Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Private profiles - please note that profiles marked as private will soon be public. This will facilitate moderation so mods can view users' warning histories. All of your posts across the site will appear on your profile page (including PI, RI). Groups posts will remain private except to users who have access to the same Groups as you. Thread here
Some important site news, please read here. Thanks!

Bus driving / Career / Dublin Bus / Go Ahead Ireland

  • 02-07-2019 9:18pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭✭ Sbvrs184


    (I,ve had this up on the Bus Enthusiast forum over the past few days and I am just putting it up here on C&T forum for everyone that can offer there opinions.)

    Hi, I have a few questions someone may be able to answer who has or still is working for either Dublin bus or Go Ahead. Im thinking of starting a career as a bus driver. I believe some companies are looking for drivers and offer some great packages, health,pension schemes etc etc.. can anyone shed some light??

    •What are the shifts like driving a bus for a living? Long days,weekends etc?
    •What kind of balance of work/life does a career in driving a bus have?
    •Are the interviews and written asessments hard and what kind of questions does the test entail?

    It would be nice to know what to expect if its a good decision so any general information or those who know whats its like for a living. Thanks.


Comments

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Music Moderators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 22,315 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Dravokivich


    Work life balance. Dont be a professional driver if you want a job to fit your schedule.


  • Registered Users Posts: 307 ✭✭ LastStop


    Sbvrs184 wrote: »

    •What are the shifts like driving a bus for a living? Long days,weekends etc?

    Varies from company to company, with DB you start on lates, move to a junior rota and can work 13hour days or 6 hour days, GAI you'll go in and be sure to work long days...... Each company wants to squeeze the maximum work possible from you per day. Dublin coach and Big bus tours you'll be cleaning the bus at the end of shift also.


    Sbvrs184 wrote: »
    What kind of balance of work/life does a career in driving a bus have?

    Poor work life balance, it's not for everyone, not being there for kids going to bed most of the time, mates not understanding why you won't go on the piss because you need to be aware of drink drive limits the day after.

    Sbvrs184 wrote: »
    Are the interviews and written asessments hard and what kind of questions does the test entail?

    Simple stuff, What is the total of two adult fares 3.30and two kids fares 1.30.

    Write a mock report. A kid could do it.



    Get in the right company and the money can be good with o.t.... if you can hack the shifts and get a balance you're comfortable with it can be good. just don't think about career progression.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭✭ Sbvrs184


    Someone told me that GAI arent exactly a good company to work for. Days can be 12/13 hours and over 100 drivers have left!! Anyone got any insight on this??


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,597 ✭✭✭ Xterminator


    yeah, thats bull. they would be sued out of business if they don't comply with EU law ( passenger vehicles with more than 8 passenger seats.)

    you must not drive:

    1. Without a break for more than 4.5 hours. After driving for 4.5 hours, a break of at least 45 minutes is mandatory. You can distribute that break over the 4.5 hours by taking a 15 minute break followed by a 30 minute break.

    2.For more than nine hours per day or 56 hours per week. This may be extended to 10 hours no more than twice during a week
    More than 90 hours in two consecutive weeks
    There are also strict regulations regarding the average working time and the amount of rest that must be taken daily and weekly.

    Source RSA website.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,914 ✭✭✭ Vic_08


    yeah, thats bull. they would be sued out of business if they don't comply with EU law ( passenger vehicles with more than 8 passenger seats.)

    you must not drive:

    1. Without a break for more than 4.5 hours. After driving for 4.5 hours, a break of at least 45 minutes is mandatory. You can distribute that break over the 4.5 hours by taking a 15 minute break followed by a 30 minute break.

    2.For more than nine hours per day or 56 hours per week. This may be extended to 10 hours no more than twice during a week
    More than 90 hours in two consecutive weeks
    There are also strict regulations regarding the average working time and the amount of rest that must be taken daily and weekly.

    Source RSA website.

    Those are rules for EU/Tachograph work, scheduled bus services under 50km are exempt from those and operate under domestic driving rules which allow more driving and shorter breaks as well as not requiring a tacho to be used.

    In summary: 5h30 DRIVING before break required
    Minimum break: 30 mns
    Max daily DRIVING: 10 hours
    Max spreadover (shift time including breaks, paid or unpaid): 16 hours
    Min rest between shifts: 10 hours, reduced to 8h30 3 times a week.

