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Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby Anonidriver » Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:20 pm

So there appears to be quite a few questions about Ventura so I figured you may as well just ask the questions here.

FYI: I've been with Ventura for 2 years now (Started at the start of their big pre-dart intake) and i've worked at Doncaster and Croydon.

Note that there are a few questions I can't answer due to my contractual obligations so please don't be offended if I don't answer, other than that. I'll answer everything and anything that I can.
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby BroadGauge » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:08 pm

Has bus driving for a major company been the job you thought it'd be when you first applied for it, or does the reality sink in as something different to the mental picture of it?
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby RailwayBus » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:23 pm

Do you prefer the hustle and bustle of a big depot like Doncaster, or the quietness of a small depot like Croydon?
All views expressed are strictly my own and do not represent my employer or anyone else.
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby Peter1805 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:16 am

How do we know you're a current Ventura employee seeings how you are anonymous...?

:wink:

Are you a driver or are you employed in some other capacity?
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby Anonidriver » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:44 am

BroadGauge wrote:Has bus driving for a major company been the job you thought it'd be when you first applied for it, or does the reality sink in as something different to the mental picture of it?


From working with the people I've worked with It's honestly never felt like an overly massive company (and sometimes isn't organised nearly as well as some of the drivers think it could be) but as a whole, you make your friends within the company (drivers and opp's staff) and you work with them. I never really approached this job thinking "holy crap, millions of dollars are going in and out of this place". Once I settled down my real focus was "get passengers to where they need to go as efficiently as possible" Really, when you're in the bus it's your bus and the passengers are your responsibility. All that corporate stuff really doesn't make any difference once you're on the road.

RailwayBus wrote:Do you prefer the hustle and bustle of a big depot like Doncaster, or the quietness of a small depot like Croydon?


This is an excellent question, RailwayBus, cheers for asking. I loved the high pressure environment that was Doncaster but going in and out of the city over and over again starts to take it's toll. Croydon is a close bunch of drivers who often bump heads but always look after each other.

I prefer Croydon for one reason, the passengers. It doesn't matter who they are, if they get on more than three or four times in a row then you'll immediately recognise them and you develop a very good mateship with them. Unfortunately in regards to passengers in the city a majority of them hate being on the bus and want nothing to do with the public transport that they're riding. Also driving the buses over Mt Dandenong frequently is a fantastic thing.

Peter1805 wrote:How do we know you're a current Ventura employee seeings how you are anonymous...?

:wink:

Are you a driver or are you employed in some other capacity?


Well, Peter1805. How do I know your name really is Peter? I am whatever I say I am :wink:

As to your question, I more consider myself a paid steering wheel attendant :mrgreen:



Fantastic questions, so far. Keep them coming. I'm happy to answer any of the incoming Irish driver's question as well, if I can help in any way let me know :)
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby scott » Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:24 am

When I travel on a Croydon based route, the other passengers always seem very friendly, and there is always some nice banter between the some of the elderly passengers and the driver.
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby Anonidriver » Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:48 pm

scott wrote:When I travel on a Croydon based route, the other passengers always seem very friendly, and there is always some nice banter between the some of the elderly passengers and the driver.


This is usually always the case :) I love all the old passengers I get, they're always chatty and always tell a good story.
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby Daz » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:11 pm

Can your buses chuck skids or are they fitted with traction control, if so can it be turned off so they can chuck skids?

AKA do you have B12 Volvo's, and are they not an enjoyable bus to drive?

Also did you ever find a piece of tail waiting on the bus at the end of your run? Eh? Ever used a back seat for what it was really built for?

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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby PaulB » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:40 pm

Hi mate,

I've got the job offer from Ventura and I'm wondering how your shifts are organized. Where do drivers usually take their breaks (do you start/finish/break in your depot)?
I am asking this because I'm looking for gyms to go to during longer breaks. Also are there shower facilities in the depots (Oakleigh)? Cheers.

Paul.
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby PaulB » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:07 pm

Hi again,

Can anyone tell me how many holidays a Ventura bus drives gets per year, 4 weeks a year? 6 weeks maybe? :)

I very much appreciate your time answering all our questions!!

