A guide to industry YouTuber James Wang’s best bus videos

If you have watched one of James Wang’s bus videos, you have probably laughed and learned something. As someone who has driven and maintained motorcoaches for decades, I appreciate seeing our profession spotlighted in a way that is accurate and informative – yet also fun. Wang, who works in management at Peoria Charter Coach in Illinois and makes time to drive because he loves it so much, has a way of capturing the life of a motorcoach driver in an entertaining way. I’m a big fan of all his YouTube videos, but I was asked to pick my Top 10. Here’s my list:

James Wang

10. How Much Money Do Motor Coach Operators Make In The U.S.?

After getting several requests from viewers, Wang tried to answer this question. Because it isn’t a simple answer, he explained all the different components that make up a motorcoach driver’s salary. You may be in for a surprise!! Great insights into what to expect from your service. It varies on what city or state you are in and the type of charter company you work for. When it comes to hours-miles-percentage-meals, it’s not cut and dry. Wang explains how gratuities work — or sometimes don’t. I loved the sweatshirt he wore for the video: “Will work for food.”

James Wang

9. Where Do Bus Drivers Go When Their Passengers Leave for the Day?

Ever wonder what charter bus drivers do when the passengers leave the bus and go enjoy their day? Charter bus drivers have secret lives between the time they drop off their passengers and pick them up, including food adventures, exploration, and other shenanigans. This episode covers every aspect of what a driver can expect. Lots of preplanning, followed by spurts of stressful driving, then boredom sitting in the middle of nowhere or no place to park. The cycle repeats itself. So how do you handle your downtime? Drivers from across the U.S. give their answers to this question: hammocks, meat smokers, E-bikes, reading bus manuals, walking to work off a fast-food meal. The best one was using a sewing machine to make masks for COVID-19.

James Wang

8. How Do Motor Coach Drivers Prepare for a Charter Trip?

Being a coach bus driver involves a lot more than just driving. In this video, Wang goes over some of the many things a professional charter bus driver has to do in the days before the trip to make sure the passengers are happy and the trip goes smoothly. This behind-the-scenes gives an overview of all the work that goes into a professional driver’s successful job. It’s not just a show-up and take-off. I love the history lesson on the origin of the coach. The first coach was built in Hungary! And the “Star Trek” one-liners – Wang is quite the “Star Trek” fan. Overall, this is a great story of his journey with his CDL. The bottom line is the drivers create a successful trip with work and preparation. 

James Wang

7. Life as a Charter Bus Driver in the US. What Is It Like?

In this video with more than 67,000 views, Wang describes what it’s like to be a charter bus driver in the United States. He reviews the good and bad and the different types of trips a charter driver can make. The interaction between the driver and passengers is also a key topic – and a big part of a charter driver’s day. Wang’s story covers his fascination with buses since he was a child, his dream job of talking about buses on YouTube, and running a motorcoach company. He reveals his inner Trekkie with more great “Star Trek” lines, paying tribute to the original and “Next  Generation.” He also covers what a driver is responsible for day-to-day, including driver change-out, switching over, deadheading, irregular work schedules, sleeping in hotels – and doing all of this while being married. The secret is you need to have a very understanding spouse.

6. How Do Bus Drivers Eat on Long Trips?

Motorcoach operators and airline pilots are a lot alike. However, when it comes to long trips and mealtime, the motorcoach driver does not have a co-pilot who can take over the controls while they eat. So do bus drivers eat behind the wheel? In this video, Wang explains how motorcoach operators make sure they fill their stomachs on long trips that leave them barely anytime to eat. It’s a great perspective from the driver,  giving the customers the other side of the coin. Don’t forget about your driver; your investment in his meal will develop a great symbiotic relationship and make the trip so much more enjoyable for everyone. 

5. The 3rd Wheel | What Is a Tag Axle??

What’s the point of the third wheel on the motorcoach? It just tags along. In this video, Wang explains the purpose and function of the tag axle and why some buses have them and some buses don’t. I like to think of this video as a math lesson for nerds. So what is the reason for the tag axle? Vehicle stability and better ride because the third wheel can carry more weight.

4. Evolution of the Prevost H series coach

Prevost is a coach manufacturer that makes one of the most luxurious and comfortable motorcoaches to ever hit the road in the United States. This video goes over the evolution of one of its most successful models, the H series coaches. I learned something new about the history of the H coach. Once again, Wang is very informative and educational, wrapping the information in a humorous delivery. I learned the biography of the Prevost line, which began with church pews and school furniture and evolved over 80 years into what it is today. 

James Wang

3. The Eagle Has Landed

Once there was a bus called the Eagle. It earned an era all to itself. For 40 years, the Eagle owned the motorcoach market. Owners swore by them. Drivers loved driving them. In this video, Wang tells the Eagle’s story: how it started, how it ended, and how it was transformed throughout its production life. It essentially is the history of Trailways. What a great history of the  Eagle bus, and its beginnings as Kassboror and then being built in Texas! I’ve always wondered.

James Wang

2. Don’t Do This to Your Bus Driver | Four things that will Drive your Bus Driver Crazy 

Ever wonder what will really drive a bus driver mad? Wang lists four things in this video. 

  • First, bus parking doesn’t take into account how big a bus is. And then there are people who park their cars in a bus zone. Don’t do that! Wang found the perfect way to to drop in another great “Star Trek” line with Spock’s famous line, “The needs of the many outweigh the wants of the one.”  
  • The second is when passing a bus. I laughed at the line, “How good do you feel when you can run faster than the fat guy” and then slow down in front of him. This drives a driver crazy when he is “just trying to maintain my speed.” I loved the bus destruction derby at the 7-minute mark. 
  • Third, bus drivers are living human beings. We need to stop the customer line, “Aren’t you guys trained to travel long distances without stopping?” “Yes, ma’am, we are, but I failed the bladder training class.”  
  • Fourth is the question, “Don’t you know where you’re going?  Awkward!

Wang makes a very good case why people should not do these four things.

James Wang

1. How Do Bus Companies Make Any Money? 

In this video that has more than 34,000 views, Wang describes what privately owned bus company owners and managers go through to make a buck. It’s not an easy industry to work in, and those who do have a lot of passion for what they do. You need a lot of money to make it work. This is my favorite insight into how simply the process works: Money comes in and money goes out – you just need to watch the bottom line on every charter. It’s all in the details and how smart you work it.

So that’s my top 10 list. What’s yours? You can check out all of Wang’s informative and entertaining bus videos on his YouTube channel, Motorcoach World.


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