McKee Foods technician crowned grand champion at SuperTech2006

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A technician with McKee Foods Transportation earned the title of Grand Champion at the trucking industry’s national technician skills competition on Sept. 20. Tyson W. Sontag of Gentry, Ark., accumulated the top overall score from 10 skill stations during the Technology & Maintenance Council’s SuperTech2006 and placed first in the steering/suspension and drivetrain competitions.

Sontag, a heavy-truck technician at McKee’s Gentry location for more than six years, said preparation for competition included reading many TMC Recommended Practices and OEM manuals. But the third-generation truck mechanic said much of what he knows also came from his dad.

Organized by TMC, a technical council of American Trucking Associations, SuperTech2006 was designed to showcase the skills and knowledge of trucking industry technicians and to promote career opportunities available to truck technicians. This year’s competition, held in conjunction with TMC’s 2006 Fall Meeting in Austin, Texas, drew 82 contestants.

After taking a written skills challenge, competitors were tested in various categories, including electrical/electronic, brakes, HVAC, engines, steering/suspension, preventive maintenance inspection, drivetrains, service information, wheel ends and tire and wheel.

In addition to the trophy, Sontag received an all-expense-paid trip for two to the Daytona 500 in 2007, a tool chest from Snap-On valued at $10,000, a $3,000 gift certificate for tools from Mitchell 1, and a NEXIQ Technologies USB-Link vehicle interface adapter.

Other Top 10 finishers:

  • Second place: Bailey Johnson, McKee Foods Transportation
  • Third place: John Amdor III, FedEx Express
  • Fourth place: Dave Flanagan, Wal-Mart Transportation
  • Fifth place: David Bryan Lewis, Wal-Mart Transportation
  • Sixth place: Michael Bogard, Ryder System
  • Seventh place: Richard Chaffin, FedEx Freight
  • Eighth place: Christopher P. Tate, Mohawk Truck
  • Ninth place: Troy Scott, Transco Lines
  • Tenth place: Chad Fetta, FedEx Freight