Technician competitions foster excellence

The Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) is known for its commercial technician skills competition called SuperTech.  The two-day event features a qualifying round that consists of a three-part written test and some hands-on skills challenges.  Day two is a hands-on skills challenge where only a select group of technicians from the previous day are chosen to participate.

Winning the competition is quite prestigious and brings a lot of attention to the high level of skill needed to be a truck technician today.

If you’re not running some kind of skills competition at your own operation, you might want to think about adding one. Or consider entering your techs in a local, regional or nationwide competitive event.

One good reason to involve your techs in these types of competitions is because they tend to boost morale and it gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their skill levels in a public setting. Call it bragging rights, but everyone likes the chance to be acknowledged as “the best” in their field.

If you are going to set up a competition at your own location, you may want to check out TMC’s How to Conduct a Professional Technician Skills Competition. The brochure suggests doing the following:

  1. Gather support from volunteers to help you organize and run the event
  2. Build partnerships with a variety of trucking industry-related firms
  3. Offer sponsorship opportunities to help defray costs
  4. Hold the competition in conjunction with an existing event to cut down costs
  5. Inform technicians of the rules before the event
  6. Invite students from local vo-tech and high schools to observe
  7. Invite the local media
  8. Invite local law enforcement and transportation department officials

These types of skills competitions are a great way to not only encourage a little friendly competition among your own technicians, but also an opportunity to introduce the next generation of technicians to your fleet. They’ll get to see all the cool diagnostic tools your techs use and will gain a new appreciation of what it means to be a truck technician. Special events like these also serve to strengthen your relationships with vendors, local trucking groups and law enforcement.

Perhaps the best thing about these types of competitions is they demonstrate to your technicians that you recognize them as professionals in their field and show them you are proud of their skills and abilities. With the tech shortage nearly as dire as the driver shortage, anything you can do to tie your techs to your fleet is a plus. And of course, the winner does get to brag a bit to his or her fellow techs. And that should get the competitive juices flowing which of course means that your operation will reap the benefits.

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