Phillip Pinter Leads FedEx Freight Sweep in 2022 TMCSuperTech Competition

TMCSuperTech champion Phillip Pinter of FedEx Freight with TMC executives
Phillip Pinter celebrates his TMCSuperTech victory with (from left) TMC Chairman Randy Obermeyer, Technician and Educator Committee Chairman David Kegley and TMCSuperTech Chairman Randy Patterson. (Jeremy Kirkpatrick/American Trucking Associations)

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CLEVELAND — During the TMCSuperTech national technician skills competition, FedEx Freight’s Phillip Pinter had his name called often. On the first day of competition, he won four station awards. After the second and final day, Pinter’s name was called again as the 2022 grand champion.

He beat out more than 120 technicians who competed for the top spot during American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council Fall Meeting and National Technician Skills Competition on Sept. 27. TMCSuperTech winners were announced during the evening’s award ceremony

Pinter’s title is his second, also having won in 2018. He also shared the team champion award with fellow technician Jamie Smith. Pinter’s win capped off a top-five sweep for FedEx Freight in the heavy-duty truck category. FedEx Freight technicians Eric Vos, Doug Nickles and Kelby Bentley took third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Bonnie Greenwood, the 2017 FutureTech winner, claimed second place. She also was the first woman to win the national student technician competition.

FedEx Freight showed its dominance with eight stations after the first day and seven more wins in the Light/Medium Vehicle track. Senior technician Philip Barlow had four wins and took first place, and Chris Czerwinksi was third while winning two station awards. Frito-Lay North America’s Kevin Malczyk placed second.

Skills station at TMCSuperTech 2022 in Cleveland

An official talks to the competitors at a testing station before they begin. The 2022 TMC SuperTech was the first gathering since 2019. (SunJae Smith/American Trucking Associations)

FedEx, ranked No. 2 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America, also took four station wins in the Trailer track. Cory Westfall claimed first place with three station awards, and Travis Cox was third. Michael Kerfoot Jr. of Cox Automotive placed second.

A full-strength TMCSuperTech marked the first gathering since 2019. COVID forced the TMC Annual Meeting to go virtual in the spring of 2020 and restricted the Fall Meeting’s technician skills competition to just a written test.

The first full day of this year’s competition had technicians moving through various stations and testing their knowledge via written exams focusing on preventative maintenance repair.

One of the qualifiers, Pablo Castillo, a Frito-Lay North America diesel technician from Kathleen, Ga., said this year’s competition was stiff.

You have the experienced techs in the competition, but you also have the young ones who are already up to speed.

Pablo Castillo, Frito-Lay North America diesel technician

“It’s very competitive,” said Castillo, who competed in his second year. “You have the experienced techs in the competition, but you also have the young ones who are already up to speed.”

Castillo, who placed 75th last year, felt he improved in some of the stations but was realistic when asked if he thought he could win the grand champion prize.

“If I place in the top 50%, I’ll be satisfied,” he said. “This competition is tough. There are areas [in the testing stations] that you don’t see every day.”

In the TMCFutureTech student technician competition, Mario Kjuka from Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, N.C., took the top prize. Ferris State University’s Timothy Rose finished second, and Braedon Pollard of the Des Moines Area Community College Transportation Institute was third.

SuperTech Chairman Randy Patterson noted the importance of the student competition with former winner Greenwood proving to be a formidable contender as a professional. In addition, he mentioned at the award ceremony that one-fourth of FutureTech competitors were women.

The TMCSuperTech competition was part of the TMC Fall Meeting that was held at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland.

TMCSuperTech 2022 winners

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