Today I picked up the engine operator's manual for the DT466. Wow... Have I been doing things wrong! There's a whole checklist to go through before even starting the engine that I'm just not following. There are different ways even of starting the engine, dependent upon ambient temperature. The most startling uses a key switch position I didn't even know existed which pumps pure ether into the engine to get it going before diesel gets pumped in. I can bet my boots the ether reserve is empty.
There's a section on the oil pressure gauge and what it should read and how soon as well as what to do if it doesn't. Forget driving cars. This is NOTHING like driving a car. Driving this bus is a much more interesting proposition.
My next task once I know more about the engine will be to draw up a check list to keep on a clipboard beside the driver's seat. There's a lot to learn about operating this bus. I had no idea that busses had more in common with steam engines than with cars in terms of daily checks and maintainance.
Driving the bus is a handful. Driving with traffic is another handful. Starting it is looking more like a logistical operation but what they say in the manual makes a heap of sense. I can't believe I put off reading the manuals for so long! Truth be told, I get intimidated by large manuals.
What can I say, this is serious machinery designed seriously and it must be operated seriously too. I intend to take that responsibility head on.