    Work other than driving is not counted in either EU or non-EU rules and non-EU is based on the running board not real-time

    All DB and current GA routes are non-EU, the 120/126 routes they are taking over from BE are EU which adds further complication

    Even under the EU rules you quote above a 13 hour+ day is possible with multiple or long breaks or other work.

    on a tacho driving literally means driving, a minute spent stopped in traffic/at lights/picking up passengers/waiting on time is counted as "other work" not driving so a working period considerably longer than 4h30 without anything reasonably resembling a break can still be legal.

    Relating to current GA operations, transferring to/from the depot either as a passenger or driving a staff car is outside the driving time regs so is not counted, nor is layover time at a terminus, EVEN if the service is running late and the layover time is not taken as under domestic rules the boarded time not the actual time is what is counted.

    A further complication will be if drivers are expected to drive both EU and non-EU work within set periods.

    In UK nearly all bus driving is done under non-EU regs, even routes that far exceed the 50km in length. Companies dodge the EU rules by splitting routes on paper. You could have a long 5 hour 200km route driven in one continuous stint by a single driver without a break but on paper this is broken down into 4 separate journeys on 4 different routes (that just happen to have the same route number) on paper.

    AFAIK no operator in Ireland currently does this, GA default to this system in the UK, maybe they will try it on with the EU reg BE routes they are taking over?


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭✭ Sbvrs184


    yeah, thats bull. they would be sued out of business if they don't comply with EU law ( passenger vehicles with more than 8 passenger seats.)

    you must not drive:

    1. Without a break for more than 4.5 hours. After driving for 4.5 hours, a break of at least 45 minutes is mandatory. You can distribute that break over the 4.5 hours by taking a 15 minute break followed by a 30 minute break.

    2.For more than nine hours per day or 56 hours per week. This may be extended to 10 hours no more than twice during a week
    More than 90 hours in two consecutive weeks
    There are also strict regulations regarding the average working time and the amount of rest that must be taken daily and weekly.

    Source RSA website.

    That is exactly what I thought!! Maybe he meant, lets say a shift for 9 hours and then driving to and back to depot included? Would that count also for hours driving under the techograph?


  • Registered Users Posts: 295 ✭✭ soundman45


    Forget about the tachograph for now, if you start driving for DB or GA you will never use a tachograph.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭✭ Sbvrs184


    soundman45 wrote: »
    Forget about the tachograph for now, if you start driving for DB or GA you will never use a tachograph.

    Why is that?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,907 ✭✭✭ Stephen15


    Sbvrs184 wrote: »
    Why is that?

    Short distance bus operations under 50km in length are exempt from EU tacho graph regulations and come under domestic law which I'm not exactly sure what that states.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,915 ✭✭✭ dashcamdanny


    To get back to your question about the job in general.

    From my experience with Dublin Bus.

    I love it. But has its pros & cons.

    If you have kids and a partner that works also, it can be expensive and complicated as the shifts are a bit of a joke with regards earlys and lates. Childminding and getting kids to school being the main issue.

    Notice of your shift is a min of 24 hours now, but usually more. So you dont really know how to plan your week ahead.

    Pay is ok but not great unless you work your rest day(s).

    Starting on the 4 day lates and moving to the 5 day all over the place duties. (stay on the 4 day if you want to plan your life).

    As a junior driver, you will get the worst shifts and work hours and you have no chance of getting out of that for at least 5 years. It will upset you seeing others get paid more to do half the work, but you have to accept that you too will be senior spare or marked in and get an easier time. But its still an easy number compared to private company work. Even at the bottom.

    Job security as we move closer to a dip.

    Good benefits and sick pay, fellow drivers usually a bit of craic, good bit of banter from the passengers and top quality fine food from our lovely canteen in town. Last bit is a lie.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭✭ Sbvrs184


    To get back to your question about the job in general.

    From my experience with Dublin Bus.

    I love it. But has its pros & cons.

    If you have kids and a partner that works also, it can be expensive and complicated as the shifts are a bit of a joke with regards earlys and lates. Childminding and getting kids to school being the main issue.

    Notice of your shift is a min of 24 hours now, but usually more. So you dont really know how to plan your week ahead.

    Pay is ok but not great unless you work your rest day(s).

    Starting on the 4 day lates and moving to the 5 day all over the place duties. (stay on the 4 day if you want to plan your life).

    As a junior driver, you will get the worst shifts and work hours and you have no chance of getting out of that for at least 5 years. It will upset you seeing others get paid more to do half the work, but you have to accept that you too will be senior spare or marked in and get an easier time. But its still an easy number compared to private company work. Even at the bottom.

    Job security as we move closer to a dip.

    Good benefits and sick pay, fellow drivers usually a bit of craic, good bit of banter from the passengers and top quality fine food from our lovely canteen in town. Last bit is a lie.

