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April 23, 2021 12:00 PM, EDT

TMC Employs Gamification to Promote Opportunities for Youth

A screenshot from TMCSuperTech: The Game app A screenshot from TMCSuperTech: The Game app. (Technology & Maintenance Council)

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American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council is forging new ground with the release of a new augmented reality game app aimed at attracting, fostering and welcoming a new generation of skilled technicians to the trucking industry.

Based on TMC’s National Technician Skills Competition, the app — titled TMCSuperTech: The Game — is geared to middle- and high school students and is available as a free download for smart devices on the Apple iOS and Android platforms.

Today’s technician faces very different challenges than 30 years ago — they are more likely to use a computer than a crescent wrench to repair today’s commercial vehicles. Gamification is a compelling new way to reach people, especially a younger audience, through smartphones and tablets. TMC is looking forward to employing this new technology to reach students who may be otherwise unaware of the opportunities they have as a commercial vehicle technician.

Braswell

“The TMCSuperTech Game engages users in an entirely unique way. Using virtual and augmented gamification, this game brings diesel tech skills, and everyday job experiences to life. It allows students to learn and play at their fingertips when and wherever they want,” said Trey Lamberth, director of communications, Be Pro Be Proud, Arkansas State Chamber.

The goal of the game is to increase the visibility of maintenance technician career options, and by extension, showcase the industry’s appeal to “tactile” learners at a young age. Following an initial reveal in the state in February, the game will be marketed nationally starting by the end of April to students, teachers and other interested parties.

“TMC has for decades been the leading force for developing the talent pipeline for America’s trucking industry. Their introduction of TMCSuperTech is the next evolution of their incredible work. This mobile app places them again on the forefront of helping students imagine themselves as part of the next generation of diesel techs,” said Andrew Parker, executive director, Be Pro Be Proud.

In the app, players learn to diagnose and repair tractor-trailers through a series of three minigames focused on tire/wheel, brake and engine repair. Gamers can progress through 15 levels of game play starting as a student technician and ultimately becoming the owner of their own repair shop. Gamers are rewarded by being “paid” within the app, with which they can purchase special paint jobs for their fleet of trucks and other performance improvements.

Links within the game direct students to TMC and its outreach partner the TechForce Foundation where they can learn about career and scholarship opportunities for becoming a commercial vehicle technician.

TravelCenters of America joins Arkansas’ Department of Commerce Office of Skills Development (OSD) as a premier-level sponsor of the game. Other sponsors include Cummins, Dana, Worldwide Equipment, Volvo Trucks Academy and Peterson Manufacturing. The game was developed in partnership with Design Interactive, based in Orlando, Fla.

The game is available free in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Keyword search: TMCSuperTech.

TMC Ramps Up Plans for First In-Person Event of 2021

TMC is making plans to hold its 2021 Fall Meeting and signature Transportation Technology Exhibition in-person at the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland to be held mid-September.

The Council’s Annual Meeting — originally scheduled for March 8-11 in Orlando, Fla., and then moved to April 12-15 because of uncertainty relating to the pandemic — has been reorganized into two events, one virtual (held April 12-16 and 19-23) and one in-person (Sept. 12-16).

Bringing trucking’s leading minds together to discuss important trends in technology and maintenance in the industry is an important part of TMC’s mission. As we continue to monitor news related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we believe altering our plans for our 2021 events is the best and safest way to bring our industry together.

The exhibition will be open Sept. 13-15 during the Fall Meeting. The educational sessions originally scheduled for the Annual Meeting in most cases will be held during the Fall Meeting. The council will also hold a scaled-down version of its technician skills competition — TMCSuperTech 2021 — during the Fall Meeting. The competition is expected to take place Sept. 12 using a one-day, one-track, multistation format.

Those who originally registered for the Annual Meeting will have their registrations automatically applied to the Fall Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition. Registrants who cannot attend the fall event can contact the council about other options, including requesting a refund. Task forces, study groups and other committees will meet as ­usual at the Fall Meeting to conduct business as well as offer educational programming. Topics for the dozen scheduled educational sessions will include:

  • Electrified Vehicle Specifications and What’s Important (Batteries, Motors. En­ergy Efficiency, Duty Cycle & Range Capability)
  • Battery Forensics and Failure Analysis
  • Electrification is Coming ... Are You Plugged In? Infrastructure Development and Factors Fleets Need to Consider
  • Findings From FMCSA’s Tech-Celerate Now Program on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)
  • Electronically Controlled Braking Systems for Automated & Electric Commercial Vehicles

For more information, visit https://tmcfall.trucking.org.

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