MHC holds ‘Top Cat’ Technician Rodeo

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The first-ever MHC “Top Cat” Technician Rodeo recently was held in Kansas City, Mo., where five of Murphy-Hoffman Co.’s top technicians gathered to compete in the final round of competition.

The five regional winners, all Service Journeymen, were John Graves, MHC Kenworth – Columbia; Gene Kelley, MHC Kenworth – Cheyenne; David Schlageter, MHC Kenworth – Chattanooga; Terry Wallace, MHC Kenworth – Tulsa; and Tom Whitworth, MHC Kenworth – Texarkana.

“The purpose of the competition was to get a lot of our techs comfortable and certified with the 2007 Caterpillar Acert engine technology,” says Kevin Billings, training and development manager, service operations. “In addition, we wanted to identify some of the technicians who went above and beyond – these gentlemen are the best of the best at MHC.”

During the competition, each contestant was given the same scenario: to identify three fault codes that needed to be diagnosed. They had an hour to complete as much as they could of the test. The technicians had access to online technical documents to aid them in their troubleshooting diagnostics.

After the competition, judges, contestants and MHC management got together for an awards banquet, where Whitworth was awarded the grand prize. He received a $2,500 check and a customized 2007 “Top Cat” belt buckle, engraved in two-tone metals. “It feels really good,” Whitworth says. “It feels like somebody came in the shop and asked specifically for me. It makes me proud.”

MHC Kenworth – Texarkana Branch Manager Kyle Hart says Whitworth is an excellent technician. “He is an awesome technician, especially when it comes to diagnostics,” Hart says. “He is very precise. I know that when he is on a job, he will do everything to finish the job right, each and every time.”

Darrin Weimer, director of service operations, says the event gives MHC the chance to show how much the company values its technicians. “Having competitions like these recognize the best of the best, and they also allow us to get many of our best technicians interested in earning advanced certification,” Weimer says.

Murphy-Hoffman Co. is a network of heavy- and medium-duty truck dealers and leasing locations, with more than 60 locations in 10 states. Through its formal quality program, MHC says it delivers excellent service to its customers and maintains ISO 9001 certification. To learn more about MHC’s locations, services and standards, go to or call 888-642-8782.