    Appreciate your feed back on this, gives me a good idea of what to expect and can have a good think about it. Thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,108 ✭✭✭✭ DaCor


    As a junior driver, you will get the worst shifts and work hours and you have no chance of getting out of that for at least 5 years. It will upset you seeing others get paid more to do half the work, but you have to accept that you too will be senior spare or marked in and get an easier time. But its still an easy number compared to private company work. Even at the bottom.

    Sounds like an excerpt from an article titled "How Unions made a mess of DB".


  • Registered Users Posts: 181 ✭✭ Contrails


    Anyone know how long the recruitment process takes these days, end to end? I was going to throw an application into DB next week once I've the CPC case study completed. Was ideally hoping to be sorted for 1st week of September, if I was to be accepted. Not sure if that's realistic or pushing it a bit.

    B license with cat D learner permit here.

    Many thanks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 307 ✭✭ LastStop


    Contrails wrote: »
    Anyone know how long the recruitment process takes these days, end to end? I was going to throw an application into DB next week once I've the CPC case study completed. Was ideally hoping to be sorted for 1st week of September, if I was to be accepted. Not sure if that's realistic or pushing it a bit.

    B license with cat D learner permit here.

    Many thanks.


    Last I heard with DB, from application to starting in their training centre was at least a year. If you're looking for a walk in job by Sept. GAI or Aircoach might be more realistic for Sept.

    Of course you apply to DB, but build up experience elsewhere while you wait,


  • Registered Users Posts: 181 ✭✭ Contrails


    LastStop wrote: »
    Last I heard with DB, from application to starting in their training centre was at least a year. If you're looking for a walk in job by Sept. GAI or Aircoach might be more realistic for Sept.

    Of course you apply to DB, but build up experience elsewhere while you wait,

    Thanks for that. I thought it would be slow but not that bad. I assumed given the on going recruitment they would be in a bit more of a hurry. I'll have to sort something else for the interim it seems.

    Edit: if I did indeed have to look elsewhere does anyone have 2 cents to share on what they know about go ahead and aircoach as an employer? I've seen alot on other threads but some info appears to be a bit old now. Am I right in saying GAI starting salary is now 32k instead of "up to 32k"? Many thanks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 181 ✭✭ Contrails


    LastStop wrote: »
    Last I heard with DB, from application to starting in their training centre was at least a year. If you're looking for a walk in job by Sept. GAI or Aircoach might be more realistic for Sept.

    Of course you apply to DB, but build up experience elsewhere while you wait,

    Followed your advice. Applied for GAI and DB on the same day and within 1 working day Go Ahead were back on to me inviting me into a recruitment/ assessment day. DB was an automated email response saying they'd be in touch in a few weeks. Suppose they're busier as the employer of choice!

    GAI doesn't seem perfect (nor is DB I suppose) but seems like an ok place to start anyway. Hopefully terms and and working conditions continue to improve as the company settles in.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,915 ✭✭✭ dashcamdanny


    Contrails wrote: »
    Followed your advice. Applied for GAI and DB on the same day and within 1 working day Go Ahead were back on to me inviting me into a recruitment/ assessment day. DB was an automated email response saying they'd be in touch in a few weeks. Suppose they're busier as the employer of choice!

    GAI doesn't seem perfect (nor is DB I suppose) but seems like an ok place to start anyway. Hopefully terms and and working conditions continue to improve as the company settles in.
    Not surprised. There seems to be about 40 go-ahead drivers in the Dublin bus training center right now. Go ahead will need to do much better if they want to stop bleeding drivers .


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,907 ✭✭✭ Stephen15


    Not surprised. There seems to be about 40 go-ahead drivers in the Dublin bus training center right now. Go ahead will need to do much better if they want to stop bleeding drivers .

    I thought that the recruitment process with DB is very slow but yet a lot of the ex GAI drivers have seem to have been reatively quick to start or is it much quicker for people who already have bus licences.


  • Registered Users Posts: 295 ✭✭ soundman45


    It appears that DB are very keen on GA drivers that have driven buses before joining GA as they are seasoned drivers that now also have experience of doing the exact role that DB offer, it was a DB employee told me that they are getting fastracked through the application process, no reason to disbelieve him but dunno how true that is, maybe someone else can verify it?


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull


    soundman45 wrote: »
    It appears that DB are very keen on GA drivers that have driven buses before joining GA as they are seasoned drivers that now also have experience of doing the exact role that DB offer, it was a DB employee told me that they are getting fastracked through the application process, no reason to disbelieve him but dunno how true that is, maybe someone else can verify it?

