September 19, 2017 10:30 PM, EDT

FedEx Freight’s Mark McLean Wins Third SuperTech Crown

SuperTech Grand Champion Mark McLeanTMC SuperTech Grand Champion Mark McLean. (Jaclyn O'Laughlin)

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
1 Mark McLean FedEx Freight
2 Doug Nickles FedEx Freight
3 Joseph Calaway BASE Air Management
4 Matt Sloan FedEx Freight
5 Larry Coatney FedEx Freight
6 Michael Gavrielides TravelCenters of America
7 Philip Barlow FedEx Freight
8 Kelby Bentley FedEx Freight
9 Terry Podralski W. W. Williams
10 Phillip Pinter FedEx Freight
11 Joseph Paul FedEx Freight
12 Richard Davis NationaLease
13 Kyle Ballard Clarke Power Services
14 Nathan Reed RWC International
15 Adam Farney Wal-Mart Transportation
16 Christopher Tate Mohawk Truck Inc.
17 Mark Galliand FedEx Freight
18 Joseph Anderson TravelCenters of America
19 Troy Hiatt FedEx Freight
20 Bryan Seaton Wal-Mart Transportation
21 Jamie Smith FedEx Freight
22 John Winstead Old Dominion Freight Line
23 Aaron Burdick Clarke Power Services
24 Scott Megilligan Wal-Mart Transportation
25 Kevin Fricke Clarke Power Services
26 Adam Martin W. W. Williams
27 Robert Gonzalez Ryder System
28 Nathan Lehman Stoops Freightliner
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
34 Jacob Gernetzke Wal-Mart Transportation
35 William Zwisle Columbia Truck Center
36 Corey Granger TravelCenters of America
37 Kelly Myers Wal-Mart Transportation
38 David Thrower Old Dominion Freight Line
39 Jason Vanderhoof Old Dominion Freight Line
40 Donald Allison Wal-Mart Transportation
41 Jason Lott TravelCenters of America
42 Jesse Elmore USA Truck
43 Josh Keiser Clarke Power Services
44 Jose' Feliciano Dickinson Fleet Services
45 Henry Totten Wiers International
46 Joseph Catlin Mohawk Truck Inc.
47 John Norwoood NationaLease
48 Robert Berkheimer Oak Harbor Freight Lines
49 Raece Paulsen Nebraska Truck Center
50 Robert Mrzyglod NationaLease
51 Jorge Acevedo VEHICARE Fleet Maintenance Solutions
52 Brendan Murphy McDevitt Trucks
53 Ben Siron Excel Truck Group
54 Bradley Williams Excel Truck Group
55 Craig Joplin UPS Freight
56 Ryan Stephens TravelCenters of America
57 Bradford Calfee Wal-Mart Transportation
58 Joel Kaup Truck Center Companies
59 Rudy Laguna H-E-B Grocery Co.
60 James Teglas U.S. Xpress Enterprises
61 Paul Schafer Redwine International
62 Jay Stahl United Parcel Service
63 Wyatt Newman W. W. Williams
64 Canty Geraets Wal-Mart Transportation
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
70 Robert Garrett TCW
71 William Andazola TravelCenters of America
72 Clarence Preston Cummins Southern Plains
73 James Bowers U.S. Xpress Enterprises
74 Karl Owens Ruan Transport
75 Greg Chapman Wal-Mart Transportation
76 Cory Gross Penn Power Group
77 Dillon Shaw United Parcel Service
78 Steven Frederick Wal-Mart Transportation
79 Ryan Andrews Dean Foods Company
80 Nathan Sensenig Penn Power Group
81 John Rivera Ryder Transportation
82 Chad Dorminey Wal-Mart Transportation
83 Gabriel Mammolito Excel Truck Group
84 Michael Trent UPS Freight
85 Robert Hatch Hartt Transportation
86 Steve Remus Southeastern Freight Lines
87 Thomas Kunz United Parcel Service
88 Kurtis Washburn PENN DDA
89 Brian Cale Clean Harbors Environmental Services
90 Brian Ankrum Ankrum Trucking
91 Matthew Brendle Southeastern Freight Lines
92 Charalambos Christofides UPS Freight
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