TMCSuperTech 2008

About the only thing that was the same at this year's TMCSuperTech competition was the winner.

In just its fourth year, the Technology and Maintenance Council's (TMC) SuperTech National Technician Skills Competition is truly getting bigger and better, with more contestants, more volunteers, more skill stations and more sponsors. This September, 121 technicians, 227 volunteer judges and more than 900 attendees descended on Nashville to spend several days immersed in all that is modern heavy-truck maintenance. And while there was plenty of hard work to go around, it was all smiles and celebrations at the end for another job well done.

The competition kicked off with the written skills and preliminary testing, which narrowed the field to the 96 who would go on to the 14-station Hands-on Skills Challenge--the highlight of TMC's annual fall meeting, which covers a wide variety of industry topics at task force and study group meetings, forums and panel discussions.

TMC, a technical council of American Trucking Associations, started the competition in 2005 to recognize truck technicians and promote career opportunities, and so far it has been a resounding success for all involved. TMC executive director Carl Kirk says given the rapid pace of technological change, being a heavy truck technician is one of the most challenging skilled jobs there is.

"The knowledge base that these folks have to master is truly amazing," he says. "It's entirely appropriate that TMC honors the crème de la crème of our industry."


Once again, that crème de la crème had a distinctive southern flavor, as David Bryan Lewis of Amelia Court House, VA, kept a vice grip on the SuperTech Grand Champion crown for the second straight year. For his efforts, Lewis, 45, took home quite a bounty, including a NEXIQ Technologies' Snap-On Elite Series tool chest valued at around $10,000, a Panasonic Toughbook 19 laptop loaded with Noregon Systems' JPRO Fleet Service Kit and an all-expense trip for two to the Daytona 500.

An ASE Master Fleet Technician in Heavy Truck and Advanced Electronic Diagnostics with Wal-Mart Transportation's Sutherland, VA facility, Lewis joined the company in 1992 after spending more than a decade as a full-time technician with the Virginia National Guard, where he followed in the footsteps of his father. Back home, Lewis' father got him interested in the business by showing him the ropes at a tender age.

"At six, seven years old, I helped him hold the drop light and do various tasks, and you just go from there," he says.

While in the Guard, Lewis worked on "everything diesel from bumper to rear," and credits their older technicians for passing along their knowledge and passion.

"They were my mentors; they took me under their wing and showed me proper procedures to fix, repair and troubleshoot," he says. "I owe them a great deal of thanks for pulling me in the right direction. I learned that individuals do not win--it's being part of a team--understanding a timeline and attention to detail."

Lewis' area manager Dominick Yates credits Lewis' success to his strong work ethic.

"He takes every job seriously, even the small ones," he says. "He pays attention to detail and takes his time to diagnose every aspect of the problem. He listens to driver feedback and in doing so gets going in the right direction to complete necessary repairs, without lost time troubleshooting."

The best way to prepare for the SuperTech competition is to treat each problem with care and common sense, Lewis says.

"Study it in depth and in detail as much as you can, apply the industry standards--get a mental picture of how everything's supposed to operate--and then you can troubleshoot it correctly," he says. "And then practice and practice and practice."

Of course, having some experience in the competition helps.

"You know what to expect as far as the length of the day, how to maintain your nerves," he says. "You try to keep calm and learn to tell yourself, 'I can do this, it's just like every day at the shop; you're just under the time clock a bit.'"

Each year there are new challenges, though, like tangling with the imposing Detroit Diesel "DD15" engine.

"The newer software that goes with that engine, we were not that familiar with, (so that) made it an interesting challenge--when you raise the hood, you think you're down at NASA looking at some spaceship," Lewis chuckled. "But that's new technology and you welcome change, and you say, 'OK, it's new, but I can do this.' Stick to the basics, use all your material there and talk to your judge."


Ryder Systems, Inc. technician Michael Bogard of Neenah, WI, knows how slim the margin is between winning and coming up just short. He earned the top score on the written test for the past three years, but this year ended up tied and lost out on a tie-breaker. He also finished a mere 12 points behind Lewis, good enough for third place overall--another piece of his growing TMCSuperTech legacy.

The key to doing so well in both phases of the competition? Bogard says his best advice is to study hard, understand how the various systems work and stick to standard procedures.

"Read the troubleshooting steps and understand how the different components operate--if you know how they're supposed to function, when they give you different scenarios of something wrong, you can pinpoint what part of that system could be the problem," he says. "If you don't understand how it's supposed to work, when you see all these different answers saying, 'Is it this part or that part,' you have no idea. If you start guessing, you might get it right once in a while, but you'll waste a lot of time backtracking, and (it's) very costly when you start troubleshooting by replacing parts."

Bogard says it is important to do as much studying as possible on anything that is unfamiliar.

"A lot of the stuff, we don't have that component or that brand of engine, or I don't work on that, so I like to brush-up and just read about those stations, so you're not going in blind," he says. "They are covering the entire industry, and it's real-world situations they have--stuff you're going to encounter every day."

Bogard says coming so close to the overall title this year has made him more determined to not leave any stone unturned in his preparation for next year. Still, he says he takes nothing for granted.