    Would be interesting to know if that is purely operationally driven tactic and it just happens that the GAI drivers are better candidates than the other applicants or if there is a commercial element to fast tracking them through ahead of other applicants who might come from other companies too.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,915 ✭✭✭ dashcamdanny


    Just to be clear.
    No one is getting fast tracked through the training process.
    Maybe recruitment.

    But standards are still very high in the training center. Everyone has to go through the entire program of training .


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,998 ✭✭✭✭ AlekSmart


    Just to be clear.
    No one is getting fast tracked through the training process.
    Maybe recruitment.

    But standards are still very high in the training center. Everyone has to go through the entire program of training .

    It may be prudent to question why such suggestions would be made,other than gossip,or canteen table talk.

    As you state,it is not the case.

    What some may not realise,is that numbers of current GAI staff,had already applied to BAC before the arrival of GAI into Ireland,and then found themselves caught by a gap in BAC's recruitment activity,during which GAI arrived and embarked on a major campaign offering immediate processing of their applications.

    Thus,some GAI drivers,unsurprisingly were able to re-enter the BAC process once it restarted.
    It's not quite as dramatic,or Machiavellian as some might wish to believe,as sometimes,the simple answers actually are the correct one's :)


    Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

    Charles Mackay (1812-1889)



  • Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭✭ Mairead80


    Just wondering in relation to holidays in DB - do you have any say on your summer holidays or are they just assigned to you? Am working for another company and have been told my two week summer holiday is in April of this year (I kid you not)


  • Registered Users Posts: 411 ✭✭ ITV2


    Mairead80 wrote: »
    Just wondering in relation to holidays in DB - do you have any say on your summer holidays or are they just assigned to you? Am working for another company and have been told my two week summer holiday is in April of this year (I kid you not)

    they are interchangeable in most depots or just request the dates you'd like, no big issue ever for me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,998 ✭✭✭✭ AlekSmart


    Mairead80 wrote: »
    Just wondering in relation to holidays in DB - do you have any say on your summer holidays or are they just assigned to you? Am working for another company and have been told my two week summer holiday is in April of this year (I kid you not)

    You are allocated your Annual Leave block each year in October.
    This is for your full entitlement.
    If you have prior arrangements made,you then go quickly to your Admin Manager and reschedule and/or rearrange.
    This early approach generally works,but relies upon staff actually reading the noticeboards. (A significant proportion of staff rarely,if ever,read the noticeboards)
    If the Admin Manager cannot facilitate you then you seek out somebody prepared to swap,which although a bit of a task,usually throws up a solution.
    The allocation is not based on seasons,but on your ANNUAL leave entitlements,so descriptions such as "Winter Weeks" do not apply.

    After this initial allocation,you then enter the "Skip",which means you will know from year to year,what your allocation changes to,as the list rotates through the relevant blocks.

    With scheduled Busdriving work,perhaps the most important element to become comfortable with is how one's passage of Time will swiftly alter.
    Your entry into the world of Busdriving will mean your previous methods of measuring time alter substantially,ie: humming "Thank God It's FRIDAY" as you trundle through An Lár will count for nothing,as you'll be working throughout the Weekend anyway.

    Recognising this essential difference is the single greatest decider of whether Busdriving is for you,or not.


    Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

    Charles Mackay (1812-1889)



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,094 ✭✭✭ .anon.


    AlekSmart wrote: »
    With scheduled Busdriving work,perhaps the most important element to become comfortable with is how one's passage of Time will swiftly alter.
    Your entry into the world of Busdriving will mean your previous methods of measuring time alter substantially,ie: humming "Thank God It's FRIDAY" as you trundle through An Lár will count for nothing,as you'll be working throughout the Weekend anyway.

    Recognising this essential difference is the single greatest decider of whether Busdriving is for you,or not.

    On the flip side, you might wake up at 6:30am on a Monday morning to the sound of howling wind and pouring rain, or neighbours scraping ice off their windscreens... but then you just roll over and go back to sleep for another four hours because it's your rest day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 725 ✭✭✭ d51984


    You never see your family, you cant go pub with your mates, public hate you, you will never win!

    Other than that, its all good lol.

    Its a disgrace Joe!



  • Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭✭ Mairead80


    Am used to the hours, but obviously cannot stay somewhere if I cannot go on holiday with my own family (young kids included):-(


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,636 ✭✭✭ Midnight_EG


    What they fail to say is you don't have to stick to the holiday block, you can give it back and then pick and choose your days as long as its suitable. Its easy to take two weeks off but only using 6 holidays and such.


  • Advertisement
Advertisement