Paul
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby PaulB » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:05 am

Can I also ask if Ventura allowes drivers to listen to the radio while working?
:D :D
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby Peter1805 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:01 pm

PaulB wrote:Hi again,

Can anyone tell me how many holidays a Ventura bus drives gets per year, 4 weeks a year? 6 weeks maybe? :)

I very much appreciate your time answering all our questions!!

Paul


4 weeks annual leave, plus 2 hours per week for RDOs, plus usual sick leave entitlements common to most Aussie workers who are under EBAs with base entitlements calculated by reference to old award entitlements, plus some leave allowances based on hours worked on Sundays.
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby Peter1805 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:08 pm

PaulB wrote:Can I also ask if Ventura allowes drivers to listen to the radio while working?
:D :D


"Installed music radio" (ie music from a radio that is installed in the bus) is allowed to be played while the bus is in service, but if a customer asks for it to be switched off, the driver has to comply while that customer is on the bus. Same applies to volume of the radio.

Mobile phones and other electronic devices involving use of headset or earpieces are not permitted while driving.

Source: Ventura Driver Handbook
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby Willie » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:02 pm

Good questions Daz!
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby Daz » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:30 pm

Thankyou Willie.
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby V981 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:32 pm

Willie wrote:Good questions Daz!


Are you serious? Including the one about chucking skids? :shock:
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby Willie » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:41 pm

Yes he is very serious!
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby Daz » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:49 pm

First question was relative to power- if a bus can spin tyres it's probably a B12. Or an auto-only driver in a manual. The lack of response indicates they are probably low horsepower slow buses.

Second question refers to how willing to put out the customers are. In this case, I'd say not very... Doing a rail shift from the gold coast was most likely to give some result in my experience.

There are three things that count in life- sex, money and power. I've already established from above the lack of money, and your replies draw no other conclusion that there is no sex nor power either.

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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby BLBUS » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:57 am

Peter1805 wrote:
PaulB wrote:Can I also ask if Ventura allowes drivers to listen to the radio while working?
:D :D


"Installed music radio" (ie music from a radio that is installed in the bus) is allowed to be played while the bus is in service, but if a customer asks for it to be switched off, the driver has to comply while that customer is on the bus. Same applies to volume of the radio.

Mobile phones and other electronic devices involving use of headset or earpieces are not permitted while driving.

Source: Ventura Driver Handbook


O what happens if Im happy listening to the radio, as a fare paying passenger, and cranky pants old fart wants the radio off. I have paid a full fare, crancky old fart is on a half price pension far, I want to listen, he doesnt............... What do you do in that situation? My point is way OT that we seem to be pandering to every little whim, however, clearly this is a double standard, and I would quite rightly get peeved off, if I was enjoying something on the radio, and because this cranky old turd wants the radio off, I miss out..
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby BLBUS » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:57 am

Peter1805 wrote:
PaulB wrote:Can I also ask if Ventura allowes drivers to listen to the radio while working?
:D :D


"Installed music radio" (ie music from a radio that is installed in the bus) is allowed to be played while the bus is in service, but if a customer asks for it to be switched off, the driver has to comply while that customer is on the bus. Same applies to volume of the radio.

Mobile phones and other electronic devices involving use of headset or earpieces are not permitted while driving.

Source: Ventura Driver Handbook


O what happens if Im happy listening to the radio, as a fare paying passenger, and cranky pants old fart wants the radio off. I have paid a full fare, crancky old fart is on a half price pension far, I want to listen, he doesnt............... What do you do in that situation? My point is way OT that we seem to be pandering to every little whim, however, clearly this is a double standard, and I would quite rightly get peeved off, if I was enjoying something on the radio, and because this cranky old turd wants the radio off, I miss out..
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby Peter1805 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:02 am

It would have to be turned off.

You can always bring along your personal listening device if you want to, and listen on your ear-piece through that.

It's not a double-standard, when you think about it.
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby V981 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:23 pm

That said, if you use some common sense as a driver, and have music thats not brutally offensive, is at a reasonable level, and its not something that is screaming and loud feedback guitars, you generally dont have a problem. The only drivers Ive ever seen getting complaints about the music, are the ones who stupidly play Pantera with the volume turned up to 40, and naturally somebody is going to get jack of that before too long. :)
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby Firefly » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:58 am

Hi Guys,

Long time watcher, rare poster. I've just applied for a full time job with Ventura, after reading through so much useful information (this sites such a great resource) there's still a few questions I could not answer (or might have missed the answers too).

