Wal-Mart technician defends title at TMCSuperTech2008

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David Bryan Lewis of Wal-Mart Transportation in Sutherland, Va., successfully defended his 2007 title as the nation’s top heavy-truck technician as he again was named grand champion of TMCSuperTech2008 during the Technology & Maintenance Council’s 2008 Fall Meeting, held Sept. 15-18 in Nashville, Tenn.

Scott Bennett, Tacoma, Wash., and Michael Bogard, Neenah, Wis. – both with Ryder System – placed second and third in the competition conducted by TMC’s Professional Technician Development Committee. Bogard had received the top score on the written portion of the competition the three previous years.

With six other contestants from Wal-Mart competing in TMCSuperTech2008, a number of Wal-Mart supervisors and observers, and a room full of well-wishers, Lewis, 45, of Amelia Court House, Va., had plenty of supporters to cheer him on as he took the stage to receive his grand champion award that included a Nexiq Technologies’ Snap-On Elite Series tool chest valued at about $10,000, an all-expense trip for two to the Daytona 500, a Panasonic Toughbook 19 laptop loaded with Noregon Systems’ JPRO Fleet Service Kit, and a custom-made championship leather jacket, along with other items.

The remainder of the top 10 scoring contestants include: (4) Daniel Myers, Roberts Truck Center, Albuquerque, N.M.; (5) Randy Qualls, Wal-Mart Transportation, Waterloo, S.C.; (6) Timothy Peters, Ryder Systems, Newton, N.C.; (7) Christopher Barnett, Ryder System, Alpharetta, Ga.; (8) Bailey Johnson, McKee Foods, Stuarts Draft, Va.; (9) Thomas Pianalto, Diamond International Trucks, Lowell, Ark; and (10) Christopher Tate, Mohawk Truck, West Seneca, N.Y.

Skills station winners this year include the following:

Steering/suspension – Christopher Barnett, Ryder System, Alpharetta, Ga.;

Fastener/fastener repair – Norbert Estrada, TravelCenters of America, Gary, Ind.;

Starting/charging – Dave Thrower, FedEx National LTL, Middletown, Pa.;

Drivetrain – Michael Bogard, Ryder System, Neenah, Wis.;

PMI – Richard Fasoli, Con-Way Freight, Southampton, Mass;

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Brakes – Norbert Estrada, TravelCenters of America, Gary;

Electrical – Ken Myers – New York State Motor Truck Association, Victor, N.Y.;

HVAC – Thomas Pianalto – Diamond International Trucks, Lowell, Ark;

Safety/environmental – Doug Skelly, First Vehicle Services, Pittsburgh;

Service information – Kevin Schwarzbauer, Carolina International Trucks, Columbia, S.C.;

Repair order generation – David Lewis, Wal-Mart Transportation, Amelia Court House, Va.;

Wheel end – Christopher Tate, Mohawk Truck, West Seneca, N.Y.;

Tire/wheel – Eric Vos, FedEx Freight, Boise, Idaho; and

Engines – Phillip Mellor, Swift Transportation, Albuquerque, N.M.

Gary Fassett, International Truck & Engine Corp., Murtaugh, Idaho, earned the top score on the written test.

TMC, a technical council of American Trucking Associations, developed the national TMCSuperTech competition as a way to recognize truck technicians and promote the career opportunities for heavy-truck technicians. The competition is meant to showcase the skill and knowledge of trucking industry technicians, and to increase the visibility of career opportunities available for truck technicians.

“Given the pace of technological change, being a heavy-truck technician is truly one of the most challenging and skilled jobs in our economy,” says Carl Kirk, TMC executive director. “The knowledge base that these folks have to master is truly amazing. It’s entirely appropriate that TMC honors the cr