WHO IS GEARHEAD
Franz Hofmann is the principal manager and founder of Gearhead Consulting, LLC.
THE NAME "GEARHEAD"?
Websters Dictionary explains “Gearhead” as a person who is very
interested in mechanical or technical things (such as cars or
computers). That about sums it up.
Born and raised in Central Texas, Franz has worked in the
transportation industry for five decades. Franz has
expertise in vehicle diagnostics and repair, training, service
and fleet management and all areas of alternative fuels. In
addition, Franz has participated in the research of augmented
diesel supplement fuels, including natural gas, propane and
Franz has interests in composite utility pole distribution,
curriculum development, classic car restomodding, and related
Franz began working in the automotive service industry in
the late 1960's. Franz learned the
intracacies of diagnostics and repair of automobiles and light
to medium trucks working as an apprentice under a master
automotive technician. Franz later managed the business until the
property was sold. Subsequently, Franz
operated his own service garage in Austin, Texas, and later
working for the one of the largest independent service
facilties in the
1984 was a pivotal year. He was invited to
be a telephone guest on an Austin, Texas based radio
program which featured local experts in various occupations.
The on-air host would field telephone calls and forward the questions
to the expert
for their opinion. This short
introduction produced the highest call-in numbers for the time
slot. Soon thereafter Franz became a Saturday morning expert, fielding calls from the Central
Texas area. The "Under The Hood" radio program became the top rated
show in the listening area. Franz was part of a
syndicated radio network with affiliate stations all over
the United States. This venture lasted untiil 1990
when additional work responsibilities necessitated the
retirement from the media.
In 1985, an injury required Franz to
refocus his professional direction. By invitation, Franz
was interviewed and subsequently hired by the City of Austin, managing the
operations of a vehicle maintenance facility with an aggregate
value in excess of 23 million dollars (330 vehicles) and
managing a professional staff of 17
position introduced Franz to various heavy duty street and
maintenance procedures, including vacuum street sweepers, road
maintainers, chip-spreaders, heavy wheel rollers, asphalt
lay-down distributors, and other vehicles. Franz
attended numerous workshops and training seminars, even
attaining operator and service recognition by several
manufacturers. During this period Franz became familiar
with road construction and related road repair procedures.
From 1986 through late 1989, Franz
taught automotive technologies and related industrial trades
at the local community college.
In 1990, he was hired to
be the national director of training and in charge of
prototype vehicle fuel system development for a new company
based in Austin, Texas. That venture took Franz all over
the US training fleets and technical staff on fuel system
operation, diagnostics, and developed prototype fuel systems.
In late 1992, the company unexpectedly ceased operation.
Shortly thereafter, Franz was contracted to provide tech
support for an internationally recognized alternative fuel
system component manufacturer.
In late 1994, Franz was contacted by
the State of Texas Alternative Fuel Division of the Texas
Railroad Commission to provide traiining. This position
continued to evolve into curriculum development, training,
research, and national travel. Franz retired from the
State of Texas in late 2012 but continues to be involved in
the alternative fuel arena.
PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION AND RECOGNITION:
Franz was an early participant in alternative fuels after being
introduced to natural gas powered vehicles in 1972. Often called
one of the “senior” members of the fraternity of alternative fuel
professionals, Franz has been fully active in LPG, CNG, and LNG engine
fuel systems and training technicians to convert vehicles and perform
diagnostics and repairs since 1988.
Franz was one of the first automotive professionals to be certified by
the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence as a Master
Automotive Technician in 1976. In 1986 he added ASE Master Heavy
Duty Truck Technician and in 1992 he added ASE F-1 Alternative Fuels
and L-1 Advanced Vehicle Performance.
In 1999, Franz
received the "Doctor of Motors"
technical certification from Dana University, the technical
education division of
Although Franz has retired from the active automotive service industry,
he has served on multiple ASE advisory taskforces for the development
of new certification examinations, primarily related to alternative
Franz has current certification from the Railroad Commission of Texas as a:
* Category “E” LPG Company Representative;
* Category "L" LPG Engine Fuel;
* Category “III” CNG Company Representative;
* Category 45, LNG Engine Fuel Management;
These are the highest levels of Railroad Commission of Texas
professional certifications for LPG, CNG, and LNG with additional
Franz has recognition by many North American, Australian and European
alternative fuel equipment manufacturers as a qualified installer and
instructor, including the Roush LPPFI, Impco/BRC, and others.
Although based in the United States, Gearhead Consulting has
international travel experience and provides multiple services to the
Franz attended the University of Texas during the late
1970's and early 80's with focuses in mechanical engineering
In the early 1980's Franz attended Austin Community College and
was later invited to become an instructor, teaching various
automotive technologies including:
. . . .and subsequent fields related to
Franz has participated in
student mentoring programs for numerous educational organizations.
information is provided "as is" without any warranty,
condition, or representation of any kind, either expressed
or implied, including but
not limited to, any warranty respecting non-infringement,
and the implied warranties of conditions of
merchantability and fitness for a
particular purpose. In no event shall Franz Hofmann, or
any directors,trustees, associates, or employees thereof
be liable for any direct,
indirect, special, incidental, consequential or other
damages howsoevercaused whether arising in contract, tort,
or otherwise, arising out of
or in connection with the use or performance of the
information contained on this web site.
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in Central Texas
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