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Bus News & Bus Related Press Releases

Great Dane Adds Silver State Truck & Trailer as its Newest AdvantEDGE Service Provider

August 18, 2016

(Savannah, GA ¬– August 18, 2016) Silver State Truck & Trailer of Las Vegas, Nevada, has signed on as the newest authorized service provider for Great Dane’s AdvantEDGE National Aftermarket Parts & Service program. Silver State Truck & Trailer has been providing high-quality, reliable trailer repair to the Las Vegas area since 2012. 
“We are excited to have Silver State Truck & Trailer as an AdvantEDGE service provider. The company’s after-hours service capabilities and staff of fully-trained technicians make it an excellent addition to the AdvantEDGE network,” said Randy Gosson, National Account Sales Manager. 
Silver State Truck & Trailer uses the latest ABS scanning equipment to eliminate guesswork and ensure there is minimal equipment downtime. The company has a 10-acre yard, a 12-bay tractor service department and a five-bay trailer shop. Two mobile trucks are available for off-site services.
Visit Silver State Truck & Trailer online at:
Great Dane's National Aftermarket Parts and Service Program provides access to features to streamline the functions of parts and service centers, including ordering, pricing and invoicing. The AdvantEDGE network consists of more than 115 Parts and Service locations in the U.S. and Canada, serving over 130 fleets.
For more information about Great Dane AdvantEDGE, please contact Randy Gosson, National Account Sales Manager, at
Additional information about the AdvantEDGE program is also available at
About Great Dane
Great Dane is the leading manufacturer of high-performance commercial transportation equipment, including dry and refrigerated trailers and truck bodies, as well as steel, aluminum and combo platform trailers. Great Dane has a storied history in the commercial trucking industry and is a driving force in trailer technology, innovation, quality and customer service. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and with additional corporate offices in Savannah, Georgia, Great Dane has manufacturing plants strategically located throughout the United States. The company’s network of corporate-owned branches, full-line independent dealers and parts-only independent dealers offers a broad range of distribution points for new and used trailers as well as aftermarket services across North and South America. Visit Great Dane online at

VVG pleased to announce acquisition of Big T's Freightliner in Oxnard, CA

August 21, 2014

Brad Fauvre and I are very pleased to announce that the company has agreed to purchase Big T’s Freightliner in Oxnard CA.  This will extend our service area North into the Ventura county and allow us to offer our customers an even greater support base for Southern California.  All in all we believe they will be a very nice addition to the VVG family. 
This expansion is particularly exciting in light of the strong team in Oxnard.  The operation there is well respected with a full crew of seasoned professionals in each department.  The facility was custom built as a Freightliner dealership so it has everything needed to support our customers. 
Torben (Big T) and Adrienne Frederickson have been the owners for more than 30 years.  They have built a very nice business and will be moving on to a well-deserved next chapter in their lives and we wish them all the best.  They certainly have much to be proud of in the operation they built and the strength of the team that we will inherit. 
The deal is set to close over the Labor Day weekend and we will welcome their employees and customers and take over operations on Tuesday morning September 2nd. 

- Conan Barker,
President of Velocity Vehicle Group.

{download PDF press release here}


Back to School Photo Contest

July 24, 2014

Last year, five schools across country each earned a $2,000 donation from Thomas Built Buses through the annual Back to School Photo Contest. This year, it could be your school!

To celebrate riding the big yellow school bus back to school, Thomas Built Buses is once again hosting their annual Back to School Photo Contest. This contest is your chance to share one of your best Back to School photos and possibly win a $2,000 donation to your school.

Buswest will give your school district in addition to the TBB award,  a $500.00 gift certificate for parts and or service and the Sales person a $500.00 spiff. 

To enter, visit the Thomas Built Buses Facebook page ( between August 1 and September 15, "Like" the page, and click on the special "Back to School Photo Contest" tab. Enter a photo that best represents the fun, excitement or nostalgia of riding the bus and the Back to School season.

