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October 7, 2020 3:15 PM, EDT

ATA, TMC Celebrate Professional Technicians With Appreciation Week

Robert Braswell, TMC executive directorTMC Executive Director Robert Braswell at Technology & Maintenance Council's annual meeting in 2018. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council recognized several service professionals Sept. 26 during the inaugural National Technician Appreciation Week.

The initiative, which ran from Sept. 21-25, was launched to recognize the critical role technicians play in freight and supply chains.

“National Technician Appreciation Week provides a chance for the industry to come together and thank these people for their service, and recognize their hard work and impact, because without them, the trucking industry would not be what it is today,” ATA President Chris Spear said.

National Technician Appreciation Week logo

The week featured a series of virtual educational sessions covering the latest trends in truck and engine technology as well as awards for outstanding professional technicians.

“Recognizing outstanding professionalism is an important part of why we launched National Technician Appreciation Week,” TMC Executive Director Robert Braswell said. “These individuals have demonstrated the commitment, expertise and ability that TMC members strive for every day in their shops.”

Three individuals were honored for outstanding professionalism and contributions to the field with the Technician Superstar Award. The three winners received a complimentary registration to a TMC meeting of their choice and a yearlong membership in the council.

Mike Neer

Old Dominion Freight Lines' Mike Neer (right) with his shop manager, Francis Chandler. (Old Dominion Freight Line Inc.)

Old Dominion Freight Line technician Mike Neer received the Heavy-Duty Technician Superstar Award. Neer, of Parsons, Kan., has served as a technician for the company since 2005. He previously won the Old Dominion Service 2.0 OD Award for service above and beyond the call of duty.

“Mike is a great team member for the Parsons’ Fleet Maintenance Location where he is always willing to accept new assignments and mentor other technicians when asked to do so. He is always training and keeping up to date on the latest technologies,” ODFL shop manager Francis Chandler said in a Sept. 21 statement.

Old Dominion Freight Line ranks No. 8 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America.

Clifford Roberson

Tyson Foods' Clifford Roberson (right) with his manager, Michael Alvey. (Tyson Foods Transportation)

Tyson Foods technician Clifford Roberson, of Russellville, Ark., received the Trailer Technician Superstar Award. Roberson has served as a technician for the company since May 2002. The Tyson Valley Maintenance Center named him team member of the year in 2019.

“He is a lifelong mechanic that can and will work on anything. Clifford is currently a reefer tech at Tyson,” shop supervisor Dustin McKibbin said, “but [he] will do whatever is asked of him, whether it be on a truck, hydraulics on a feed trailer, forklift at any of the local plants, yard trucks, live haul trailers.”

Tyson ranks No. 11 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest private carriers in North America.

Chad Moore

Rush Truck Centers of Oklahoma City's Chad Moore. (Rush OKC)

Rush Truck Centers of Oklahoma City technician Chad Moore received the Light- and Medium-Duty Technician Superstar Award. Moore has served for several years as a Ford vehicle technician for Rush OKC.

“Chad is a great mentor for other medium-duty technicians, takes great pride in his work and his team’s work, and understands the importance of customer satisfaction. He is a good leader and goes above and beyond helping others,” Rush OKC General Manager Kevin Williams said.

Rush OKC held a cookout for its technicians Sept. 25, during which Moore was presented with his plaque.

The NTAW initiative also aimed to attract prospective talent to the sector. TMC encouraged aspiring technicians to visit the TechForce Foundation for scholarship information and other useful career resources.

“Education — whether of new, young talent or veteran technicians developing their skills — is key to maintaining a robust and effective industry and meeting the demand that our economy will generate in the years to come,” Braswell said.

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