Fleet Case Study

Vancouver Sightseeing Specialists: Controlling Preventive Maintenance Through Technology

For many fleet owners, preventive maintenance is a continual recordkeeping nightmare. Even firms with in-house maintenance staffs report difficulty staying on top of this crucial task. Yet, failing to keep buses maintained on the proper schedule reduces fuel efficiency, shortens vehicle life spans and can potentially leave customers stranded on the side of the road.

Tim Bourassa, Operations Manager of Burnaby, BC-based Big Bus LTD (which operates Vancouver Sightseeing Specialists), recognized the role preventive maintenance plays in keeping his buses operating at peak performance. He also realized that manual coordination of maintenance schedules and service records—or even informal, computer-based recordkeeping—was not an efficient solution for the 50+ bus operation.

Yet, while plenty of firms offered to perform maintenance on his buses, there were few realistic solutions for streamlining management of the process. "We had been looking for something for several years to fit our bill," says Bourassa. "A simple Google search brought Ownersite to our attention."

For Bourassa, preventive maintenance tracking was more than a financial necessity—it was a regulatory requirement. Canada has strict guidelines for bus owners to meet regarding safety and preventive maintenance programs.

Ownersite for Fleets supports such fleet-centric features as driver-directed reminders, multi-user support and user-defined access groups. Its reporting capabilities include multiple-vehicle analyses of total cost of ownership, cost per mile and comparative (pre- and post-maintenance) fuel costs. In total, this "Swiss-army knife" of tools provides some 75 utilities for recording, tracking and reporting on vehicle records, including maintenance schedules and service records.

Bourassa says his shop manager uses the preventative maintenance component of the program to assign duties to the shop staff (Big Bus has an in-house maintenance shop). To use Ownersite for Fleets, Bourassa or his staff logs into the interface from any Web browser (PC or mobile). Although Bourassa's staff enters data manually on a daily basis, Ownersite also supports upload (in several formats) of vehicle records data ranging from mileage logs and service records to driver information, accidents, recall and vehicle histories, and more.

Data entry screens are custom-designed for vehicle records, making it easy and quick to record the correct information. "Ownersite has helped save us time and confusion with keeping records," says Bourassa. "And the customer service is amazing. Ownersite representatives are very helpful and understanding about our needs. The service alone tipped the scales to Ownersite."

Bourassa is looking forward to Ownersite's upcoming smart phone integration, but is very content with the current solution. "The program helps keep us on track and offers a simple and easy-to-understand audit trail," says Bourassa. "Ownersite is without a doubt a great investment. The program gives us a sense of security knowing that our fleet is being looked after and operating safely."

About Big Bus LTD

Big Bus LTD operates guided, "hop-on, hop-off" sightseeing tours of Vancouver, Canada. Although the tour takes 90 minutes from start to finish, ticketholders can leave the bus at any or all of the tour's 22 stops around the city and rejoin at their leisure. Tickets are good for two days, consecutive or non-consecutive, and ticketholders have two weeks from the first date of use to take advantage of the second day of travel. Each ticket also includes one ice cream treat. For more information, visit or call 604.684.5605