For John Pilkington, bus driving is more than just a job. He has come to consider it a vocation which requires passion and dedication. He has possessed such a penchant for transportation since a boy, but currently understands the profession as something invaluable to society. Needless to say, John his pleased to contribute to others in this unique way.
Pilkington currently boasts a tremendous expertise for automotive mechanics. Surely, he cultivated his knowledge over the years, but his current skills and informational repertoire make him a true specialist. Anymore, he does not work on buses or other vehicles mechanically very much. Nonetheless, he is definitely a reputed, go-to expert on automotive repair and construction—his specialty being buses.
John works unrelentingly to maintain his business—Ribble Valley Coaches Ltd.—never taking a day off, and not since 2008. As owner, Pilkington preserves the company’s reputation, which he built himself. He does not work 15-hour days and seven-day weeks anymore, but he does have to diligently manage is fleet. Still, he repairs and refurbishes buses with an almost magical touch. For John Pilkington, bus work is not a chore, but a part of life he is proud of.
Pilkington also attends transportation exhibitions quite frequently, sometimes presenting some of his own vehicles. John’s American Bluebird buses, which the company dubs “yellabuses,” are prominent displays at various conventions. Essentially, these are big yellow buses usually used as school buses. In turn, Pilkington’s business boasts a certain level of popularity and respect in the community of transportation enthusiasts.
For John Pilkington, bus mechanics and vehicle engineering are more than just specialized trades. The man lives, works, and breathes automotive transportation. For decades, he has immersed himself in automobile repair and public transportation. John has made himself a leading expert in the area, and his skills behind the wheel and in the undercarriage are practically unparalleled. he has consequently become one of the United Kingdom’s most successful professionals in the industry of public transportation.
John Pilkington, bus enthusiast and transportation extraordinaire, was born in 1973. It seemed he developed a passion for mechanics since he started walking. At five years old, Pilkington enjoyed watching videos of vehicle repairs more than cartoons. His enthusiasm for mechanics did not just grow as he got older, it became a dream.
When John was 14, England lawmakers changed bus transportation regulations with a Transport Act. The legislature made public transport deregulated, as a matter of fact, privatizing the industry. Existing or newly forming companies were then able to pursue the business. Pilkington’s family was among several others in 1986 that opened privately operated bus agencies. The Pilkington’s was one of the first in all of England.
As an adolescent, the federal change seemed to have done more for John than for the country. The young man spent years working on the family buses. With a certain eagerness, he learned as much as possible about the maintenance and operation of buses. A certain model caught his attention: Leyland Nationals. These single-deck buses were incredibly common on English roadways, but after exhausting his knowledge about them, John had to move on.
At 17, John was ready to start driving buses, so he earned his license right away. Then, he had to receive his Passenger Carrying Vehicle license, which he did without a single issue. In effect, he had become one of the youngest bus drivers in England. For John Pilkington, bus driving and mechanics were his life through the next 20 years, working for his family’s company all the while.
Pilkington worked both as a driver and mechanic for two decades, carrying passengers only after expertly repairing the vehicles. He rebuilt and refurbished a significant number of buses, because he had developed some unparalleled knowledge in every capacity of vehicle mechanics. By the time his two-decade tenure had passed, he had acquired a reputation as the go-to expert.
For John Pilkington, bus repair eventually stopped being challenging. He needed an opportunity to expand his reach, one which came fortuitously in 2011. He independently purchased Ribble Valley Coaches Ltd., which had already existed as a local transportation company. He worked tirelessly for just a few months, and succeeded in elevating the new company’s reputation to an extraordinary level. His work ethic had everything to do with the accomplishment, considering he worked countless 15-hour days and seven days a week.
John had set out to create the most efficient, clean, and well-maintained transportation he could. He felt people deserved it. Under the leadership of John Pilkington, buses from Ribble Valley Coaches were hailed nationwide. As a matter of fact, approximately 50% of the company’s turnover has been generated by his refurbishing work. Ribble gave him the best chance to expand his expertise. His proficiency and versatility are demonstrated by his work on Dennis Dart buses, Leyland DAF trucks, and several models from Mercedes and Volvo.
For John Pilkington, bus and transportation exhibitions have been a part of weekends off for years. He began showcasing many of Ribble’s vehicles at such events not long ago. American Bluebird buses have been featured, popular yellow buses often used as school buses. His exhibits have attained a certain popularity with children and transportation enthusiasts.
John Pilkington is also a fine and noble man, because he never hesitates to help people he comes across in life. He has almost always had to deal with strangers—passengers on his bus. As such, he has encountered and solved an array of countless problems over the years. Pilkington's automotive knowledge and expertise also allows him to help other motorists who have trouble on roadsides.
For example, John was once in charge of driving a group of young students to a nearby zoo for a field trip. After dropping them off and turning around, John did not make it to the central depot on time. This was because on the way back, he passed a bus with a group of children standing beside it. The bus happened to be on a field trip, as well. He did not hesitate to radio the depot and explain that he would be late.
Pilkington pulled over to speak with the chaperones of the distressed children. Seeing as repairing the bus then and there would take time, he carried everyone to the zoo, so they could enjoy as much of their trip as possible. He brought them to their destination, an amusement park named Camelot. He was thanked with a hearty round of applause, and in the spirit of the park, the children personally knighted John and gave him the esteemed title, Sir.
John has accumulated twenty years’ worth of vehicle parts. He keeps them on hand in order to tinker in his free time and repair very old buses for clients that need it. People dare not tell him that something is impossible or that only one way to do something exists. He has always done what he has thought was necessary, regardless of the circumstances. Moreover, he has done it all well, always wearing a smile.
John earned great favor for his mechanical genius; he was never in the business of bus repair for the money. His ability to strategize has been useful over the years, and He still believes every problem has a solution. John has resolved every issue imaginable in the public transportation industry, from broken vehicles to traffic issues. Rumor has it that he had once moved a bus engine without a forklift. At the very least, the anecdote is a testament to the power of John Pilkington’s bus expertise and skills.
For John Pilkington, bus work will remain more than a simple trade. With such an extensive background and fervent passion, Pilkington will continue working toward excellence in every industrial pursuit. Given the time he has exhibited a proclivity for transportation mechanics, there is nowhere to go but up. The industry is essential to society, as is his profession, and John will always be proud to contribute to others in such a distinctive way.
Although John possesses an impressive skillset, he knows there is always room for improvement. By cultivating his knowledge even more in the future, John’s skills and range of experience can only improve. Ribble Valley Coaches is still young under his leadership, but he will continue looking for ways to augment the business. Whether working mechanically or driving, the importance of his service will continue being useful. He works diligently to enhance his reputation, so look out for Ribble Valley in top ten lists soon.
Pilkington can afford to take time off now and again, but his ambitions will certainly keep him in the shop or the driver’s seat. Fortunately, 15-hour days and seven-day weeks are a thing of the past, but work is not a chore when you love it as much as he does. Bus travel is one of the most common forms around the world, and John doesn’t see that changing anytime soon. Given his success at transportation exhibitions, he will continue displaying his work. The American Bluebird buses are some of his greatest achievements, but John Pilkington will look for new ways to showcase his skills.