Spring has officially come upon us
(yeah, yahoo, great, finally, or however else you want to cheer about the fact that winter has come and gone).
In this column we always try to highlight a few safety items. Spring and warmer weather brings their own form of safety issues. First and foremost, kids are back on the street with the potential to always end up in the roadway for any number of reasons. Next, the traffic from vacationers or people who went into hibernation for the winter obviously increases the volume of vehicles on the roadways. People seem to be more in a hurry to get “no place” when the weather begins to warm up. We all know what that means, and that is when driving defensively becomes paramount to survival.
All of the above, are not to say we are out of the woods for bad weather conditions. In fact we have had some major storms in March and April over the years. Here’s the bright side, if it’s white it melts, and, if it’s wet and windy coming out of the Northeast it generally only lasts three days. So we can handle those conditions by just being a little extra careful.
A little Humor...
What’s New at Seman Tov As We Move Through Spring
Okay, so no more talk about tablets. Most of us have gotten use to them and found they weren’t as much work as we thought.
So how about the new look in the bus yard. By now there are at least seven new buses and several more on the way. As everyone knows, we travel some rough roads, let’s do our best to take good care of the fleet. A big part of taking care of the vehicles is preventative maintenance. If you notice anything that is obvious or even slightly amiss in the normal operation of any vehicle you drive, report it immediately. Small issues become major problems when they’re not taken care of in a timely fashion. It has been mentioned before that Seman Tov has “one of” if not “the” newest fleet in the New Jersey School bussing industry. Between you, the driver and our mechanics lead by Yehuda and Aldrin we need to and can keep the buses in top shape. The goal is to have enough spare vehicles to allow for repairs without sharing buses. If your regular vehicle is in the shop you would be assigned a spare and get your original back to you as quickly as possible. It’s a proven fact in the transportation industry that limiting drivers to specific vehicles helps to maintain a solid fleet over a longer period of time.
New and Noteworthy
You may have noticed a few new faces in our buses recently. Please take a minute to welcome Michelle Gelpi, Daniel Kelesi and Myasia Rice to our driver list. Michelle and Daniel have had extensive experience in the industry. Myasia on the other hand is new to the school bus driving profession and we’re proud to say she passed all of her testing the first time around, a seldom accomplished feat these days.
Recipe of the Month
Geri's Creamy Dreamy Cheesecake
(2) 8oz pkgs Cream Cheese
1/2 C. Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
(2) Lg Eggs
Ready Made Pie Crust
Cream first three (3) ingredients together.
Add one (1) egg at a time and mix together.
Pour mixture into Ready Made Crust
Bake at 350 for approx 25-35 mins.
Let cool before serving.
A Friendly Reminder
As we move into and through May you will probably see an increased presence of State Police and MVC spot inspection units on the roadways. As we have seen in the past the Commercial Inspection Units often frequent key locations ie: Great Adventure, Liberty Science Center and other venues common for school trips. From a company perspective, we don’t have issues with this type of safety check. Seman Tov buses are relatively new in comparison to other companies and our safety record is among the top in the New Jersey Busing industry. However… Make sure your safety checks are done and documented on the Zonar Tablet and by all means make sure the documentation (Driver License, Medical Exam Cert, Registration and Insurance Card) are current and with you while driving.
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Company Admin Directory
Please call 732-774-4000 and the extension
Driver Direct Office Number 732-638-0991
Morris Ext 4112
Kevin Ext 4103
Call outs, routing issues, scheduling issues, camera issues.
Buses and Maintenance
Yehuda - Fleet Manager – Ext 4101
Aldrin – Mechanics and Maintenance issues
Kyana- Fuel & oil change receipts, maintenance work orders,
vehicle records & documents, Zonar compliance - Ext 4111
Payroll issues and Employment Letters
Shay – Ext 4102
Safety and Training
Vern - Accident reports, Safety, Driver Complaints, Ext 4109
Shari – Employee records, License renewals, new hires – Ext 4108
Office Support and Dispatch Staff
Mike – Dispatch, write-ups, phone support – Ext 4106
Geri – Route updates Phone Support - Ext 4114
Sarah – Phone Support – Ext 4107
Stephany – Dispatch and Phone Support - Ext 4104
Kevin Dougherty, CMRP
Kevin came to Seman Tov five years ago with a BA Degree in Art History, a Masters Degree from Lehigh University in logistics and an MBA - along with years of experience working in corporate America. Kevin worked for the U.S. Government performing efficiency studies for veteran’s hospitals as the Northeast United States regional supervisor - And in the corporate arena. Due to his broad range of professional experience, Kevin adapted easily and quickly to the transportation industry. Kevin is also the Seman Tov version of a “tech guru,” meaning when there is a glitch in our computers, cameras, phones, etc. Kevin is called upon to try to make it work or at least play nice.
In another aspect of his life, he is known professionally as “Chef Shay.” After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Shay has worked for many years as a Head Chef at restaurants, resorts and camps around the Northeast. Shay has dealt with the oversight and control of budgets for, hiring, food preparation and service for literally thousands of meals a day. If you happen to think Shay is a stickler for numbers, imagine having to account for all costs associated with that industry. Needless to say, Shay deals with numbers seriously.
In his “spare time” several years ago, Shay was instrumental in the establishment and operation of Hatzolah Ambulance Squad that services the Ocean Twp./Mid Monmouth County area. From the foresight to form the organization, to riding as an active EMT, his devotion to community is admirable.
Kyana is the first face in the office as anyone walks in - while she holds down the fort in many ways each day. As most people know she is a pleasant voice on the phone for incoming calls, maintains all vehicle records for fuel and maintenance and assists in assigning bus aides and getting them to and from their assigned routes each day. After High School, Kyana graduated from a computer science institute which moved her into the business world.
Prior to coming to Seman Tov four years ago, Kyana worked as an office manager in the veterinary medical field.
With Cruz and Aldrin here every day, it only makes sense that Cruz’s daughter and Aldrin’s sister should be involved. Adriana has been at Seman Tov (officially on and off) since 2002 and is still driving today. Since we’re talking about family, let’s not forget about “Mom,” Elida still rides as a bus aide on some morning runs.
Now that is a total family commitment to Seman Tov!!
Cruz Loyo (Alex)
Rumor has it that Cruz has been with Seman Tov pretty much from the beginning of the company. In the early years Cruz handled the mechanical end of the business keeping those original vans running and probably driving them as well. With Aldrin taking over the mechanical end of things, Cruz slid into the driver’s seat and has been there ever since.
Tane is one of our most colorful and somewhat eccentric employees, who is always there to offer a helping hand. Tanes’ presence in a room is always known to all, as was experienced during our recent “Escape Room” endeavor.
Remembering our Seman-Tov friends and family who have passed away.