"You start thinking back--little things that you missed that would have made the difference," he says. "When you have 14 stations, it doesn't take many. It's very hard to trying to remain focused with a long, grueling day like that. It starts to wear on you. It helps having gone through it, but by having gone through it before, it seems like you put more pressure on yourself, and other people look at it, 'You've been there before and been close, so you can do it now.' Sometimes by putting that extra pressure on yourself, it messes with your mind, and it's hard to keep it clear and focused."


While many technicians who compete at TMCSupertech have prior experience in the event, several first-time entrants did very well, including Swift Transportation technician Phillip Mellor, of Albuquerque, NM, who won the engine competition after not knowing quite what to expect.

"We all worked really close with the training department, which as luck would have it, pointed us in the right direction," he says. "The most nervous parts were waiting for the results to come in for the hands-on, especially with the company VP at the table. Also, going on stage to pick up the prize was very intimidating."

Not one to rest on his laurels, Mellor says the experience gained from this year's competition is only going to help him to better prepare for 2009. A key mentor for Mellor has been his supervisor, Swift Transportation corporate maintenance training manager Jeff Harris, who says what sets Mellor apart is his determination to learn about every major system of tractors used in the industry. Harris says Mellor's competitive drive and positive attitude sets him apart.

"He has really put in the study time--most of which was on his own time, so I was not surprised to see him do well, I just didn't know what would be his strongest station," he says. "You really must be strong to win a station."

Doug Skelly of First Vehicle Services has been a technician for nearly 30 years, but had not heard about TMCSuperTech until last year. He didn't have much time to prepare, but that didn't stop him from winning the Safety & Environmental Skill Station. He said the competition was tiring but rewarding.

"I learned a lot," he says. "It was more a mental drain than it was a physical drain. Your brain was just drained after the two days."

Skelly says perhaps the best part of the competition was getting to meet technicians from across the country and "comparing notes" on their work.

"I learned a lot about other vehicles, which was really helpful," he says. "The more you can do throughout the day and learning throughout the days will get you one step closer."


It's not just the technicians who benefit from the information learned and connections made at TMCSuperTech. For companies that send technicians, there is a wealth of information and knowledge to be returned and spread around the shop.

"They're training their techs and bringing them up to a level that really benefits everyone," says WyoTech diesel instructor Chad Parsons.

Ryder Systems Inc. Neenah, WI service manager Kenneth Hurst says having a TMCSuperTech standout on staff like third-place finisher Michael Bogard provides many advantages.

"It's a credit to our place," he says. "People call and say, 'So this is the place with the top tech?' It carries over to the shop. A lot of guys here aspire to succeed and be more like Mike. He's someone they can go to for help if they're stumped."

Wal-Mart Transportation regional maintenance manager Dan Willard says the competition is a "major win" for all involved.

"The benefit is the teamwork, the networking, the knowledge and skill these guys gain just by going through the competition itself, from being with that level of people and having that experience," he says.

Dale Domish, senior vice-president of First Vehicle Services says the company has seen plenty of positives in the two years they have sent technicians to TMCSuperTech.

"It brings a level of enthusiasm back to the shop when they return, and it definitely encourages everybody," he says. "It broadens your horizons, and is a learning experience."

Swift's Harris says any fleet professionals who have yet to send technicians to the event should do so in '09, and reap the benefits.

"It is really good for the technicians to spend time with other technicians across the industry as well as take part in some of the meetings that discuss the future of our industry," he says. "If your technician puts forth the effort that it takes to do well at these events, his or her knowledge will be drastically increased. If technician knowledge is increased, repair time goes down and productivity goes up."

The competition is catching on among fleets, Long says.

"Everybody's starting to say, 'I want to get involved in this--there is a benefit to my technicians and my company in order to get my people where they need to be,'" he says. "The competition is not just a competition, it's a learning process. It gives a chance for (technicians) to talk to other technicians who have more expertise, so they're bringing added value back to the workplace. It's that confidence that it builds within the individual that says, 'Hey, I can work good under pressure.' That's what you want on the shop floor as well when you have a technician who comes in and you've got three trucks at the door and one honking his horn."

Wheel End Skills Station chairman Roger Maye of Consolidated Metco says some fleets start preparation for TMCSuperTech as early as February--not a bad idea, as the level of competition continues to rise.

"They are sending us a better competitor by far than we started out with--these guys are getting really sharp, and you can see a difference in the grades," he says. "So much is changing so fast in the industry, the skills that you had last week are probably not going to get you through next week. Some of the preparation they're doing up front is one of the reason we're seeing such difference in the level of the competitor."

Since technicians are going to return to their shops with whatever they've learned at the competition, Maye says it is important to provide the most realistic challenges possible.

"If you look at the 14 skills stations we have, it's a pretty good cross-section of everything a technician is going to have to work on," he says. "We're covering the major vehicle systems and the most current information. When a guy comes to this competition, he's going to go back to his shop to talk about the experience and the parts that challenged him, and the company is going to benefit from this guy wanting to improve. I've seen some of these competitors now for three or four years, and a lot of them have improved their work methods and the way they go about things, just because of some of the things they've been exposed to. It's had a positive effect all the way around."