On September 16, the voting period begins for all eligible photos. Ask your friends and family to vote once per day for your photo. Then, on October 1, the top 50 winning photos from the popular vote will be reviewed by a panel of independent judges who will choose the top five final winners.

Five winners will each receive a $2,000 donation for the school of their choice. Plus, the winning photos may be used on the Thomas Built website and in local, regional or nationa l media. To view full contest rules or to learn more, visit

Be creative, have fun, and show us what your school.

Like us on Facebook to keep up to date on the latest goings on in the School Bus Industry.

BusWest of Las Vegas

August 26, 2013

James P. Bernacchi, President of BusWest headquartered in Carson, CA is pleased to announce that Buswest has acquired the Thomas Built Bus Dealership for Nevada from Auto Safety House , headquartered in Phoenix, AZ.

This change will allow Thomas Built Bus customers to be serviced by a facility located in Nevada, something that no other school bus company can offer. BusWest and Auto Safety House will work closely together over the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition without an interruption in customer services.

BusWest is a division of the Velocity Vehicle Group with sales and service locations throughout California, Nevada and Hawaii. Auto Safety House, founded in 1941, serves customers throughout Arizona with the sale of buses (new and pre-owned, school, and commercial) truck equipment, work truck accessories, trailer parts and equipment, emergency lighting and service. Thomas Built Buses is the leading manufacturer of School buses in North America and a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America, LLC.

BusWest of Las Vegas and Silver State Truck and Trailer are a complete Thomas Built Bus full service facility with fully trained and certified technicians. We also have a complete rangeof all Thomas Built Bus aftermarket parts along with a state of the art Heavy Duty collision facility. The Nevada BusWest dealership operations will take place alongside Silver State Truck & Trailer out of our North Las Vegas facility which is located at 3701 Freightliner Drive, North Las Vegas, NV 89081.

BusWest looks forward to working with all of the school districts, charter and private schools in Nevada to support their school bus operations. In the next few months our School bus professionals will be contacting you to introduce themselves on a more personal basis. Thanks for your continued support of the Thomas Built School Bus Products.


Todd Franssen
Manager of Southern California and Nevada
New School Bus Sales
Office (310) 984-3916   Cell (310) 357-0868
Email >
David Wronka
Manager of Used School Bus Sales
Office (909) 510-5028  Cell (909) 534-4227
Email >
Mike Summerhays
General Parts Manager Silver State Truck & Trailer/BusWest
Office (702) 940-6005  Cell (702) 569-7830
Email >
Chris Carmen
General Parts Manager BusWest
Office (909) 770-5189  Cell (559) 903-5335
Email >

Bill Webb
Service Manager
Office (702) 643-0484
Email >

George Reyes
Body Shop Manager
Office (702) 940-6033
Email >
Brian Chapman
General Manager, Silver State Truck & Trailer/BusWest
Office (702) 643-6011
Email >
James P. Bernacchi
President BusWest
Office (310) 984-3901  Cell (407) 361-0322
Email >


SCAQMD’s 2013 “A World We Can Change” High School Conference & Expo

March 13, 2013

Thank you for BusWest’s sponsorship and participation in the exhibit hall at the SCAQMD’s 2013 “A World We Can Change” High School Conference & Expo. We had roughly 7,000 students and teachers in attendance, and it was a huge success, in no small part because of you and your company’s sponsorship and participation.

KTLA’s 10 o’clock news had a 1 min 30 sec spot on the event all filmed in the exhibit hall. It definitely includes some good exposure for natural gas school buses, and I do believe it is your bus Lu Parker is highlighting in her news clip. Their website has an article at this link along with the video spot available for viewing:


Drue Ann Hargis
Contracts & Events/MSRC Admin Liaison
SCAQMD - Technology Advancement Office


TBB Competitive Advantage Memo

March 11, 2013

Just a reminder that all Thomas Built Buses meet the Greenhouse Gas 2014 (GHG14) regulation WITHOUT requiring customers to have regulatory vehicle speed limiters (VSL) or automatic engine shutdown (AES).

