Leading the Charge: Thomas Built Buses Certified EV Dealer

Equipment for battery back removal as well as other work related to high voltage system.
Equipment for battery back removal as well as other work related to high voltage system.

We are proud to announce that Sonny Merryman recently completed the TBB (Thomas Built Buses) eMobility readiness program to become a certified EV-ready dealership. TBB debuted the eMobility readiness program to their dealer network in late 2022 to provide dealers with a framework to prepare their facilities to sell and service electric vehicles. The process took the company nearly six months to complete and landed Sonny Merryman among one of the first dealerships in the country to achieve this elite distinction.

“Completing this certification program was a multifaceted but a highly worthwhile endeavor. It has equipped our team with the knowledge, expertise, tools, and facility to confidently support and maintain EVs,” said Brady Childress, Vice President of Parts & Service, whose team led the company’s pursuit of the certification. The program’s comprehensive guidelines covered training, tooling, charging infrastructure, and technical support with an emphasis on safety and quality.

Warning High Voltage Work in Progress Signs
Stanchions used to rope off areas where technicians are working on high-voltage equipment.

Process Improvements. The EV Dealer Standards Checklist provided specific focus areas for process development and improvements. As part of the program requirements, the company developed detailed action plans related to the preparation of electric vehicles for delivery and those receiving service or maintenance. A Sonny Merryman team of HV (high-voltage) specialists played a crucial role in effectively developing and executing the new action plans, which include, lithium-ion battery handling, HV electrical safety, and training for HV emergencies.

Facility and Tooling Updates. The program requires dealerships to have proper tooling for basic HV maintenance and service. For maximum efficiency and safety, Sonny Merryman implemented additional facility and tool upgrades, such as wheel lifts for HV battery replacement, outdoor battery quarantine areas, and physical barriers for HV procedures. In addition, the company also installed several DC (Direct Current) chargers to aid in the delivery and return of vehicles to service.

Employee Training. Training is a core foundation to the eMobility program. Each Sonny Merryman EV technician completed all levels of HV training curriculum to become certified EV technicians. EV decommissioning, commissioning, and support, along with Jouley sales certifications required through the program, have also enhanced the team’s overall knowledge as experts in electric mobility.

Safety Guidelines. As a resource and reminder to team members, proactive measures to ensure safety and efficiency were incorporated, such as safety protocol signage and response guides throughout the Sonny Merryman facility. To promote safety within the community, Sonny Merryman also adopted a process to proactively inform first responders in our customers’ communities on how to properly interact with electric school buses in the event of an emergency.

As a leader in the electric vehicle industry and a trusted partner of our customers, Sonny Merryman is committed to supporting the growth of the EV community with the highest standards of excellence.

Sonny Merryman’s achievement as a TBB certified EV Dealer is testament to our unwavering dedication to unmatched customer service. Through meticulous planning, collaboration, and a strong commitment to safety and training, Team Sonny has set a high standard for others to follow in the EV industry.