Ventura mention that you'll need to sign a 3 year contract. I don't have issues with this. However if a situation ever arises (can't think of one) and I need to break said contract what's the penalty?

Also I'm wondering what sort of roster flow full timers receive, how many hours in a day and whether there can be big splits in the middle of the shift (ie work 6-10, then 12-4)
Either way I'm not fussed, simply interested in gaining some more knowledge.

Is pay weekly, fortnightly or monthly?

Lastly is there much overtime available and what are the rules on Full timers working OT (hrs per week/fortnight, how many extra hours in a day can be completed)


Thanks for any help :)
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby V981 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:19 pm

Firefly wrote:
Ventura mention that you'll need to sign a 3 year contract. I don't have issues with this. However if a situation ever arises (can't think of one) and I need to break said contract what's the penalty?

As far as I know, the contractual obligation is to cover training costs if they assist you in getting your licence. If you break the contract, there is a monetary sum payable to Ventura. However in the case of certain "unique" circumstances there might be other options available. In some ways, I think if you are in a position to do it on your own accord, you are probably better off getting your HR licence before starting with Ventura, and then you wont have that obligation hanging over your head.

Also I'm wondering what sort of roster flow full timers receive, how many hours in a day and whether there can be big splits in the middle of the shift (ie work 6-10, then 12-4)
Either way I'm not fussed, simply interested in gaining some more knowledge.

This is kind of difficult to answer as it largely depends on what depot you end up working at. For example, Doncaster and Fitzroy have split shift arrangements still I think, where as Dandenong for example, doesnt. Dandenong has several different rosters available, morning shifts, evening shifts, long shifts, and a roster which has alot more weekends on duty for those chasing the dollars.

Is pay weekly, fortnightly or monthly?

Pay is weekly

Lastly is there much overtime available and what are the rules on Full timers working OT (hrs per week/fortnight, how many extra hours in a day can be completed)

Most depots generally have plenty of overtime available if you want it. However sometimes it does come in ebbs and flows, it all depends on whats going on at the time. Generally for route service drivers, overtime is available year round, with their being more when there are rail or tram replacement contracts on the go, and less when its school holidays, because often the school bus drivers are rostered on to fill in route service rosters.


Thanks for any help :)
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Re: Ask a current Ventura employee anything.

Postby Firefly » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:41 am

V981 wrote:
Firefly wrote:
Ventura mention that you'll need to sign a 3 year contract. I don't have issues with this. However if a situation ever arises (can't think of one) and I need to break said contract what's the penalty?

As far as I know, the contractual obligation is to cover training costs if they assist you in getting your licence. If you break the contract, there is a monetary sum payable to Ventura. However in the case of certain "unique" circumstances there might be other options available. In some ways, I think if you are in a position to do it on your own accord, you are probably better off getting your HR licence before starting with Ventura, and then you wont have that obligation hanging over your head.

Also I'm wondering what sort of roster flow full timers receive, how many hours in a day and whether there can be big splits in the middle of the shift (ie work 6-10, then 12-4)
Either way I'm not fussed, simply interested in gaining some more knowledge.

This is kind of difficult to answer as it largely depends on what depot you end up working at. For example, Doncaster and Fitzroy have split shift arrangements still I think, where as Dandenong for example, doesnt. Dandenong has several different rosters available, morning shifts, evening shifts, long shifts, and a roster which has alot more weekends on duty for those chasing the dollars.

Is pay weekly, fortnightly or monthly?

Pay is weekly

Lastly is there much overtime available and what are the rules on Full timers working OT (hrs per week/fortnight, how many extra hours in a day can be completed)

Most depots generally have plenty of overtime available if you want it. However sometimes it does come in ebbs and flows, it all depends on whats going on at the time. Generally for route service drivers, overtime is available year round, with their being more when there are rail or tram replacement contracts on the go, and less when its school holidays, because often the school bus drivers are rostered on to fill in route service rosters.


Thanks for any help :)


Thanks for all of that, its a big help :)
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