We can do this because DTNA's leadership position in fuel efficient vehicles gives our customers flexibility to choose the technology that works best for their business. Our Cummins engines meet the GHG14 regulations WITHOUT the need to use VSL or AES.

This is a big competitive advantage for you and us.

What is GHG14?
GHG14 is a mandatory CO2 emissions regulation that starts in 2014. The EPA and NHTSA aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while improving fuel economy within the heavy duty truck market. To do this, the EPA has developed a computer model to estimate a truck’s CO2 emissions. The input factors for this calculation include aerodynamics, tires, speed limiters, idle shutdown features, and weight reduction.

What is the impact on our customers?
Ultimately, they will have more fuel efficient engines which translate into the potential for significant fuel savings. They will have the same vehicle options as today with a shift toward more fuel savings components with no need for radical new technologies or significant changes to the engine.

From: Mario DiFoggio

Christopher Carmen new General Parts Manager

November 06, 2012


I am pleased to announce the appointment of Christopher Carmen as General Parts Manager for BusWest. Chris has over 18 years experience in the aftermarket parts business and most recently owned and operated his own parts business (Patriot Automotive Distributor) in Fresno, California.
Chris will be replacing Randy Baker who has accepted a position with our sister company San Diego Freightliner.
Chris will be responsible for all aspects of the BusWest parts business; he will work very closely with Denny Stevenson to help take advantage of all synergies between BusWest and the Velocity Vehicle group of companies. With Chris’ experience and background he will add to the depth and strength of our experienced School Bus parts organization to expand our aftermarket parts business to support the entire School Bus and related niche market.
As General Parts Manger of BusWest, Chris will work directly for me and will also have a very strong dotted line responsibility to Denny Stevenson the Vice President of Aftermarket parts.
Chris will be located in Fontana at the BusWest/Transwest location; he can be reached at extension # 5189 or direct line (909) 770-5189, , cell (559) 903-5335
Please join me in welcoming Chris to the BusWest Family and the Velocity Vehicle Group organization.
James P. Bernacchi

Ken Takata New Sales Manager in Hawaii

September 10, 2012

 For Immediate Release:

BusWest Hawaii New Sales Manager Announcement, Ken Takata
James P. Bernacchi, President of BusWest, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ken Takata as Sales Manager of BusWest Hawaii. Ken and his wife reside in Maui and will work out of our Kapolei office in Oahu. Ken has been in the School Bus Business for over 23 years. All of his school bus experience has been with Thomas Built Buses. He spent 11 years working for Thomas Built Buses as a Regional Sales and Marketing Manager. He also owned his own Thomas Built Bus Dealership for over 12 years while operating a fleet of 25 units being contracted by the local school districts. 
Ken will bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and professionalism to BusWest Hawaii and the Thomas Built Products. He will be responsible for all sales activity in Hawaii for the exception of Akita Bus Service and Yamaguchi Bus Service, Inc. which for the present time will continue to me managed by Tom Hollenbeck. 
We welcome Ken to the BusWest and Thomas Built Bus family and look forward to his knowledge and experience with Thomas Built Buses to enhance our presence in the Hawaiian market. Ken will answer directly to me. 
BusWest is the Bus transportation equipment division of the Velocity Vehicle Group, headquartered in Whittier, California. The Velocity Vehicle Group includes: BusWest, Los Angeles Freightliner, Las Vegas Freightliner, San Diego Freightliner, Crossroads Financial, Performance Truck and Trailer, Velocity Truck and Rental Leasing and others. The Velocity Vehicle Group also distributes commercial vehicles for Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star, Autocar, Hino, Isuzu, Ford, Fuso, and Mitsubishi. 
We will continue our partnership with Ryusaki General Repair, Inc. also located in Kapolei. Owners Gerald and Tessie Ryusaki will continue to facilitate all matters of customer service, part support, and warranty repair. We are very fortunate to have a partner like the Ryusaki’s in Hawaii. Gerald and Tessie have an undisputable reputation of offering first class customer service and support. 
Please join me in welcoming Ken Takata to BusWest Hawaii. Ken can be reached at (808) 264-5843 or

