SAN ANTONIO. It was Justin Euler of Rush Truck Center - St. Peters (MO) who won Rush Enterprises' Tech Skills Rodeo as overall grand champ this year, taking home $18,000 in cash and prizes. But all the finalists who make it to this competition become part of a family of sorts.
Think of it as an elaborate, more than $1 million event that's the keystone of an employee appreciation program at the largest commercial vehicle dealer group in North America. There's the allure of the competition, prizes and winnings, and the timing right before the holidays sure doesn't hurt.
But the technicians that come here to Rush's corporate headquarters city for the event also spend time with the company's leadership and experience something else very unifying, and it's plain to see. About 70% of Rush's technician force tried out for the event this year, which is record participation.
"It's such a special night," said W.M. "Rusty" Rush, president, CEO and board chairman of Rush Enterprises, at the awards ceremony Tuesday evening. "We have a culture; we're a family."
Ask the company's leaders about it, and you'll hear that it's not just a perk but rather something integral and essential to the technician career at Rush. And if you come here in person, you'll be convinced — check out our full slideshow to see for yourself.
Here's the full list of the 2017 Tech Skills Rodeo winners:
OVERALL GRAND CHAMPION
Justin Euler, Rush Truck Center - St. Peters (MO)
Aftermarket Sales: Tony Abbott, Rush Truck Center - Haines City (FL)
Parts: Michael Lyles, Rush Truck Center - Phoenix
Medium Duty: Justin Euler, Rush Truck Center - St. Peters (MO)
Heavy Duty: Erick Lincoln, Rush Truck Center - Albuquerque
RESERVE GRAND CHAMPIONS
Aftermarket Sales: Gary Gates, Rush Truck Center - Houston
Parts: David Zainfeld, Rush Truck Center - Houston
Medium Duty: Travis Graham, Rush Truck Center - Orlando
Heavy Duty: Jason Swann, Rush Truck Center - Dallas
1st place, Ford: Timothy Howard, Rush Truck Center - Las Vegas
1st place, Peterbilt: Michael Lyles, Rush Truck Center - Phoenix
1st place, International: Tom Murray, Rush Truck Center - Gary (IN)
1st place, Isuzu: John O'Brien, Rush Truck Center - Orlando South
1st place, Hino: David Zainfeld, Rush Truck Center - Houston