” Harvey said.
She says five brand new buses are being added to the fleet this year.
And the rides usually stick around for 15 years.
“Unfortunately, Wisconsin isn't any kinder to school buses as it is to regular vehicles. So there is the rust problem but a lot of it depends on the miles,” Harvey said.
What's the most common repair?
“This time of year, probably our brake wear. Get all the brake lining up to speed and the brake rotors,” said maintenance supervisor Jim Girard.
As well getting the fleet up to snuff, the safety director said this week they're going through first aid training with bus drivers and monitors.
And making sure they're on the look-out for the increased train traffic from the sand mine boom.
“I cannot replace any child. And it's very important to all of us that are drivers are in the tip-top shape they can be and be rolling and ready to go,” Harvey said.
Harvey said she strongly encourages parents to wait with kids at the stop and teach kids to walk, not run up to the bus.
Next week the Wisconsin State Patrol will be coming in to do its yearly inspection of Eau Claire’s buses.
The first day of school for the Eau Claire Area School District is Sept. 4.