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Schools work to ensure buses are prepared to warm back up after record-breaking temps

WSBT 22

While many schools are on a two-hour delay in the morning, the school buses will be back on the roads.

But those buses have been sitting idle in the bitter cold for days.

Schools are already working to make sure those buses are ready and that might take a little extra effort.

Just like your car, sometimes the buses won't start in these temperatures.

That's why school districts like New Prairie were working ahead tonight.

Melting snow dripped off the top of a New Prairie school bus as it warms back up after record breaking temperatures.

Sitting in the cold for days, the buses will be taking students to school in just hours.

“Today we start out early this afternoon, we come in and check each one of them,” said Bruce Lasley, New Prairie Transportation. “We start and run each one of them for at least two to three hours.”

They start each bus to ensure they still turn on and drive properly.

“Of course with this extreme cold, this is unusual because most the time, they’ll fire right up,” said Lasley.

But after enduring temperatures below negative 20 degrees, not all buses are starting like they should.

New Prairie has a total of 50 buses, and after trying to start all of them, four didn't start.

“We are not sure if it’s a block heater problem or could be a bad battery,” said Lasley. “We try and stay up on all of those but sometimes it’s hard to tell.”

It's something the Transportation Department doesn't normally encounter -- tt was the first time bus drivers had trouble starting their buses.

“We take every precaution,” said Lasley. “We get the best batteries, we get the best fuel, our mechanics stay on top of the filters, anything that causes them to gel or ice up.”

Luckily, none of the buses had fuel gel up.

Lasley says he adds a winter blend to the fuel before it's put in the tanks.

“We have never had any trouble with gelling in our buses, so I knew that would not be an issue today,” said Lasley.

All bus drivers are instructed to start their buses two hours before leaving for their route.

That way when the doors open, kids are on a safe and warm bus.

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