Mission Statement

Kerlin Bus Sales, your partner in transportation, is committed to serving above and beyond the expectations of all customers with honesty, integrity, and respect.


The Kerlin family has been meeting transportation needs since 1927 when Russell Kerlin founded Kerlin Motor Company. In 1962, his son, Ed, entered the bus industry by selling his first Thomas Built Bus; Kerlin Bus Sales was founded.

Kerlin Bus Sales has been a member of the Thomas dealer network since 1963. We have been a member of the prestigious Thomas President’s Club for outstanding service and performance since 1972, as well as two time recipient of the Dealer of the Year Award. For over 50 years, Kerlin Bus Sales and the Kerlin family have been serving the transportation needs of schools, agencies, organizations, institutions, and companies.

We carry a full line of Thomas products ranging from 14 passenger activity buses to large-size commercial vehicles. Thomas Built Buses have long been known for their sturdy construction, safety features, and lasting performance. We carry the Thomas line so we can provide our customers with the best and safest buses on the market. Please visit us to see how we can help meet your transportation needs.​

Meet Our Friendly Staff

Executive Staff

  • Clifford Zehr - President

    Cliff has 30 years experience in the school bus industry and is also on the Indiana School Bus Safety Committee. He has also served on the Dealer Advisory Counsel for Thomas Built Buses.

  • Melanie Zehr - VP of Operations

    Melanie has been with Kerlin Bus Sales full time since 2005. She has worked in most departments and helps oversee parts and service as well as marketing. Melanie also handles technical computer and camera information.

  • Kelly Moore - General Manager

    Kelly joined the Kerlin Bus Sales team in 2016, but is not new to school bus transportation. He spent several years as a manufacturer's rep for IMMI in Westfield, IN. Kelly's will continue to cover central Indiana during an interim period.

Service Staff

  • Allen Black - Field Service Manager / Trainer

    Allen Black has been employed at Kerlin Bus Sales for 11 years. Prior to Kerlin Bus Sales, Allen had over 25 years of experience in the trucking industry. Allen is an ASE Master Mechanic and Braun lift certified.

  • John Rhoads - Service Manager / Trainer

    John has been with Kerlin Bus Sales for 8 years. John started with school buses at Bobby’s Truck and Bus in Ohio. John often times works closely with engineers from Thomas and Freightliner to diagnose and correct issues.

  • Carmen Evans - Service Coordinator

    Carmen has been with Kerlin Bus Sales since 2008, and was previously with the State Highway Department as Parts Inventory Manager. Carmen works closely with our parts and service departments keeping everything moving smoothly.

  • Gene Noble - Field Service Technician

    Gene joined Kerlin Bus Sales in 2017 as a field service technician. Gene is based out of his home in the Indianapolis area. Gene worked for a school corporation for several years before moving to Indy. We are excited to bring him back to the school bus world.

  • Jason Farlow - Field Service Technician

    Jason joined Kerlin Bus Sales in 2018 as a field service technician. Jason is based out of the Fort Wayne area. Jason has a long history in the transportation world and we are glad to have him on the Kerlin team.

  • Rick Baldwin - Field Service

    Rick is based out of the Indianapolis area. We are glad to have Rick with us.

Parts Staff

  • Thad Leininger - Parts Manager

    Thad joined the Kerlin Bus Sales team in 2008, starting in shipping and receiving. Thad is now the parts manager and coordinates all aspects of the parts department.

  • Jay Smith - Lead Parts Analyst

    Jay has been with Kerlin Bus Sales since 2003. He worked in the shop before moving to parts where he spent many years learning under Richard Kerlin. Jay also helps train our customers on parts lookups.

  • Royce Wright - Account Manager

    Joining us in 2011, Royce has a strong mechanical and parts background. Royce has brought an expertise in A/C parts to Kerlin Bus Sales.

  • Gary Grimm - Parts Analyst

    Gary joined the Kerlin Bus Team in 2016. Gary brings many years of customer service to the parts team and is quickly learning transportation.

  • Wendy Simpson - Parts Clerk/Inventory

    Wendy previously handled our shipping and receiving in the parts department but has moved into the office to streamline our ordering and receiving, as well as serve as a resource to our customers.

  • Brad Tennant - Shipping and Recieving

    Brad joined the parts team in 2018 as a shipper receiver. We are excited to have him as part of our parts team.

  • Chuck Abel - Account Manager

    Chuck joined us in 2019 as a remote Parts Analyst and Account Manager for Central Indiana. Chuck has a vast amount of industry knowledge and is very versed on all the Thomas/ Freightliner Part Systems.

Sales Staff

  • Roger Bradford - Sales Manager

    Roger has been in the transportation industry for 29 years and with KBS since 1998. Roger has built strong relationships with many KBS customers and Thomas personnel.

  • Christine Cripe - Sales Coordinator

    Christine has been with Kerlin Bus Sales since 1995. She builds and orders all of our buses.

  • Dave Dorsett - Regional Account Manager

    Dave joined Kerlin Bus Sales in 2017. Dave lives in the Martinsville area and will cover southern Indiana as his territory of responsibility.

  • Steve Holloway - Regional Account Manager

    Steve joined Kerlin Bus Sales in January of 2017 after many years in HR roles. Steve's main area of responsibility is Northern Indiana.

  • Brad Newman - Regional Account Manager

    Brad has joined Kerlin Bus Sales in mid 2020. While he is busy learning the product during this time, he cannot wait to get out and start to meet customers when it is safe for all to do so.

Warrantee Staff

  • Tracy Hobbs - Warranty Administrator

    Tracy has been with KBS since 2008 as our warranty administrator. She is in charge of filing all warranties with Freightliner and Thomas, and also helps collect needed paperwork for CPWAs and Service Centers.

Office Staff

  • Richard Harrold - Office Manager / A/P

    Richard has been with Kerlin Bus Sales since 2004. Richard oversees many facets of the office operation.

  • Kathy Douglass - Receptionist/ Titles

    Kathy has been with Kerlin Bus Sales since 2008. She prepares all paperwork for new buses and can answer many questions about titles and paperwork needed.

  • Marsha Arnett - A/R

    Marsha has been with KBS since 2011. She is responsible for AR and also helps with receptionist duties.

  • Ben Wagner - HR/AP

    Ben has been on staff here at for many years. We were excited for him to have the chance to use his newly earned degree, moving into our front office as HR and Account Payable.