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Career Advice Please

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Career Advice Please

Postby Nigel_Mulvey » Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:27 am

I'm starting out on the path to becoming a coach driver and I would appreciate some advice. I have limited (and outdated) experience so I'm assuming I will have to start from the bottom, which I really have no problem with. I am looking for a long term career so I am prepared to take whatever steps are necessary to achieve my goal. Ultimately, I want to drive on tours/day trips etc. I'm not interested in route buses.

So a few questions:

1) I am cashed up and about to book a license upgrade course should I go straight for the HR or get an MR and upgrade later?

2) Should go synchro or constantmesh? The little experience I have had required double de-clutching and I never had a problem with it, however, the courses are dearer and I wonder how many companies still have vehicles with these transmissions.

3) What sort of experience to coach companies require? Do I need to get work driving Coasters and work my way up? If I got some HR truck work would that experience count? Should I approach a Party Bus Company (which is absolutely not where my long term career aspirations lie) because I have seen some 'no experience necessary' ads?

That's all I can think of for now, any advice anyone can provide would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in anticipation,
Nigel Mulvey
Mount Annan, NSW
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby Nigel_Mulvey » Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:59 am

Oh, and does anyone have any recommendations for a good training company for the license upgrade?
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby boronia » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:21 am

The better companies will require you to have a minimum of 2-3 years driving experience and an HR licence. Synchro should be sufficient these days as most companies now have automated or fully auto boxes.

Murrays are always recruiting. If you can put up with the sometimes BS management, the work is not too bad.

http://www.murrays.com.au/EmploymentDetails.aspx?AdvertID=20.
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby dominodc122 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:46 pm

Start on up to 30 seaters and then get known around the traps. You will always find the right opportunities amongst the other drivers - I would start on a route bus first as it is a constant drive and you need 'the mileage' ...or ...get into a people mover for a resort (if in QLD) and you should get the right experience ...no fast track on this one I'm afraid...you gotta pay your dues and get the mileage :wink:
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby exbusdriver » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:57 pm

Good luck, as chris said start with route or school services not many if any company will throw you into a half mill 40 odd foot er and let you loose on tour. Any decent company will require at least one year experience before coach work. Its not always the glamour, people do not realize the behind scene that goes along with touring or group charter. Sometimes your road side mechanic, paramedic,life line,problem solver, or the go between in my years as driver and manager it takes a special few to be real coach drivers, I've seen plenty of w anna bes but few real people who have their heart and soul in the job. I hope your one of the few and good luck.
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby mrobsessed » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:27 pm

What state are you in?
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby howlerbus » Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:23 am

He is in NSW
You got a real flash bus, but my one's flash one, eh
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'Cause mine's a red one'
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby Nigel_Mulvey » Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:34 am

Yes I'm in NSW. I realise I'm going to have to start from the bottom, I was just curious about the options I have to get to where I want to be. Incidentally, I worked in the industry for a large part of the 1980"s around Europe although mostly as a Tour Manager, a little driving but not much. So I'm well acquainted with the less than glamorous side of things but that's part of the attraction. Thanks everyone for your responses, it's all very informative.
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby ekoja » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:08 am

Mate, as far as I see, if you are committed enough to go through the training stages once to have that licence in your little hot hand, You should be heading off too bus companies and knocking on a few doors.
The lack of actual driving experience may not be the barrier you may think, as a lot of companies seem to be willing to take a risk on someone they see at face value.
Some off the drivers that I have seen over the years with a pocket full of experience have turned out to be bloody useless, lazy, drones.
Go for it, you have nothing to lose.
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby wallace » Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:30 am

Nigel_Mulvey wrote:Oh, and does anyone have any recommendations for a good training company for the license upgrade?


If your at Mt Annan you could try asap driver training at Minto.
There was one training place offering cheap hr upgrades, might have been the place at Liverpool.
There's a few driver training places between campbelltown and livo. Just search online and compare the prices.
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby Nigel_Mulvey » Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:43 pm

I think I'll go with ASAP at Minto as they are one of the few places around that do the upgrade using buses/coaches rather than trucks. Not the cheapest around but probably worth it given the vehicular availabilities. I will be making an appointment with them after my knowledge test on Tuesday.
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby mrobsessed » Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:46 pm

ekoja wrote:Mate, as far as I see, if you are committed enough to go through the training stages once to have that licence in your little hot hand, You should be heading off too bus companies and knocking on a few doors.
The lack of actual driving experience may not be the barrier you may think, as a lot of companies seem to be willing to take a risk on someone they see at face value.
Some off the drivers that I have seen over the years with a pocket full of experience have turned out to be bloody useless, lazy, drones.
Go for it, you have nothing to lose.


That's my experience as well. Knock on a few doors. It's easier to teach someone to drive than to have people skills. Your tourism industry background will be the advantage you need.
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby wallace » Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:38 am

Nigel_Mulvey wrote:I think I'll go with ASAP at Minto as they are one of the few places around that do the upgrade using buses/coaches rather than trucks. Not the cheapest around but probably worth it given the vehicular availabilities. I will be making an appointment with them after my knowledge test on Tuesday.


If your upgrading to MR then you will do it in the mkIV Benz.
I think anything higher would be in a truck as he doesn't have a tag axle coach. Unless he hires one for the day,
ASF coaches at Ingleburn does upgrades as well and does have some 3 axle coaches if you want to doit in a coach rather than truck.
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby Nigel_Mulvey » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:14 pm

A huge thank you to everyone who has answered my query. I aced my knowledge test yesterday with 100% and there have been some developments on the job front that i'll keep to myself for the time being. Thanks again everyone, much appreciated.
Nigel Mulvey
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby ekoja » Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:19 am

Good for you, lets know nhow you go, when you are comfortable with it .
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby dominodc122 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:08 pm

Anytime 'driver' :D
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby Bedford-29 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:27 pm

You are living in NSW why you give this place a go Riverstone as I was going to through them at Shepparton Victoria they have a good reputation it might help to give them a call.
www.deca.com.au/
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby Andrew » Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:36 am

Only if you're a gazillionaire and they don't have buses.
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Job done.
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby Daz » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:36 pm

Lol Gazillionaire.

Go for a HR crash box license because having that will open you up to more opportunities in more vehicles and knowing the ropes in a 50 foot spicer will make it too easy commuting around in an 11m Benz.

Mr Stevens can get a three axle with either a crash box or synchro if you ask nicely (put up the dosh).

His father had Challenge in Sydney.
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby Nigel_Mulvey » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:27 am

Passed my HR in a coach yesterday. Ended up doing it in a synchro at the suggestion of my soon to be employer. All going well I start work as soon as my passenger authority arrives. Thanks for all of the support and recommendations that I have received from my fellow forum users. There are definitely opportunities out there.
Nigel Mulvey
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby Andrew » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:10 am

Nice one- let us know how it goes after you start!
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Re: Career Advice Please

Postby Nigel_Mulvey » Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:08 pm

Well, I've been working for Bankstown Coaches for about six weeks now. Mainly driving the Mercedes TV3429 and I'm having a ball. I've had some great jobs already and of course I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity.
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