ORLANDO, Fla. — Two historic marks were set at this year’s annual National Technician Skills Competitions when the first three-time champion and the first female champion were crowned in the event’s marquee challenges.
FedEx Freight technician Mark McLean claimed the title of Grand Champion of TMC SuperTech, which tests the skills of service professionals in the trucking industry.
Bonnie Greenwood, the first female to win TMC FutureTech. (Jaclyn O'Laughlin)
Bonnie Greenwood, a student from WyoTech in Laramie, Wyo., became the first female champion of TMC FutureTech, a competition for student technicians.
The competitions convened at the Orlando World Center Marriott here Sept. 16-21 during the fall meeting of the Technology & Maintenance Council of American Trucking Associations. The event puts participants through qualifying written exams and a gauntlet of hands-on skills challenges.
McLean said in an interview with Transport Topics after the awards banquet Sept. 19 that he felt “ecstatic” about his unprecedented third championship win.
“Been wanting to come back and try to do something that no one else has done, and I was able to do it,” he said. “Didn’t do it last year so this year being able to do it makes it feel real sweet.”
McLean finished second last year. He captured the top spot in 2013 and 2014.
He also led FedEx Freight to its fifth consecutive victory in the team competition alongside Doug Nickles, who placed second. The company is the only competitor to win the team competition since its inception five years ago.
“All of the competitors at TMCSuperTech and TMCFutureTech set a professional standard for our entire industry to strive for, but Mark’s commitment to excellence raises that standard,” ATA President Chris Spear said in a statement. “I want to congratulate him and all of the competitors in Orlando for their hard work these past few days and all year round keeping America’s trucks moving.”
Of her history making win, Greenwood told TT that she “got goosebumps when they called my name out. I put in a lot of hard work and I’m just thankful to be here today. I feel very proud.”
She noted the small number of women in the competition, but added, “That’s still incredible that we are creating a presence in this industry.”
Greenwood said another contestant’s wife sent a text to her 10-year-old daughter to tell her of Greenwood’s win: “ ‘Here’s proof that women can be successful in any industry they choose,’” the woman told her daughter, according to Greenwood.
George Arrants, chairman of TMC SuperTech, described Greenwood as a “truly amazing individual,” noting that her background in sports makes her competitive. Greenwood, who already holds a bachelor’s degree, “then decided to go on to be a diesel technician,” Arrants said. “It says something about the workforce needs of our country and also where the true career opportunities are.”
When asked about pursuing a career in a male-dominated industry, Greenwood said she was only focused on seeking a career where, “I could not only be working with my hands but also be challenged mentally and physically. I didn’t really think of it as being a male dominated-or-not industry.”
She thanked FedEx Freight for its support by sponsoring her in the competition.
Darrell Duggan, of Wal-Mart Transportation, won the TMC SuperTech Trailer Technician Competition.
“TMC has been raising awareness about the trucking industry’s need for technicians,” said Robert Braswell, executive director of TMC.
Been wanting to come back and try to do something that no one else has done, and I was able to do it.
Grand Champion Mark McLean on his third championship
“The skills demonstrated by Mark and Darrell and their fellow TMCSuperTech competitors show the talent that already exists in our industry, and the proficiency Bonnie and her fellow students displayed that our industry is in good hands in the future,” Braswell continued. “On behalf of the entire TMC membership, I want to congratulate them and all our participants on a tremendous competition.”
Of the competition’s individual stations, McLean said none were easy. This year’s new exhaust aftertreatment station was particularly challenging, he said. “I don’t see a lot of that stuff, so that made that hard for me.”
On the second day of competition, McLean won five stations: brakes, wheel-end No. 2, preventive maintenance inspection, drivetrain and service information.
“There’s a lot of surprises,” McLean added, noting that at times, “you don’t feel like you got something, or you know went down the wrong path. It’s a feeling you get in your gut about what happened.”
Looking ahead, McLean hopes to help train other technicians. “We’ve got an education department for fleet maintenance, and I’ve been invited on several occasions to go help teach electrical classes. As that progresses, I hope to be part of it.”
