Driving for the Olympics

If you've got a group going to the Olympics in February, you know it's not all just fun and games. There are lots of logistics involved, not the least of which are motor-coach-related. MCI has been hard at work making sure you'll have comprehensive service support. Western Bus Parts (see last month's article) will be on the job, bolstered by extra MCI-trained mechanics and technical experts, including some of MCI's French-speaking technicians. Located at 95 Philip Avenue, North Vancouver, near the Lion's Gate Bridge, Western Bus Parts is a trusted MCI affiliate that offers a full range of maintenance and repair services. Phone at 604-980-4844.

Western Bus Parts and MCI will host an open house and facility orientation February 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that's open to all operators and their staff as well as visiting guests. Just before, during and just after the Olympics, Western Bus Parts will be be open for normal business, Monday thru Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with an emergency service vehicle also available Monday thru Friday from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. During all other hours, service will be available on an on-call basis by calling 604-817-0235. In addition, operators will be able to utilize MCI's 24-hour Emergency Roadside Assistance at 800-241-2947. Western Bus Parts will have bus washing available, as well as an added service truck with an onboard generator to assist operators with battery issues. A limited number of coaches will be available for lease on an emergency basis. Visit the Western Bus Parts & Service website at

So when it comes to service, you're covered. Here are some things to consider as well:

British Columbia regulations

Make sure you're correctly licensed, with liability and workman's compensation insurance in compliance with British Columbian regulations. Information available at, or check out this link from the Naylor Publications "Tour & Travel Canada" site, courtesy Motor Coach Canada:

Hands-free operation

On January 1, 2010, regulations went into effect in both the U.S. and Canada making it illegal to use cellular devices without a hands-free unit such as a blue tooth. Make sure your drivers are properly equipped to be compliant.

Background checks

Make sure that any drivers coming from outside of Canada can comply with Canadian customs and immigration regulations.

Canadian hours of service

Know how long your drivers can legally work and drive. The regulation states that drivers must be able to provide a driver's log for at least 14 days previous. Visit Motor Coach Canada's website for additional details as well as to purchase their laminated Hours of Service card.

Tire cables

These chain-like tire devices are required for operation in British Columbia. Regulations require that cables be available for both sets of tires on the drive axle. The part number for the correct cables for use on your MCI vehicles is 03-33-1145, and they come two per set, so two sets are needed. Motor Coach Canada also recommends having winter tires on your coach. Run-up blocks are also a good idea to help you install your cables.

Other weather concerns

Canadian winters can be harsh. Make sure your coaches are properly winterized. Bring extra windshield wiper fluid and wiper blades. Keep on top of changing weather through news and websites like the Weather Network at

Bio-diesel alert

Those fueling in British Columbia will find the pumps filled with biodiesel, which can have a solvent effect and prematurely affect filters. Operators, especially those with older coaches that aren't normally run on biodiesel, should be prepared to change the fuel filters more frequently. Stock up through MCI Parts, or buy at Western Bus Parts.

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