Maintenance Challenge winners take pride in their work.
July 13, 2017 | by Rick Stoff
While many competitors cram book study and practice into the days before the annual United Motorcoach Association Maintenance Challenge, this year’s top finishers simply followed their personal Zen of motorcoach maintenance.
“If you don’t prepare you are wide open for whatever they throw at you,” said the 2017 Maintenance Challenge Grand Champion, Tim Brown of Huskey Trailways in Festus, Mo.
“I guess I prepared by working on these things every day. People say, ‘Once you work on buses, it gets in your blood.’”
Eric Hale, shop foreman for Holland America-Princess at the McKinley Princess Lodge near Denali State Park in Alaska, was the first runner-up in the 2017 competition, held during UMA Motorcoach Expo in St. Louis.
“I feel pride when I see pictures of my coaches on our trips,” Hale said. “That coach is the representation of me and my company and my guys. Our work is seen by people who are paying good money for their trip. That is a special side of it.”
This year’s second runner-up, Peter Haunold, is shop foreman at the Holland America-Princess shop in Anchorage, Alaska.
“You really have to be serious in this job. You are not hauling produce or freight, you are hauling guests,” Haunold said. “It is critical that our inspections are spot-on.”
“Every time I see one of my coaches on the road, it is like one of my kids. I see the unit number and I can think of particular long nights I spent with it. Every coach has a story. It is neat to see the guests going to Denali and other destinations because of what we do to keep them on the road and keep them safe.”