School Bus Mechanic Trainig

August 22, 2012


CARSON, CA (August 2012) –  BUSWEST  hosted three full days of Thomas Built Buses mechanic training classes in Modesto, CA.  Over fifty technicians from twenty five different school districts and agencies were in attendance.
Daryl Trueblood, BUSWEST factory-certified trainer, was pleased with the extensive participation over the three days of training. “With a mix of classroom and hands-on training, I was delighted with how attentive my students were. They were there to learn and were able to bring great information back to their bus garage.”
The curriculum is designed to complement existing school bus maintenance programs and includes training on EPA Emissions Systems, Advanced Electrical, Maintenance, Utilizing Websites and Wire Diagrams, and C2 Multiplex troubleshooting and service link. In addition to the Modesto classes, BUSWEST completed a two-day Carrier training class for thirty-two technicians at Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).  LAUSD operates over 400 of these A/C systems.
BUSWEST knows what it takes to keep school buses running efficiently and reliably and we pride ourselves in sharing that knowledge with industry technicians.
BUSWEST, with three locations throughout the state, has been California’s Thomas Built Bus Dealer since 2001. Leading the state with green technology buses and part sales, BUSWEST is the premier school bus dealer in California.
BUSWEST, headquartered in Carson, CA, is a division of Velocity Vehicle Group, the largest Truck and bus dealer in California. Representing, Freightliner, Thomas Built Buses, Ford, Hino, ISUZU just to name a few.

Crossroads revamps website!

July 30, 2012

Crossroads Equipment Lease & Finance launched their new website today. Offering a much more indepth resource to the trucking industry. Aimed to highlight the various programs and financing services available to California, Nevada & more, Crossroads unique position in the truck finance and lease market allows them to deliver the best vehicle financing solutions to our customers.

Visit to learn more about how they can help you finance your next vehicle purchase.


February 03, 2012

– Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) announced today that it has received certification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (ARB) for two new school bus ratings. These new ratings for the ISB6.7 are certified at 0.20g Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) per brake horsepower hour without the use of
emissions credits. They include offerings of 220 hp (164 kW) with 520 lb-ft (705 N•m) of torque and 250 hp (186 kW) with 660 lb-ft of torque (895 N•m).

The ability to deliver these new ratings can be attributed to Cummins total system integration, from the air intake to the exhaust aftertreatment system, with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology, all of which are designed and developed in house. This system integration, coupled with the highly capable base engine, results in the ability to deliver nearzero emissions without compromising fuel economy, reliability or durability.

“This is a great example of Cummins capability to deliver the cleanest diesel engines to the school bus market while continuing to validate that we are on the right path with SCR technology,” stated Tom Hodek, General Manager – North American Bus Business. Currently, Cummins is the only diesel engine manufacturer with school bus ratings that meet
the 0.20g-NOx standard without the use of emissions credits. The certification of these new ratings has been achieved without any hardware or software changes to the ISB6.7 engine. “We confirmed, through two years of experience with the product, that these ratings are operating well below the 0.20g-NOx level and will continue to do so through the life of the engine,” stated Hodek.

The ISB6.7 continues to deliver the optimum balance of fuel economy, performance and emissions control across the entire operating range for the school bus market. As a leader in clean diesel technology, Cummins is committed to meeting the needs of its customers, which will now include the ability to meet all bid specifications that require an engine to be certified at 0.20g NOx without the use of emissions credits. “Engines using credits are compliant and overall produce a benefit to the environment, however, many municipalities require 0.20g- NOx ratings certified without credits. Now we will be able to deliver this along with industryleading fuel economy and strong performance in our ISB6.7 engine,” stated Hodek. Cummins will begin production of these ratings for the ISB6.7 in February.

Cummins also has announced that its school bus engines will meet both the 2013 On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) requirements and the 2014 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) standards on Jan. 1, 2013. Customers in the school bus market will in turn benefit from a single product launch in 2013 that will meet both OBD and GHG requirements.

