In 1997, Overland Charters began in El Dorado, Kansas. It started with one converted Blue Bird School bus operating out of a shared building. The company has grown to over 30 buses and has a state of the art facility in Wichita, Kansas, operations in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex and throughout Oklahoma along with a fleet of Prevost Luxury Motor Coaches.
The company has grown based on a simple factor – customer service. The entire story is one of perseverance, vision and hard work.
In high school, and to this day, Overland Charters Founder and President Kelly Fankhauser has enjoyed snow skiing. He took numerous motor coach trips to Colorado and became entranced by the motor coach industry. Most young people in high school might dream about having a business but Kelly was different – he acted on it. As a senior he not only started a motor coach tour company, he did this while owning the largest lawn treatment company in Butler County, the largest county in Kansas – all at 18 years old.
Overland Tours setup ski trips and other tours over the next few years contracting existing bus companies to provide the transportation. At 24, when his lawn care business was growing and stable, Kelly acted on his ultimate goal – he started a motor coach company. Starting conservatively and in a financially prudent manner, he bought a used Blue Bird school bus, painted it, replaced the seats, added a restroom and began booking trips. One of his first trips was from Wichita, Kansas to Washington D.C. Shortly after Overland Tours came into business Kelly changed the name to Overland Charters. That name more reflected the direction of the company as a motor coach charter company versus a tour company.
Today, more than 20 years later, Overland Charters has grown from it’s El Dorado, Kansas shared location. It is now headquartered in Wichita Kansas and has expanded into the DFW Metroplex along with the entire state of Oklahoma. The company has grown from one Blue Bird bus to a full fleet of Prevost motor coaches traveling throughout the continental United States and Canada. The company is also developed expertise in shuttle programs. With a fleet of shuttle buses, Overland Charters gets rave reviews from customers on timeliness, professionalism and customer service. The Company services Colleges, Businesses, and Non-profit organizations with year-round programs.
Overland Charters’ success is built on the most important philosophy Kelly has lived by in his businesses life — NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN CUSTOMER SERVICE. He stresses this daily to all his employees. The emphasis of Customer Service runs throughout his company – from mechanics, to professional drivers and to office staff. Overland Charters’ employees know that they are a part of that “Customer Service Team”. That philosophy is ingrained in all decisions made at Overland Charters.
The Company continues to grow with innovations in the Motorcoach Industry. Kelly knew that technology changes also effected the traveling public. He began purchasing new Motorcoaches with 110 outlets at every seat. He also had every current motorcoach retrofitted with 110 outlets becoming one of the first carrier to have their entire fleet with 110 outlets. He also researched and found Wi-Fi that is either Verizon or Sprint coverage for every Motorcoach. Today, every motorcoach has 110 outlets and Wi-Fi.
Overland Charters will continue to grow using Customer Service, Technology changes and some of the best drivers in the industry!
Overland Charters began in El Dorado, Kansas in 1997 with one converted Blue Bird School bus. We now have over 30 buses, with a state of the art facility in Wichita, KS and operations in Dallas, TX and Oklahoma.
Starting in 1997, Overland Charters has been expanding and growing every since! We moved to Wichita, KS in 2001 and expanded our fleet in 2002. We have continued to grow and bring new services online all the time!
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