Kobussen Trailways’ Dave Meyerhofer three-time champion of UMA Maintenance Competition

Trailways’ signature red logo grabs attention and conveys fun. But that’s not the only reason Trailways-branded coaches look so good going down the road.

Credit also goes to knowledgeable, seasoned mechanics and maintenance teams who can’t be beat for keeping Trailways’ fleets pristine and running to perfection.

Meet Dave Meyerhofer, a lead mechanic at Kobussen Trailways in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. He took first place at the 2022 Maintenance Interchange at UMA Expo in Long Beach, California, marking his third first-place win and seventh trophy in his eight years participating in the industry’s most challenging maintenance competition. Meyerhofer also holds several amateur racecar trophies and works on racecars as a hobby he enjoys with his son.

Dave Meyerhofer (center) wins 2022 UMA Maintenance Competition

Sponsored by ABC Companies, the 24th annual UMA competition includes nearly two dozen professionals, representing motor coach companies across North America, who compete by answering 50 questions on a written test and finding eight to 10 rigged defects on two motor coaches in the fastest time. In the 2022 challenge, Dave Meyerhofer, Kobussen Trailways, was the only one to catch an incorrect rear backup light and achieved the highest overall score, winning the championship and a cash prize of $2,500.

Meyerhofer attributes his mechanical aptitude to growing up on farm where he fixed and repaired machinery. He joined Kobussen Trailways as a mechanic in 1990 out of high school, working on school buses. Now, with a fleet of 1,000 buses of all types, Meyerhofer focuses on his company’s 25 motor coaches and leads a team of technicians at the company’s headquarters. He also trouble-shoots equipment issues at the company’s 22 locations throughout Wisconsin. “I got in with a very good company and plan to finish out my career here,” says Meyerhofer. “I like my work and I treat the coaches like they are my very own.”

Meyerhofer, who has taken “as many technical training courses from manufacturers as possible,” recommends mechanics focus on electronics. “Anybody can change nuts but today’s new buses have 15 computers. You have to keep up your education to excel,” he says.

Excellent roadside assistance is never far away when you’re a Trailways carrier. Meyerhofer knows first-hand the value of Trailways membership. “Breakdowns happen and just recently I contacted Thrasher Brothers Trailways in Alabama for assistance. Alan Thrasher himself went out to look after our coach,” said Meyerhofer. “No one (in Trailways) ever turns anyone away and we won’t either.”

When not at a Kobussen garage, you’ll find Meyerhofer working on his two street stock Chevys, a ’99 Monte Carlo and 2020 Camaro. His racing hobby started when he was 35, leading him to 10 stock car racing wins. Now retired from racing, Meyerhofer volunteers as crew chief for his son and nephew’s racing team that participates in nearly 40 stock car races in the Mid-Am Racing Series each year in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa.

It’s no surprise to learn, after UMA Expo ended and Meyerhofer’s big win, he and his girlfriend hopped in a Ford Explorer rental for a drive-up Pacific Coast Highway to enjoy the open road and scenery all the way to Sacramento. “It was nice to be back at EXPO and represent Kobussen,” he said.

To learn more about the UMA Maintenance challenge click here.


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