About Cummins Inc.
About Cummins Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, (USA)
Cummins employs approximately 44,000 people worldwide and serves customers in approximately 190 countries and territories through a network of more than 600 company-owned and independent distributor locations and approximately 6,500 dealer locations. Cummins earned $1.85 billion on sales of $18.0 billion in 2011. Press releases can be found on the Web at


January 30, 2012

A-Z Bus Sales, Inc. and BusWest LLC announced today the completion of the acquisition of the cutaway Bus Assets from Carson, California based BusWest LLC. Under this agreement A-Z Bus Sales Inc. has purchased from BusWest LLC all of the cutaway bus, commercial and transit assets.

“BusWest LLC as a Division of Velocity Vehicle Group will continue to market and sell the Thomas Built School Buses in California and Hawaii, along with the Caio Coach Products. BusWest LLC will also continue to offer complete warranty services, parts and technical support for school buses, tour coaches and other specialty vehicles.” said Jim Bernacchi President of BusWest LLC.

Director of Sales and Marketing Ed King stated that this asset acquisition from BusWest LLC of their commercial and transit bus business which represents a major provider of cutaway buses to the state of California, Arizona and Hawaii. “Under this agreement we will pick up the additional territories outside of California.”

President and CEO of A-Z Bus Sales, Inc. Jim Reynolds stated, “A-Z Bus Sales Inc. is extremely proud to announce this asset acquisition. We welcome the new products along with the Commercial and Transit Sales organization of BusWest, LLC into the A-Z Bus Sales Family”.

About A-Z Bus Sales, Inc.:
A-Z Bus Sales, Inc. is an employee owned company specializing in transportation solutions for the government, public sector, and education market, commercial and private fleets. A-Z Bus Sales offers products from 8 of the largest school bus and commercial bus manufactures. A-Z Bus Sales provides sales and service for new and used buses, financing of all buses through a large nationwide network and offer parts and services including emissions testing, diesel engine retrofits and warranty repairs. A-Z Bus Sales has two locations in California, in Colton and Sacramento.

About BusWest LLC:
BusWest, LLC ( is a full spectrum passenger transportation equipment solution provider headquartered in Carson, California. BusWest has five bus service facilities in California, Nevada and Hawaii offering complete warranty services, parts and technical support for school buses, tour coaches and other specialty vehicles. BusWest carries the following bus brands: Thomas Built Buses and Caio North America.

Napa Valley receives Hybrid School Buses

September 05, 2011

The Napa Valley Unified School District has been awarded seven new hybrid school buses, thanks to a grant from local air quality agencies.

The school buses will join the district’s fleet in November or December.

The buses range in price from about $147,000 to $190,000, said Ralph Knight, supervisor of transportation for the school district. A standard diesel bus is about $100,000.

The hybrid buses were paid for by the Air Resource Board — which provided a $20,000 voucher for each bus — and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which provided the rest of the funding, using money from Assembly Bill 118, Knight said. The legislation provides grants for the development and use of alternative fuel and vehicle technologies.

Five of the seven buses will be 71-passenger Thomas C2e Hybrids, which run on a combination of low-sulfur diesel and an electric motor, Knight said.

The two other buses, made by Collins Bus Corporation in partnership with Azure Dynamics, will have a 15-passenger capacity, including one wheelchair space, he said. These smaller buses run on a combination of gasoline and an electric motor.

The larger hybrid buses are expected to get at least 10 miles per gallon — that’s about 4 extra miles, or 40 percent more efficient, compared to standard diesel buses, Knight said.

The new hybrid buses will be replacing seven older diesel buses, which will all be dismantled.

Napa Valley Unified has about 65 buses in its fleet, at least 40 of which are larger buses that run on natural gas, Knight said. The remaining buses are smaller and most run on biofuel. One of those smaller buses is a plug-in hybrid that gets 14 miles per gallon and is starting its fourth school year with the district.

With the new acquisitions, “I have no big diesel buses on the road today,” Knight said.

