September 13, 2012 11:00 AM, EDT
Ryder’s Christopher Barnett Wins TMC’s SuperTech Competition

PITTSBURGH — Christopher Barnett, a technician with Ryder System Inc., won the title of SuperTech grand champion this week, with a consistently strong performance as he navigated a written test and 17 diverse hands-on skills stations designed to challenge the nation’s top truck technicians.

Although he did not place first in any of the individual events, Barnett accumulated a higher overall score than 113 other finalists in the eighth annual competition held by American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council.

“I’m usually pretty nervous going into a competition, but once I get started, it’s just like another day at work,” said Barnett, who works at Ryder’s Hebron, Ky., shop.

The contest took place Monday and Tuesday and culminated with an awards presentation on Wednesday during TMC’s fall meeting here.

The 30-year-old resident of Crittenden, Ky., said he specializes in electronic diagnostics but dabbles in a broad range of truck maintenance areas in his everyday job as a fleet mechanic.

“You need to have an extreme amount of knowledge, especially with all the new technology that’s coming out,” Barnett said.

As the new champion, Barnett — who had competed in four previous SuperTechs, finishing as high as third in 2009 — won a trip for two to the Daytona 500 and a Snap-On rolling tool cabinet emblazoned with the SuperTech 2012 logo, along with several other prizes.

John Ragland, with FedEx Express in Kansas City, Kan, took second-place for the second straight year, winning a trip for four to the 2013 running of the Brickyard 400 and other prizes.

Third-place finisher Chris Tate, with Mohawk Truck, West Seneca, N.Y., received a $500 gift card from International Truck and other prizes, ATA said Thursday.