Greenwood said she’s thankful for her parents. “They raised very strong women,” she said, referring to her three sisters. She added that her parents said they knew she could win.
“And lo and behold, I did,” she said.
Below are the full results from the 2017 TMCSuperTech Traditional Technician Competition.
|Rank||First Name||Last Name||Company|
|3||Joseph||Calaway||BASE Air Management|
|6||Michael||Gavrielides||TravelCenters of America|
|9||Terry||Podralski||W. W. Williams|
|13||Kyle||Ballard||Clarke Power Services|
|16||Christopher||Tate||Mohawk Truck Inc.|
|18||Joseph||Anderson||TravelCenters of America|
|22||John||Winstead||Old Dominion Freight Line|
|23||Aaron||Burdick||Clarke Power Services|
|25||Kevin||Fricke||Clarke Power Services|
|26||Adam||Martin||W. W. Williams|
|29||Michael||Clark||TravelCenters of America|
|30||Christopher||Matelli||TravelCenters of America|
|31||Josh||Wilson||W. W. Williams|
|32||Matthew||Adams||Rush Truck Centers|
|33||Eric||Rusk||McKee Foods Transportation|
|35||William||Zwisle||Columbia Truck Center|
|36||Corey||Granger||TravelCenters of America|
|38||David||Thrower||Old Dominion Freight Line|
|39||Jason||Vanderhoof||Old Dominion Freight Line|
|41||Jason||Lott||TravelCenters of America|
|43||Josh||Keiser||Clarke Power Services|
|44||Jose'||Feliciano||Dickinson Fleet Services|
|46||Joseph||Catlin||Mohawk Truck Inc.|
|48||Robert||Berkheimer||Oak Harbor Freight Lines|
|49||Raece||Paulsen||Nebraska Truck Center|
|51||Jorge||Acevedo||VEHICARE Fleet Maintenance Solutions|
|53||Ben||Siron||Excel Truck Group|
|54||Bradley||Williams||Excel Truck Group|
|56||Ryan||Stephens||TravelCenters of America|
|58||Joel||Kaup||Truck Center Companies|
|59||Rudy||Laguna||H-E-B Grocery Co.|
|60||James||Teglas||U.S. Xpress Enterprises|
|62||Jay||Stahl||United Parcel Service|
|63||Wyatt||Newman||W. W. Williams|
|65||Jared||Rowley||Penn Power Group|
|66||Christopher||Stroud||United Parcel Service|
|67||Aaron||Cummins||Old Dominion Freight Line|
|68||Matthew||Barber||Smith Power Products|
|69||Michael||Bloodworth||Southeastern Freight Lines|
|71||William||Andazola||TravelCenters of America|
|72||Clarence||Preston||Cummins Southern Plains|
|73||James||Bowers||U.S. Xpress Enterprises|
|76||Cory||Gross||Penn Power Group|
|77||Dillon||Shaw||United Parcel Service|
|79||Ryan||Andrews||Dean Foods Company|
|80||Nathan||Sensenig||Penn Power Group|
|83||Gabriel||Mammolito||Excel Truck Group|
|86||Steve||Remus||Southeastern Freight Lines|
|87||Thomas||Kunz||United Parcel Service|
|89||Brian||Cale||Clean Harbors Environmental Services|
|91||Matthew||Brendle||Southeastern Freight Lines|
|93||Richard||Liebler||United Parcel Service|
|94||Eric||Howard||Clean Harbors Environmental Services|
|95||John||Welsh||U.S. Xpress Enterprises|
|96||Kevin||Kopela||Clean Harbors Environmental Services|
|97||Jeff||Brinkman||Dickinson Fleet Services|
|98||Gary||Sandridge||Clean Harbors Environmental Services|
|99||Ricky||Rooker||U.S. Xpress Enterprises|
|100||Derrick||Crockford||Amerit Fleet Solutions|
|101||Garry||Wilson||U.S. Xpress Enterprises|
|102||Mark||Truman||Clarke Power Services|
|103||William||Elser||United Parcel Service|
|104||Chance||Gartman||Love's Travel Stops|