Premier Truck Centers’ Talmadge to defend TMCSuperTech title

The industry has sponsored a truck driving championship for years, but last year the Technology and Maintenance Council saw the need to recognize the best professional truck technicians. The TMC National Technician Skills Competition – known last year as TMCSuperTech2005 – was born.

In Valley Forge, Pa., 67 contestants – many of them corporate, state and regional technician winners – competed in a two-day event organized by TMC’s Professional Technician Development Committee. Contestants with the top 50 scores from a written test were tested the following day at skill stations that included electronic troubleshooting; brakes; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; engine; steering/suspension; preventive maintenance inspection, drivetrain and service information.

Earning the top overall score last year was Grand Champion Steve Talmadge, a professional truck technician with Premier Truck Centers in Birmingham, Ala. After four years in the Army, Talmadge attended a local technical college and began his career as a technician in 1990. He earned his ASE Master Truck certification in 1995.

The pressure during the eight-hour hands-on competition was intense, Talmadge said. “I just had to get in there and focus, and that’s hard to do sometimes when you can’t hold your hands steady or organize your thoughts.” He encourages fleets and dealerships to help technical schools by donating equipment. “Ultimately, it’s the technical schools that get technicians into the industry.”

Talmadge plans to defend his title at TMCSuperTech2006, which will be held Sept. 18-20 in Austin, Texas, in conjunction with TMC’s annual fall meeting. Participants must be TMC technician members, but the $100 entry fee covers one year of membership. Technicians who already are TMC technician members may participate in TMCSuperTech2006 free of charge. In addition to trophies, the grand champion will receive an expense-paid trip to the 2007 Daytona 500, Super Bowl or another equivalent package, plus other prizes.

Second- and third-place winners also will receive trophies and valuable prizes. Individuals who place “Best in Skills Category” also will receive recognition. The deadline to register is Aug. 18. For more information, go to http://tmc.truckline.com.