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October 02, 2012  |   Comments (1)   |   Post a comment

Kerlin shows commitment to training, customers

As Indiana’s Kerlin Bus Sales and Leasing celebrates 50 years as a Thomas Built Buses dealer, the family-run company focuses on providing instruction for bus drivers and technicians so they are well-versed in the industry’s latest technology. Kerlin also has a rigorous system to ensure customers’ needs are met and their orders are properly filled.

by Erin Spandorf


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Kerlin Bus Sales and Leasing founder Ed Kerlin (third from left) has retired, but his family continues to run the company. From left: President Clifford Zehr, who is Kerlin’s son-in-law, Zehr’s wife, Cindy, who is chief financial officer, and Melanie Zehr, who handles marketing and is Clifford and Cindy’s daughter.

Kerlin Bus Sales and Leasing founder Ed Kerlin (third from left) has retired, but his family continues to run the company. From left: President Clifford Zehr, who is Kerlin’s son-in-law, Zehr’s wife, Cindy, who is chief financial officer, and Melanie Zehr, who handles marketing and is Clifford and Cindy’s daughter.

Kerlin Bus Sales and Leasing Inc. of Silver Lake, Ind., recently celebrated its 50-year anniversary as Thomas Built Buses’ dealer for the state, and for this family-run company, training for its customers is a top priority.   

Kerlin offers training for both school bus drivers and technicians in an effort to ensure that they are well informed on the latest technology in the industry.

“Training is probably one of the best things we can do for our customers,” President Clifford Zehr says.

Keeping drivers, technicians up to speed
In the bus driver training courses, Zehr says drivers who are moving from 10- or 15-year-old buses to newer buses are educated on the new technology and how they should work with it.

The company also invites mechanics from every school district in the state, as well as authorized service center mechanics, to training classes twice a year. Kerlin trains on Thomas Built’s electrical equipment, and it also uses one whole day to instruct on different components of the buses.

Zehr says that the training teaches technicians how to troubleshoot issues using computerized diagnostic equipment, check a bus’ performance and check the fuel mileage of the bus. Technicians are also trained to go online to get the latest information on their buses and to download wiring diagrams.

“Being a mechanic is more than just being able to turn wrenches,” Zehr says.

He also notes that the training is very hands on, and that Kerlin tries to break down the information to make it simpler with less technical terminology. Zehr says he believes this is important because the technicians have to know what is happening and what they are looking at to be able to fix it.

“Knowledge is priceless, as I always say,” he adds.

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Kerlin Bus Sales has always help our school system any time we call or email for help or assistance with any issue we may have had with a school bus. The Kerlin family business has supported many school systems with their service long after the sale. Thomas Buses sell themselves. Tech support is as close as the telephone. Very knowledgeable technicians. Kerlin's are second to none! Great people to work with. Dan - Bedford, Indiana.

Dan Luttrell    |    Oct 02, 2012 06:39 PM

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