Phoenix technician wins Tech Skills Rodeo

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By Todd Dills

Diesel technician Dustin Ebert, based in Phoenix, recently was named All Around Cowboy, the top honor in Rush Truck Centers’ second annual Tech Skills Rodeo in Nashville, Tenn.

One of 51 competing technicians representing 27 of Rush’s 48 truck centers, Ebert won $14,500 and a $3-per-hour pay raise. “I had a pretty good feeling, but it was all up to the judges,” Ebert says. “I knew I did well, though. Some guys didn’t even fix the problem.”

Ebert’s final challenge, competing with 11 other finalists on Day Two, was to troubleshoot and repair a 2008 Peterbilt 389 outfitted with a Cummins ISX with little more to go on than a driver complaint of a “check engine” light coming off and on. Ebert found the problem — a ground wire fault in the communications link between the diesel particulate filter and the electronic control module — with plenty of time to spare.

“The business has changed so dramatically in the past 10 years,” says Mike Besson, Rush vice president of service operations. “A technician is not a grease monkey. These are some of the smartest guys I know.”

“You guys that are here, you’re the best,” says W. Marvin Rush, founder and chairman of Rush Enterprises, based in New Braunfels, Texas, at the awards ceremony in Nashville’s downtown Sheraton.

Rush Tech Skills Rodeo Finalists

All Around Cowboy

  • Dustin Ebert, Phoenix — $5,000
  • Runners-up

  • Chris Zweifl, El Paso, Texas
  • Erick Lincoln, Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Category Winners

    Peterbilt Medium-Duty

  • 1st: Dustin Ebert, Phoenix — $5,000
  • 2nd: Eric Grosz, Nashville — $4,000
  • 3rd: Michael Willoughby, Oklahoma City — $3,000
  • Caterpillar

  • 1st: Erick Lincoln, Albuquerque, N.M. — $5,000
  • 2nd: Chris Zweifl, El Paso, Texas — $4,000
  • 3rd: Mike Staton, Texarkana, Texas — $3,000
  • Eaton

  • 1st (tie): Dustin Ebert, Phoenix — $4,500
  • 1st (tie): Jason Swann, Dallas — $4,500
  • 2nd: Sylvester Chandler, Dallas — $3,000
  • Cummins

  • 1st (tie): Randy Hughes, Texarkana, Texas — $4,500
  • 1st (tie): Bradley Willingham, Texarkana, Texas — $4,500
  • 2nd: Joe Gross, San Antonio — $3,000