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September 22, 2016 3:15 PM, EDT

FedEx Freight's Eric Vos Repeats as TMC SuperTech Grand Champion

Eric Vos by Jaclyn O'Laughlin

RALEIGH, North Carolina — FedEx Freight technician Eric Vos earned the title of Grand Champion of TMC SuperTech for the second consecutive year in the competition, which was swept by FedEx Freight.

“I’m overwhelmed,” Vos told TRANSPORT TOPICS on Sept. 21. “This was going to be my last year no matter how I did. I’ve been in it for 10 years, so I’m just glad to go out on top.”

He won the title at the National Technician Skills Competition during American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council’s fall meeting Sept. 18-22 at the convention center here.

“I always like working with my hands so that was probably the most enjoyable part,” Vos said.

Vos said he now looks forward to putting his knowledge and skills to use in a different, yet related, role: training truck technicians.

It’s his last year competing as a technician, but he expects that enjoyment will continue. “I plan on teaching, trying to get into a different role within FedEx,” he said.

 

LIVEONWEB, OCTOBER 2015: Interview with Vos, a potential future leader

2015 RECAP: Vos named 2015 Grand Champion

VIDEO: Day 1 | Day 2

The SuperTech competition includes a qualifying written test and qualifying rounds of diagnostic skills competitions. Competitors then advance to the hands-on skills challenge.

About 150 contestants competed across 24 skills stations and the written examination.

“For 12 years, TMC SuperTech has provided an opportunity to recognize the outstanding work of our industry’s technicians, and this year was no different,” ATA President Chris Spear said in a statement. “I’d like to congratulate Eric on being named Grand Champion and recognize all of this year’s competitors for their professionalism and dedication.”

George Arrants, contest chairman, said last year that Vos won without winning any stations. “Obviously, he upped his game,” Arrants said. “He won a lot of work stations this year, so that tells me he is a true professional and is committed to his craft.”

Vos won eight station competitions during Sept. 20-21, including wheel end No. 2, fifth wheel, preventive maintenance inspection, steering and suspension, and starting and charging.

Starting and charging “was fairly easy for me,” Vos said. “I studied really hard on that, and I try to do that every day on every truck that we PM.”

He said HVAC was his “most challenging” station. “Just not familiar with the system that they had on that truck.”

FedEx Freight’s Mark McLean Jr. and Stephen Weaver finished second and third overall, respectively.

McLean also is a two-time SuperTech grand champ, capturing the top spot in 2013 and 2014.

Asked about any friendly rivalry between him and Vos, McLean said: “It’s friendly, but it’s extremely competitive … probably since 2012 now, so the last four years.”

Vos and McLean also won the team competition on behalf of FedEx Freight.

Joe Oleson, director of equipment and maintenance support at FedEx Freight, said Vos “is part of a bigger team — call them the wolf pack. The pack is as good as the wolf, and the wolf is as good as the pack, and that’s how they support each other.”

Meanwhile, the winner of the first trailer technician competition at SuperTech was Scott Davidson of TravelCenters of America.

Matthew Adams, of Francis Tuttle Technology Center in Oklahoma City, won the National Student Technician Skills Competition, or TMC FutureTech.

Arrants also noted that out of 47 competitors, five were female students. “That’s a high percentage,” he said. “That tells us more women are considering us as an option for their occupation or their trade.”

Lindsay Dunham of WyoTech won the safety and environmental station. “That was the first time a female has ever won a work station,” Arrants said.

In the FutureTech competition, Daniel Hanna from Forsyth Technical Community College finished second, and Clancy Johnson from Utah Valley University finished third.

When asked what he views as the challenges and opportunities for tomorrow’s truck technicians, Vos said, “Just getting into a decent job” is among the challenges. “But once you find that job that you like and the company treats you well, it’s worth staying with them,” he said.

“Just keep on going at it and learn as much as you can because every day, it’s changing,” Vos said.

Amanda Vos, Eric’s wife, described her husband as “very humble.” He “doesn’t brag; I’m the one that does all the bragging on him,” said Amanda, a salon owner and stylist.

A full list of station winners and overall results is available at http://tmc.trucking.org as well as below.

Traditional Track

  FIRST NAME LAST NAME COMPANY
1 Eric Vos FedEx Freight
2 Mark McLean FedEx Freight
3 Stephen Weaver FedEx Freight
4 Robert Gonzalez Ryder System
5 Michael Gavrielides TravelCenters of America
6 Kevin Roumpapas FedEx Freight
7 Christopher Tate Mohawk Truck Inc.
8 Kelby Bentley FedEx Freight
9 Richard Davis Hogan Truck Leasing
10 Darrell Duggan Wal-Mart Transportation
11 Joseph Calaway Wal-Mart Transportation
12 Doug Nickles FedEx Freight
13 Larry Coatney FedEx Freight
14 Nicholas Moeller Wal-Mart Transportation
15 Matt Sloan FedEx Freight
16 Aaron Martin Truck Centers of Arkansas
17 Brody Warner Swift Transportation Company
18 Mark Galliand FedEx Freight
19 Jasen Weers Wal-Mart Transportation
20 Robert Bruen Swift Transportation Company

