Driving for the Tullahoma Band program is one of the most rewarding volunteer positions available.  You travel with the band (obviously) and are always at their performances.  You get to interact with the kids regularly and be “backstage” to experience the joy and excitement these kids feel on every single trip.

Driving a bus is easy.  However, because school students are the most precious “cargo” that a commercial driver carries, there is significant training and learning all of the various safety features of the equipment we use as well as how to handle any unseen complications with ease.

As a driver for the Tullahoma Band, you will learn everything that a normal school bus driver learns and work alongside some of the most experienced drivers in the Tullahoma system.  We handle our own training at our own pace, there is no stress and no concern about failure.  Basically, we take the time we need to get you ready to drive.  Once you’re ready, we’ll get your testing done and on the road.

The training goes like this:

1.  First will be your medical exam.  This will be done at Spectrum in Tullahoma and costs will be covered for you.  This is a basic physical to ensure you are medically fit to drive a commercial vehicle.  If you have any concerns, don’t shy away… just ask.  Most of us have medical issues we live with and very few disqualify you from driving.

2.  The second thing will be your written exam.  There will be several things you need to do to prepare for the test.  First, you’ll need to study.  You will be taking the test for a Class B Commercial License with endorsements P (passenger) and S (school bus).  You will also need to study and pass the air brake section of the materials as all our buses have air brakes.  There are numerous free online sample tests that are very helpful in preparing and you’ll see a lot of the same questions on the actual test you take.  The test is taken at the DMV in Tullahoma on a computer.  You will need a variety of items to prove your residency, your citizenship (etc), as well as your medical card from Spectrum, and a letter from the schools basically saying you will be a TCS driver (we can help you get that).  Once you have passed the written portion, you will get your shiny new learner’s permit (just like when you were 15).

3.  Now comes the fun part.  We drive!  Current Tullahoma Band drivers will work with you to study for your practical test which will involve a physical pre-trip inspection of the bus and a driving test.  We already know exactly what you will be tested on and you will be fully prepared to pass the test before we schedule it.  Some people pick it up very quickly while others need a bit more practice.  That isn’t a problem.  We want you to feel confident and ready when you take your test to start driving our kids.  And you will be!

4.  Finally we will schedule your pre-trip inspection, skills, and road test.  Once that’s complete you will have a background check through TCS and become a driver for the band!  

While this process may seem long and hard and time consuming, I assure you that it can fit in anyone’s schedule.  Once licensed, your volunteering efforts for the band will basically be going with them everywhere (something many of us do anyway!).

If you are interested in joining us or have questions, please email the directors or me (jasonponder@gmail.com) so we can get started as soon as possible.  Our goal is to have enough parent drivers licensed and ready by August (football season).