I don't know how school bus drivers are viewed by most people outside of RI, but everyone I've heard talk about them seem to put them on the bottom of the "CDL Foodchain" like they're a bunch of uneducated, mongoloid, bottomfeeders who just cart our kids to & from school. Let me tell you, I've only had my CDL for a couple of months & am by far from being a professional Class A driver, so when it comes to alley docking a truck from the street or figuring how to set up my 53' for a right hand turn @ a tight intersection, most of you seasoned verterans would laugh your azzes off if you saw me drive. Since day 1 @ my new job, I've been tough situations in areas I'm not familiar with where I've tried to alley dock from the street, surrounded by impatient 4 wheelers who are in a hurry to go no where & risk getting slammed by the cab or crushed by the tandems, or in other situations where 4 wheelers try to make their own lane on the right or left of me when I'm in the middle of a turn & try to pass me, once again coming close to getting whacked by my rig.
I've also been in quite a few instances where it was a school bus driver who's saved my bacon where I could alley dock without worrying about hitting a car in my blind spot or making a right hand turn easily without other cars passing me causing a major accident.
I had a route about a month back in an unfamiliar area in Dayville, CT where I had to make a delivery to a NAPA autoparts store that had what I'd guess you'd call a dock on a really narrow street in an old industrial section of the town. I'm by no means "good" @ docking a 28' pup trailer off the street without doing 2-3 pull ups to finally sink it in. & this "dock" looked like it was made for an old '20s or '30s boxtruck with an uneven wall, no bumpers to aim the trailer @, & cars parked on both sides of the parking lot. Everytime I tried to setup for my approach, I'd have cars so close to the sides of the truck, if they were any closer they'd be inside the trailer & I even had one idiot run behind the trailer on my blind side to get by. I never thought I'd make the delivery. A school bus driver coming down the street with an empty bus had blocked both lanes on one side of the street to stop traffic for me & waited until I finally got the truck docked. I couldn't have been more grateful. She gave me a wave & was on her way.
Another time I was @ a 4-way intersection with a 53' trailer trying to make a left hand turn & nobody was giving me a break(you guys know how it is; the bigger you are, the longer you wait!), a school bus coming down the street gave me a break. When I was getting ready to make the turn, a car went around the stopped bus & cut me off. The bus driver pulled the bus up to block her right hand side so no other cars could pass & I made my turn without incident.
Most of the time if I'm in a pickle & there's a school bus present, they help me make my manuever easier & sometimes they go out of their way to give me a hand. One thing is the majority of the school bus drivers that help me are usually female, I have had a couple of instances where male bus drivers have cut me off, don't give me a break, & there was even one guy who actually seemed like he rolled some coal @ me with his bus after he passed me on the right on the highway.
Anyway, this is my salute to all the bus drivers who help & go out of their way to help truck drivers who are frowned upon as nuciances by the rest of the 4-wheel world. There isn't a month or even sometimes a few consecutive weeks a school bus driver hasn't made my job easier & prevented me from either getting into an accident or causing an accident, possibly injuring someone or more importantly a kid or a baby(because I've seen kids or babies strapped in their carseats while their idiot parents/gaurdians are the ones putting them in danger by passing a truck illegally). Thank you sooooooooooooooooo much for your help!!!