Read more at Napa Valley Online >

BusWest Hawaii

July 28, 2011


Kapolei, Hawaii, July 28, 2011 — BusWest announces today that it has opened a new sales office in Hawaii, in the town of Kapolei on the island of Oahu. BusWest has been issued a motor vehicle dealer license by the state of Hawaii and is fully licensed to sell new motor vehicles.
Key to the company’s progress in Hawaii is its partnership with Ryusaki General Repair, Inc., also located in Kapolei. Owners Gerald and Tessie Ryusaki will facilitate all matters of customer service, parts support and warranty repair with their capable staff. “We are very fortunate to have a partner like the Ryusaki’s in Hawaii. Gerald and Tessie have an undisputable reputation of offering first class customer service, “said James P. Bernacchi, President of BusWest.
“We’ve invested much into the Hawaiian market already, now BusWest Hawaii is fully prepared to begin selling and servicing buses with true aloha spirit. The team that we’ve created will bring the best value and best service to the islands, “said Tom Hollenbeck, National Sales Manager for BusWest. Tom who manages all sales in Hawaii and the Pacific Rim can be reached at (877) 285-0051.
“BusWest has been a good partner to Ryusaki as we continue to grow and expand our parts and service offerings on Oahu. We have been fortunate to experience significant growth and partnering with BusWest will help us serve more customers, “expressed Gerald Ryusaki. “I think Gerald is really glad to be getting back more involved in buses, “said Tessie Ryusaki.
“We have long-term relationships with many of the operators in Hawaii and this investment is a demonstration of our commitment to these customers and the state of Hawaii,” said Bernacchi. “This office is our first step; we are working to expand to other islands as speak.”
BusWest has six locations in California, Hawaii and Nevada and selling and servicing buses by Thomas Built Buses, Elkhart Coach, Ameritrans, Caio North America, Starcraft, and Foton. BusWest serves customers in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Hawaii.
BusWest is the passenger transportation equipment division of Velocity Vehicle Group headquartered in Whittier, California. Velocity Vehicle Group companies include: BusWest, Los Angeles Freightliner, Las Vegas Freightliner, San Diego Freightliner, Crossroads Financial, Performance Truck and Trailer and others. Velocity Vehicle Group also distributes commercial vehicles for Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star, Autocar, Hino, Isuzu, Ford, Fuso, and Mitsubishi.

Del Norte County Unified School District

May 23, 2011

"The Transportation Team of Del Norte County Unified School District loves our four new Thomas HDX 2010 buses with the Cummins engines that we received in October 2010 with grant monies from ARB.

We were so impressed with them that when we were awarded money for four more buses I immediately ordered Thomas HDX buses with the Cummins engines. If we have any problems (which are few) the service department is excellent and very helpful, they aim to please! Our salesman, Tom Scheidt, is the greatest!! He is so helpful and always returns my phone calls and or e-mails immediately. THANKS TOM!

Here are the three happy mechanics from Del Norte county Unified School District knowing they have eight new buses in the fleet.
Pat Jensen (Director of Transportation) and Rodney Jahn (Deputy Superintendent) are pictured with the latest delivery."

Pat Jensen
Director of Transportation
Del Norte County Unified School district
Crescent City, Ca.


- Great Dane added to Vegas!
- August 18, 16

- Big T's joins VVG
- August 21, 14

- Back to School Photo Contest
- July 24, 14

- BusWest of Las Vegas
- August 26, 13

- High School Conference & Expo
- March 13, 13

- TBB Competitive Advantage
- March 11, 13

- Christopher Carmen new GPM
- November 06, 12

- Ken Takata New Sales Manager
- September 10, 12

- School Bus Mechanic Traning
- August 22, 12

- Crossroads launches a new site
- July 30, 12

- Cummins for School buses
- February 03, 12

- BusWest sells assets to AZ Bus
- January 30, 12

- Hybrid Buses for Napa Valley
- September 05, 11

- BusWest Hawaii
- July 28, 11

- Del Norte County USD
- May 23, 11