The 2007 Penske Truck Leasing National Technical Challenge featured a record-breaking 1,785 competitors from the United States and Canada, witnessed a repeat championship, and saw a young upstart winning it all during his first finals appearance.
Penske’s National Tech Challenge is a corporate competition designed to provide associates with skills testing through written and hands-on assessments. In the Vehicle Diagnostics event, an air-conditioning component was added this year to aid in companywide troubleshooting; teams of two work together to correctly read diagnostic computer codes and troubleshoot air-conditioning system irregularities. In the Preventive Maintenance event, associates look to ensure the truck’s operations run correctly, and that various parts are still functioning properly.
Robert Anthony, 31, of Lehighton, Pa., and Edward Glaessmann Jr., 43, of Center Valley, Pa., teamed to capture back-to-back national titles in the Vehicle Diagnostics and Air Conditioning competition. The 26-year-old Chad Ray, hailing from Weyers Cave, Va., came out on top in the Preventive Maintenance event in his first national appearance.
They were among 15 Penske maintenance technicians and customer service representatives from across the United States advancing to the finals of this year’s Penske National Tech Challenge, held recently in Charlotte, N.C. Finalists were awarded prizes and recognized during a banquet held at the Penske Racing South campus in Mooresville, N.C.
“I’m very proud of these fine gentlemen, who are among the best of the best at Penske,” says Ken McKibben, senior vice president of field maintenance for Reading, Pa.-based Penske Truck Leasing. “Their dedication to excellence sets the tone for over 5,000 maintenance associates servicing a fleet of more than 200,000 vehicles. This event helps our associates further develop their technical skills, provides recognition for their talents, and plays an integral role in improving efficiencies for our customers. We’re able to reduce downtime for our customers, while making it fun for our technicians.”
The Tech Challenge began in 1995 with 50 competitors. It expanded nationally in 1997, and in 2003, the number of competitors exceeded 1,000.
Vehicle Diagnostic and Air Conditioning Competition Winners (team event)
1. Robert Anthony, Lehighton, Pa., and Edward Glaessmann Jr., Center Valley, Pa. Captured second straight national title and second consecutive Northeast Region title.
2. Michael Edmonds, West Valley, Utah, and Roy Melton, Roy City, Utah. Won Western Region title.
3. Dustin Konkle, Lake Helen, Fla., and Stuart Martin, Ocala, Fla. Team finished second nationally in 2006; captured back-to-back Southeast Region titles.
4. Mike Copeland, Wakarusa, Ind., and Tony Hilton, Three Rivers, Mich. Winners of the South Central Region.
5. Richard Crague, Crown Point, Ind., and John Whalen, Portage, Ind. North Central Regional champions.
Preventive Maintenance Competition Winners (solo event)
1. Chad Ray, Weyers Cave, Va. Had never advanced to regionals before this year, was winner of Southeast Region.
2. Juan Aguilera, La Puente, Calif. Champion of Western Region, first regional and national appearance.
3. Thomas Hall, Waco, Texas, South Central Regional champion.
4. Paul Stanley, Mokena, Ill. First-place winner in North Central Region.
5. Stewart Robel, Middlesex, N.J. Winner of Northeast Region, made nationals for first time following four regional appearances.