Charter a Motor Coach
Chartering a motor coach is an important decision. You want to make sure that your group is treated to exceptional service with a courteous staff, safe vehicle and professional driver. Here are some questions to ask when making your decision -
How long has the company been in business?
An established company typically has a great reputation. Indian Trails is now entering its 101st year of business. We’ve been around longer than any other motor coach company in Michigan and are one of the longest running companies in the country.
How big is the company?
Big is not necessarily better, but anyone wanting to charter coaches should understand that smaller companies may not have the full range of technical and management support, as well as financial resources, to provide “world class” service. Indian Trails is one of the largest motor coach companies in Michigan.
Will they provide you with references?
Always ask for references. Any successful company will be more than happy to provide you with references of groups they have serviced in the past.
What type of equipment do they operate?
The age of the vehicle is very important if you are looking for newer “modern” coaches. Many companies do not operate newer model motor coaches and are thus able to provide their services at a lower price. Additionally, many companies may have a combination of newer and older model coaches in their fleet. If you book with these companies, can they guarantee you will get one of the newer coaches? Indian Trails operates only newer model coaches with all the deluxe amenities. We do not have anything in our fleet older than a 2005 model. You are guaranteed the latest model coaches with every order.
What amenities are equipped on their vehicles?
Do not take it for granted that all companies have the same amenities on their vehicles. Many features which are important to today’s travelers, including restrooms, DVD players with extensive audio/video capabilities, seating with seatbelts available, 110v power and WiFi may not be equipped on some company’s vehicles. Ask what you are getting for your money. All of our motor coaches are equipped with deluxe amenities. Additionally, we offer wheelchair accessible equipment available in both our smaller and larger coaches.
What about safety?
Ask the company about their safety and maintenance programs. Do they regularly maintain their vehicles? Do they provide comprehensive training for all drivers and mechanics? Are drivers and mechanics alcohol and drug screened? What type of safety rating do they have with the Department of Transportation? NEVER contract with a company that has an unsatisfactory rating with the Department of Transportation. Indian Trails has one of the most comprehensive training and safety programs in the country, consistently receiving a satisfactory (best possible) rating with the Department of Transportation.
Are they properly insured and licensed?
Always ask for proof of adequate insurance coverage (including liability coverage of at least $5 million) and that the company has documented operating authority. Also, make sure the company is licensed to play movies or audio discs on their coaches. Although most companies have DVD players and CD players on their coaches, some are not legally licensed to show movies or play recorded music to their groups.
Is the company flexible enough to handle any last minute changes?
If you need to make any changes to your itinerary or have any last minute needs, is the company able to accommodate your requests? If you need to make any changes during non-business hours, do they have personnel on duty at all times of the day or evening to handle these requests?
Does the company operate a 24 hour emergency dispatch system?
In the event of an emergency or last minute change, will you be able to talk with a company representative during non-business hours. Indian Trails operates a true 24 hour emergency dispatch system, with trained supervisors on duty at all times to assist you.
How will the company deal with emergencies or breakdowns on the road?
Even the best maintained vehicles can experience mechanical problems. If a problem occurs on your trip, can the company respond quickly by either getting the coach fixed or getting a replacement coach dispatched within a reasonable amount of time? Reputable carriers have developed relationships with other coach companies throughout the country and Canada, and typically can respond much quicker to these types of emergencies. As a member of American Bus Association and International Motor Coach Group, Indian Trails has developed a network of reputable carriers throughout the U.S. and Canada to help in emergency situations.
What is included in your price?
When getting quotes from companies, make sure you know what is included in their quote. Are parking fees, tolls, driver replacements or any other additional charges included? If it’s an overnight trip, is the cost of the driver’s room also included? Make sure you clarify before comparing prices.
Will the company allow you to visit their premises and inspect equipment?
Any successful operator is proud to show their facilities and equipment to potential customers. They have nothing to hide. By viewing their equipment and facilities, you will feel more comfortable you are dealing with the right company to handle your transportation needs. We invite anyone to visit us at any one of our three facilities. We are confident you will see the Indian Trails difference.