Omniplus BusTech Challenge 2023/24: Daimler Buses has selected the best bus and coach mechanic in Europe

  • Pure excitement: at the BusTech Challenge, Daimler Buses has honoured the best of the best among bus and coach mechanics and technicians for the sixth time
  • Over 500 participants from Omniplus service centres in 19 European countries
  • Gold medal: Thomas Schlatter from Switzerland is the best bus and coach mechanic in Europe
  • Top service due to top bus and coach mechanics: Omniplus ensures premium service quality for Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses and touring coaches

Leinfelden-Echterdingen / Munich – On 25 April 2024, the Omniplus service brand of Daimler Buses again sent out a strong message demonstrating the high standard of its service quality and its service personnel: Thomas Schlatter from Switzerland is the winner of the BusTech Challenge 2023/24. At the award ceremony in Munich, he was awarded the gold medal and the title of “BusTech Master Europe”. Lukas Schindler from Germany received the silver medal for second place. The bronze medal went to Jan van Steeg from the Netherlands.

The BusTech Challenge is an internal competition taking place according to the motto “Compete with friends”. This year, it was held for the sixth time. More than 500 bus and coach mechanics and technicians from authorised Omniplus service centres in 19 European countries took part in it and competed against each other. In both theory and practise all participants had to perform outstandingly to achieve top placings in the BusTech Challenge.

“We are excited about the great response to the BusTech Challenge 2023/24 in the Omniplus service operations and about the extensive expertise of the employees working in after-sales at Daimler Buses. With this demanding competition, we not only want to strengthen the network of our employees, but above all regard the Challenge as an important sign of motivation and appreciation for the participants”, emphasises Mirko Sgodda, Head of Marketing, Sales and Customer Services Daimler Buses.

“BusTech Master”: top-level performance in both theory and practice

For many years, Omniplus determines the best bus and coach mechanics and technicians in Europe and awards the title of “BusTech Master” to the respective national winners of the BusTech Challenge which usually takes place every other year. In the grand final, the national winners have to prove their practical skills in maintenance and repair of Mercedes-Benz and Setra city buses, intercity buses and touring coaches. The overall winner receives the “BusTech Master Europe” award. Staff members from all Omniplus service centres and contract partners in Europe can participate in the BusTech Challenge.

The competition occurs straightforward and transparent. The Challenge consists of three digital qualifying rounds to determine the individual winner of the respective country and is then followed by the final. This is a two-day final contest for all national winners from Europe traditionally taking place at Neu-Ulm. Only specific questions and tasks concerning high-voltage technology as well as hydrogen and fuel cell technology are excluded to ensure equality of all participating service centres.

Details about the BusTech Challenge 2023/24

Starting in autumn 2023, the theoretical knowledge about bus and coach technology, maintenance and repair of the more than 500 registered participants was tested in a challenging online questionnaire test comprising 24 technical questions. This was followed by a second online test with another 24 questions for the 200 employees who had successfully passed Qualifying 1. In a third online test which was held in the form of a live online session, the “BusTech Master” of each individual country was determined.

Following their success in the online question rounds, on 23 and 24 April 2024 the 18 national champions of the Omniplus bus mechanics and technicians competed against each other in the final round at Neu-Ulm. In the course of this final, they demonstrated their practical

skills and completed the tricky tasks from various technical areas with flying colours. At a total of eleven different stations, the mechanics for example had to repair faults in the air-conditioning system of a bus, find and eliminate the cause for a total failure of the electrical system or repair the doors of a city bus. Attractive prizes such as workshop trolleys or workshop cases were waiting for the first to third place winners of the BusTech Challenge 2023/24.