Photo: John Hitch | Fleet Maintenance
FedEx Freight technician Phillip Pinter became TMCSuperTech Grand Champion for the second time during the Sept. 25-26 competition in Cleveland.

Pinter wins TMCSuperTech a second time as runner-up Greenwood makes history

Sept. 29, 2022
As FedEx Freight dominated the national technician competition, Bonnie Greenwood finished higher than any woman ever in her first attempt. She won TMCFutureTech in 2017.

CLEVELAND—For the second time in the last four competitions, FedEx Freight’s Phillip Pinter became Grand Champion of TMCSuperTech, the annual national technician skills competition put on by the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) of American Trucking Associations.

Pinter’s FedEx colleague, Bonnie Greenwood, took second place—the highest ever for a woman in the 17-year history of the competition, which was held in the Huntington Convention Center here Sept. 25-26. 

Pinter last won the intense two-day event, which tests a technician’s knowledge and hands-on skills in heavy-duty vehicle maintenance, in 2018. COVID-19 canceled the competition in 2020.

He credited his success to pouring over TMC’s Recommended Practices and manufacturers’ maintenance manuals. “It's a lot of reading and it's a lot of work,” Pinter said. “There's a lot of time that goes into it.”

See also: Roadside breakdown services: Lifelines that rescue truckers

Pinter also credited his shop teacher at his Dundee, Michigan, high school for pushing him into the trades. He attended Michigan Institute of Aviation and Technology in 2009, but switched to the more in-demand automotive repair field. He went to heavy-duty diesel in 2015, when he joined FedEx Freight.

“I haven't really looked back since,” he added. “The automotive and heavy-truck industries have treated me very well.”

His win also paid quite well, with Pinter taking home nearly $20,000 in shop equipment and prizes, supplied by companies such as Cox Automotive, Hendrickson, Imperial Supplies, MOTOR Information, Noregon, NEXIQ, Premier Tuck Group, Reliance, Snap-On, and Truck-Lite.

Greenwood, a shop technician in the Salt Lake City area, also was the first woman to win TMCFutureTech, the version of SuperTech for students.

Greenwood, who has bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology, went to WyoTech in Laramie, Wyoming, to learn how to become a diesel technician. She was attracted to the math and science aspects of the trade.

“This was a very good industry to get into,” said Greenwood, who hopes to work more on alternative-fuel vehicles in the future to blend her passions together. “It has been exactly what I needed.”

Greenwood’s victory may also be just what the industry needs to attract more female technicians, who account for only about 2% to 3% of the vehicle repair sector, according to industry estimates.

See also: Woman technician crushes common shop stereotypes

“I feel incredibly proud to be representing women in this industry today, to have this opportunity—I'm really thankful,” Greenwood said shortly after the event. “And I just encourage more and more women to get involved. The trades need more people. And there's a whole other half of our population that we haven't tapped fully into.”

While SuperTech this year only had one other female competitor, women represented about a quarter of the 17 FutureTech participants, all of whom were from WyoTech.

Greenwood reiterated that female technicians “can do any job we set our minds to” and that any woman thinking about a career in the trades should “chase that down and go after it.”

And what would Greenwood say to anyone questioning that she is one of the most capable technicians in the country? “I'd say, ‘Step back and watch me work. I can do any job, and I will find a way to do it,” she asserted.

FedEx Freight swept the top five of the two-day competition, with Eric Vos finishing third, Doug Nickles talking fourth, and Kelby Bentley placing fifth.

This year, Mario Kjuka, a student at Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, won TMCFutureTech. Timothy Rose of Ferris State University finished second and Braedon Pollard from DMACC Transportation Institute placed third.

FedEx Freight’s Cory Westfall won the TMCSuperTech Trailer Track competition while Cox Automotive’s Michael Kerfoot Jr. finished second. Travis Cox of FedEx Freight placed third in that competition.

See also: Electric trucks, their tires and wheels

In the light- and medium-duty track, Phillip Barlow of FedEx Freight came in first, edging out Kevin Malczyk of Frito-Lay North America, who took second. FedEx Freight’s Chris Czerwinski placed third.

The first day of the competition for the heavy-duty track, Sept. 25, consisted of a series of written exams at 12 stations while the second day on Sept. 26 was more hands-on.

“After a two-year pause, having a full competition with all of our tracks and hosting 140 technicians was tremendously gratifying,” TMC Executive Director Robert Braswell said. “Congratulations not just to the winners, but to all the competitors for making it to Nationals and we look forward to seeing them all back here next year.”