 

Trailer Track

  FIRST NAME LAST NAME COMPANY
1 Scott Davidson Travel Centers of America
2 Robert Anderson Travel Centers of America
3 Michael Kerfoot Travel Centers of America

 

FutureTech 2016

Matthew Adams (far right) by Jaclyn O'Laughlin
  FIRST NAME LAST NAME SCHOOL
1 Matthew Adams Francis Tuttle Technology Center
2 Daniel Hanna Forsyth Technical Community College
3 Clancy Johnson Utah Valley University

 

Monday Station Winners

  CATEGORY WINNER
  ASE WRITTEN TEST (traditional) Christopher Tate, Mohawk Truck
  ASE WRITTEN TEST (trailer) Richard Holt, Tyson Foods
     
  DIVISION WINNER
1. Lighting Joseph Calaway, Wal-Mart Transportation
2. Fasteners Mark McLean, Jr., FedEx Freight
3. RP Manual Eric Vos, FedEx Freight
4. Electrical Diagrams Sergio Mingo, H-E-B Grocery Company
5. CSA Compliance Eric Vos, FedEx Freight
6. Electrical #1 Eric Vos, FedEx Freight
7. Safety & Environmental Glenroy Schad, XPO Logistics
8. Wheel End #1 Michael Gavrielides, Travel Centers of America
9. Torque Terry Podralski, W.W. Williams
10. Precision Measuring Richard Davis, Hogan Truck Leasing
11. Coolants/DEF Joseph Gatlin, Mohawk Truck
12. CNG Safety Mike Paitz, Truck Center Companies
13. Hydraulics Robert Gonzalez, Ryder System
14. Trailer Lighting David Thrower, Old Dominion Freight Line

 

Tuesday Station Winners

SuperTech 2016 Traditional Track

  DIVISION WINNER
1. Brakes Mark McLean, FedEx Freight
2. Wheel End #2 Eric Vos, FedEx Freight
3. Fifth Wheel Eric Vos, FedEx Freight
4. Electrical #2 Darrel Duggan, Wal-Mart Transportation
5. Tire & Wheel Daniel Howell, Wal-Mart Transportation
6. Liftgates Doug Nickels, FedEx Freight
7. PMI Eric Vos, FedEx Freight
8. HVAC Stephen Weaver, FedEx Freight
9. Drivetrain Christopher Tate, Mohawk Truck
10. Starting & Charging Eric Vos, FedEx Freight
11. Service Information Michael Gavrielides, Travel Centers of America
12. Vehicle Control Systems Glenroy Schad, XPO Logistics
13. Steering & Suspension Eric Vos, FedEx Freight
14. Engine (Electronics) David Thrower, Old Dominion Freight Line
15. Engine (Hardware) Robert Gonzalez, Ryder System

SuperTech 2016 Trailer Track

  DIVISION WINNER
T1 Brakes Scott Davidson, Travel Centers of America
T3 Trailer Coupler Michael Kerfoot, Travel Centers of America
T4 Trailer Electrical Robert Anderson, Travel Centers of America
T5 Trailer Tire and Wheel Robert Anderson, Travel Centers of America
T6 Trailer Liftgates Scott Davidson, Travel Centers of America
T7 Trailer Alignment Richard Holt, Tyson Foods
T8 Roll-up Doors Sean Bailey, Old Dominion Freight Line
T9 Trailer Antilock Braking System ScottDavidson, Travel Centers of America
T10 Trailer Electrical System Corrosion Michael Kerfoot, Travel Centers of America
T11 7-Pin Connector Repair Justin Munoz, Travel Centers of America
T12 Trailer Fasteners Scott Davidson, Travel Centers of America

FutureTech 2016 Station Winners

  DIVISION WINNER
1. Written Test Glenn Huber, Wyotech
2. Wheel End Matthew Adams, Francis Tuttle Technical Center
3. Trailer Lighting Cody Schuck, Lincoln Tech
4. Wiring Diagrams Taylor Owler, Orange Technical College
5. PMI Daniel Hanna, Forsyth Technical Community College
6. Precision Measurement Adam Sprock, Lincoln Tech
7. Service Information Daniel Hanna, Forsyth Technical Community College
8. RP Manual Kevin Mills, Wyotech
9. Coolants & DEF Daniel Hanna, Forsyth Technical Community College
10. Electrical #1 Clancy Johnson, Utah Valley University
11. Lighting Systems Taylor Owler, Orange Technical College
12. Fasteners Matthew Adams, Francis Tuttle Technical Center
13. Torque Daniel Hanna, Forsyth Technical Community College
14. Safety & Environmental Lindsay Dunham, WyoTech
15. Drive Belts Daniel Hanna, Forsyth Technical Community College