Mechanic Jon Furtado, 22, grew up in the industry. His father owned Furtado Bus Lines.
“I was able to learn from his mechanics and continued to teach myself throughout the years,” Furtado said.
He got his official start in the industry at Academy Bus as an entry-level tech. He is currently the maintenance manager for SC Coach in Aiken, South Carolina.
Over the years, he has worked for Steve’s Motorcoach Service and MDT Bus in Massachusetts, Fisher Bus, The Bus Guy (a company he started in Massachusetts and ran for two years), and New Travel.
Bus & Motorcoach News caught up with mechanic Jon Furtado to talk to him about why he loves working on motorcoaches, his career highs and lows, and his passion for the business.
What repair or job gives you the most satisfaction when completed?
Really any job that shows a difference in the operation of the coach, whether it’s a suspension overhaul or internal engine work. I like to see the driver actually notice the difference in the vehicle.
Your strangest or most bizarre repair or fix you’ve done?
Really got me thinking on this one, I don’t think I’ve ever done anything too crazy.
What’s your go-to phrase?
Another day in paradise.
How did you become a motorcoach mechanic?
Ever since I was a kid, I always loved taking things apart. When I got old enough to hang out at my father’s shop, I’d always watch Steve fix my father’s buses. A few years down the road, I ended up working for Steve at Steve’s Motorcoach Service.
What are your previous careers?
I really haven’t had any outside the bus industry. However, my first job was at an electrical warehouse doing inventory.
What’s your favorite and/or least favorite repair to do and why?
I tell everyone I’d rather pull an engine than doing most repairs, but one thing I totally dislike is to remove the interior of the coaches.
What’s your favorite bus feature?
Definitely the 360 cameras or the tag raise feature on the Prevost!
What’s the best compliment you’ve received?
The best compliment I received was from a small company. The owner was ready to scrap his MCI EL3 because he spent thousands and brought it to countless shops and still couldn’t get it fixed. After a few days, I got it right, and he was ecstatic about it. He thanked me up and down, and it made me feel great.
What’s your funniest shop/repair story?
We just finished the cylinder head on an MCI J4500 with a C12 engine. Juan, another mechanic at the time, was pressurizing the fuel tank to send fuel up to the fuel pump. Once we got fuel to the engine, he walked around the corner, covered head to toe in diesel! It’s messed up, but the guys and I couldn’t stop laughing.
What’s your best piece of advice for a newbie?
Take your time, do the repair right. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone besides the vehicle your working on.
What’s your favorite bus to repair/work on and why?
Definitely Prevost. They offer great publications and schematics. I also find them the easiest to repair.
What’s your career highlight?
Meeting famous country singers after fixing their coaches during their shows.
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If you are a motorcoach mechanic and would like to be featured in From Under the Bus, contact Shandra Martinez at firstname.lastname@example.org.