Full List of Station Winners

Heavy-Duty Track: Day One Stations

  • ASE Written Test: Joseph Anderson, TravelCenters of America
  • RP Manual: Nicholas Bryant, FedEx Freight
  • Wiring Diagrams: Phillip Pinter, FedEx Freight
  • Lubricants and Fuels: Phillip Pinter, FedEx Freight
  • Coolants and DEF: Kelby Bentley, FedEx Freight
  • Hydraulics and Drivebelts: Bonnie Greenwood, FedEx Freight
  • Electrical Circuits: Nathan Olson, NationaLease
  • Fasteners: Phillip Pinter, FedEx Freight
  • Precision Measuring: Phillip Pinter, FedEx Freight
  • Service Information: Michael Krause, Clarke Power Services Inc.
  • Cybersecurity: Adam Martin, W. W. Williams
  • Trailer Lighting: Mitchell Buelow, FedEx Freight

Heavy-Duty Track: Day Two Stations

  • Brakes: Jesse Elmore, Doggett Freightliner
  • Wheel End: Phillip Pinter, FedEx Freight
  • Fifth Wheel: Kelby Bentley, FedEx Freight
  • Liftgates: Eric Vos, FedEx Freight
  • HVAC: Charles Gleason, UPS Inc.
  • Tire and Wheel: Mitchell Buelow, FedEx Freight
  • Tractor PMI: Doug Nickles, FedEx Freight
  • Starting and Charging: Eric Vos, FedEx Freight
  • Steering and Suspension: Eric Vos, FedEx Freight

Trailer Track

  • Written Test: Robert Aabye, UPS Inc.
  • Hydraulics and Drivebelts: Sean Bring, Tyson Foods
  • Trailer Wheel End: Ray Titus, TravelCenters of America
  • Precision Measuring: Michael Kerfoot Jr., Cox Automotive Mobility
  • Trailer Fasteners: Travis Cox, FedEx Freight
  • Trailer PMI: Cory Westfall, FedEx Freight
  • Trailer Alignment: Adam Burton, Great Dane
  • Roll-Up Doors: Cory Westfall, FedEx Freight
  • Trailer Lighting: Michael Kerfoot Jr., Cox Automotive Mobility
  • Trailer Liftgates: Michael Kerfoot Jr., Cox Automotive Mobility
  • Central Tire Inflation: Adam Burton, Great Dane
  • Trailer Electrical Corrosion: Michael Kerfoot Jr., Cox Automotive Mobility
  • Trailer ABS: Cory Westfall, FedEx Freight

Light and Medium Vehicles Track

  • Written Test: Philip Barlow, FedEx Freight
  • Fasteners: Kevin Malczyk, Frito-Lay North America
  • Wiring Diagrams: Nicolai Greco, UPS Inc.
  • RP Manuals: Philip Barlow, FedEx Freight
  • Coolants and DEF: Philip Barlow, FedEx Freight
  • Precision Measuring: Philip Barlow, FedEx Freight
  • Electrical Circuits: Kevin Malczyk, Frito-Lay North America
  • Lubricants and Fuels: Sergio Chaira, UPS Inc.
  • Wheel End: Chris Czerwinski, FedEx Freight
  • EVAP Systems: Philip Barlow, FedEx Freight
  • Preventive Maintenance: Chris Czerwinski, FedEx Freight
  • Trailer Liftgates: Kevin Malczyk, Frito-Lay North America
  • Aftertreatment: Nicolai Greco, UPS Inc.

TMCFutureTech Stations Winners

  • Written Test: Zachary Miller, Forsyth Technical Community College
  • Fasteners: Max Coons, WyoTech
  • RP Manuals: Avery Baldridge, WyoTech
  • Wiring Diagrams: Mario Kjuka, Forsyth Technical Community College
  • Preventive Maintenance: Max Coons, WyoTech
  • Electrical Circuits: Max Coons, WyoTech
  • Lubricants and Fuels: Zachary Miller, Forsyth Technical Community College
  • Precision Measuring: Matthew Liddell, WyoTech
  • Coolants and DEF: Timothy Rose, Ferris State University
  • Trailer Lighting: Mario Kjuka, Forsyth Technical Community College
  • Trailer Wheel End: Haley Karlberg, WyoTech
  • Aftertreatment: Braedon Pollard, DMACC Transportation Institute
  • Hydraulics and Drivebelts: Braedon Pollard, DMACC Transportation Institute

For the full list of winners, visit TMC's website.

This article originally appeared on Fleet MaintenanceFleetOwner's sister publication.

About the Author

John Hitch | Editor

John Hitch, based out of Cleveland, Ohio, is the editor of Fleet Maintenance, a B2B magazine that addresses the service needs for all commercial vehicle makes and models (Classes 1-8), ranging from shop management strategies to the latest tools to enhance uptime.

He previously wrote about equipment and fleet operations and management for FleetOwner, and prior to that, manufacturing and advanced technology for IndustryWeek and New Equipment Digest. He is an award-winning journalist and former sonar technician aboard a nuclear-powered submarine.

For tips, questions or comments, email [email protected].

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