Christopher Tate, a refrigeration technician for Mohawk Truck of Seneca, NY, captured three skills stations en route to being named grand champion at the TMCSuperTech 2009 competition. The fifth annual National Technician Skills Competition was held by the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) at its recent meeting in Raleigh, NC.
Tate is also the New York State champion. He won tire and wheel, wheel end, and written test. Last year he finished 10th. For his victory, Tate will takes home a trophy, a Nexiq Technologies’ Snap-on two-piece Classic 78 model tool chest valued at $8,000, a Midtronics Celltron Max battery analysis system (CMA7000) valued at $1,100, a trip for two to the Daytona 500, a Noregon Systems’ JPRO Fleet diagnostic kit, a custom-made championship leather jacket, $600 in gift cards and several other items.
Rick Grivel, of Alpharetta, GA, and Christopher Barnett, of Florence, KY, both Ryder System technicians, earned second and third place finsihes. Michael Bogard, of Neenah, WI, also of Ryder, came in fourth. Michael John Vallery of Oak Harbor Freight Lines in Portland was fifth followed by Grant Allen Cherry, of Wal-Mart Transportation in Pilot Rock, OR; Richard Zacholl of Swift Transportation of North Syracuse, NY; Jimmie Slusher of Ryder System in Elizabethon, TN; Ray Wordekemp of Omaha Truck Center in Omaha, NE, and Thomas Pianalto of Diamond International Trucks in Lowell, AR.
Skills station winners:
Steering & Suspension — Christopher Barnett, Ryder System, Alpharetta, Ga.;
Fastener & Fastener Repair — William O’Brien, Con-Way Freight, Bells, Tenn.;
Starting & Charging — Norbert Estrada, TravelCenters of America, Gary, Ind;
Drivetrain — Thomas Pianalto – Diamond International Trucks, Lowell, Ark;
PMI — John Ragland, FedEx Express, Tonganoxie, Kan.;
Electrical — Matthew McRae, Swift Transportation., Salt Lake City;
Fifth Wheel — Rick Grivel, Ryder System, Alpharetta, Ga.;
Trailer Alignment — Dean Sehm, Ryder System, Litchfield Park, Ariz.;
Tire & Wheel — Christopher Tate, Mohawk Truck, West Seneca, N.Y.;
Service Information — Tyson Sontag, McKee Foods Transportation, Gentry, Ark.;
Repair Order — Richard Zacholl, Swift Transportation, N. Syracuse, N.Y.;
Wheel End — Christopher Tate, Mohawk Truck, West Seneca, N.Y.;
Engine (Hardware) — Mitch Thielking, Batesville Logistics, Batesville, Ind.;
Engine (Electronics) — Ray Wordekemp, Omaha Truck Center, Omaha, Neb.; and
Written Test — Christopher Tate, Mohawk Truck, West Seneca, N.Y.
Nine winners from 2009 state technician skills’ competitions participated in TMCSuperTech2009. Those state champions include:
Arkansas — Tyson W. Sontag, McKee Foods Transportation, Gentry; representing the Arkansas Trucking Association’s Maintenance & Technology Council;
Kentucky — Edwin D. Lawrence III, M&M Cartage, Louisville, Ky., representing the Kentucky Motor Transport Assn. — Bluegrass Maintenance Council;
Nebraska — Tim Zieman, Omaha Truck Center, Lincoln; representing Nebraska Trucking Association’s Maintenance & Technology Council;
New York — Christopher P. Tate, Mohawk Truck, West Seneca; representing the New York State Motor Truck Association;
Oklahoma — Max L. E. Dennis, City of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City, representing the Oklahoma Trucking Association’s Technology & Maintenance Council;
Oregon — Michael John Vallery, Oak Harbor Freight Lines, Portland; representing the Oregon Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council;
South Carolina — Kevin Schwarzbauer, Carolina International Trucks, Columbia, S.C., representing the South Carolina Trucking Association’s Maintenance Council;
Tennessee — Corey A. Sellers, Ozark Motor Lines, Lebanon, representing the Tennessee Trucking Association’s Maintenance Council; and
Texas — Mark Deen, Cummins Southern Plains, Arlington, Texas, representing the Texas Motor Transportation Association’s Fleet Maintenance Council.
In addition to the donation of manpower, industry sponsors provided equipment, tools and awards.
FedEx Express, Ryder System, Swift Transportation, Southeastern Freight Lines, and Wal-Mart donated the use of 25 Class 8 tractors and trucks, FedEx Express, Old Dominon, Ryder System, Swift Transportation, Southeastern Freight Lines, and Wal-Mart donated trailers, and Silver Eagle provided converter dollies for the competition.
Noregon Systems provided its JPRO Fleet Service software kits for each workstation winner. Each of the 75 finalists received a $150 American Express gift card, and skill station winners received an additional $150 American Express gift card from the PTDC’s Friend of the Technician sponsors. Friends of the Technician also provided the trip for two to the Daytona 500.
Repair Order skills station sponsor Cengage Learning-Delmar provided the winner of the skills station with a $1,000 American Express card; Chicago Pneumatic gave a $1,000 product gift certificate to the winner of the Tire & Wheel skills station, and Roadranger - Eaton & Dana provided a Driveline Angle Analyzer kit valued at $500 to the Drivetrain skill station winner.