Arrants says he is pleased to see fleet managers starting to use the competition as designed--to determine the strengths and areas in need of improvements in their training programs; especially the fleets that bring a large number of technicians.

"When they leave, all of the technicians have their scores on the workstations, so a good fleet manager or training director is going to review those scores and find out if there is a consistency with their techs in an area we're testing, and if there is an area of improvement that they focus their training on next year, and not utilize valuable training dollars training on an area they all did well on," he says. "Since we make sure that the skill sets that we test the technicians on are skill sets they would utilize every day in their job, if they scored low in that area, then they know they need to focus some attention, if they wanted to come back next year, on those areas."

Do you need to justify some money for technician training? Arrants says TMCSuperTech is the ticket.

"What better way than (using) the scores from the SuperTech competition for them to go back and say, 'Hey, this is what I need and here's why--I had 10 technicians, and nine of the 10 did terrible here and they're the cream of our crop,'" he says. "It can also help them utilize their training dollars to be more cost-effective or if they're trying to increase their budget for training, SuperTech justifies it by showing where the improvements need to be and also how they stack up with some of their competitors. The one benefit that some companies are not utilizing or are not aware of, is the benefit that we provide them on strengths and area of improvements in all these difference areas. That's huge."

Arrants says competing in SuperTech can also help fleets attract and retain their best technicians.

"It's also a reward for a job well done--to show these folks that they think enough of the job that they do to send them on to this competition and take them out of the shop for three days and pay their way," he says. "You talk to all the techs, and they are tickled pink to be there, and they're very happy that their employers have made that investment in them, and they want to do a good job for their bosses. It builds camaraderie between the employer and the employee--it fosters that loyalty, which is very important these days. They're all on the same team and working together. It does a lot for the technician's self-esteem, to know that their employer is willing to invest in them to come to this thing. And within the company, it stirs the competition so that other techs now want to be able to get involved in SuperTech."


A key component to the competition is the amount of vehicles and equipment that a variety of companies bring, some from a significant distance. For the past three years, Phoenix, AZ-based Swift Transportation has supplied trucks and management personnel to mentor the technicians and participate in the educational panels. This year the company brought along a half-dozen EPA SmartWay-Certified "green" trucks to the event--both to help the event and to support the SmartWay program--but it is what the group brought back that was particularly special.

Michele Calbi, Swift Transportation vice-president of procurement and shop operations, says having technician Phillip Mellor win one of the stations was just icing on the cake.

"Technicians have a difficult job in that they must keep up-to-date on the latest, ever-changing technical advancements that the tractor and trailer manufacturers introduce year after year; especially in the diesel engine arena... and we are very proud of Phillip's accomplishment," she says. "And, of course, technicians feel that if one member of the Swift team can win, it is truly possible for them to win as well."

Calbi says there is no greater venue to support technician knowledge and experience than TMCSuperTech.

"Improvement in technician excellence benefits all; including the technician, truck drivers and other on the road traveling along side the truck," she says. "There is no better way to enhance training and technician excellence than to have technicians compete in the SuperTech competition."

Industry sponsors like Swift Transportation provided an enormous amount of equipment, tools and awards that are necessary to pull off such a large event: Freightliner and seven fleets donated the use of 36 Class-8 tractors and six converter dollies for the competition, NEXIQ Technologies' provided one of its Snap-on tool chests for the grand champion, Panasonic provided Toughbook 19 laptops valued at approximately $4,000 to the grand champion and each of the skills station winners. Noregon Systems provided its new JPRO Fleet Service Kits loaded on each of the Toughbooks. Each of the 96 finalists received an Apple iPod Touch, tools and other items, thanks to PTDC's Friend of the Technician sponsors.

First, second and third-place winners in the Safety & Environmental Skill Station received safety compliance kit from the Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair. Cengage Learning-Delmar & Chilton, which sponsored the Repair Order Generation Skill Station, provided the winner with a $1,000 AMEX card. The top three competitors in the Engine Skill Station received a Nexiq Diagnostic Link from Snap-On. The top winner of the Tire and Wheel Skill Station received a $1,000 gift certificate from Chicago Pneumatic.

"Working together is what makes the competition such a success," says TMC exhibit and sponsorship manager Joe Hite.


Next year's TMCSuperTech competition is set for Sept. 14-17 at the Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, NC, and preparations and possible changes are already underway. Arrants says committee members are talking about extending the competition to two days, which would take some re-shuffling.

"We'd have to operate certain workstations on one day and then others on the second day, because if we don't, some techs will have an unfair advantage over others," he says.

One idea is to add mandatory training sessions for technicians.

"I have to be able to do something with them while the other ones are running through the workstations, so that certain techs would be going through workstations and others would be going through training," he says. "Instead of going for 25 minutes of training, they may sit there for an hour--two rotations--in this type of training, maybe do a workstation and then do another type of training. What it does is guarantee all technicians are exposed to the same training, and for the fleet managers, they know that those techs are going to get that training."

Perhaps the biggest change will be the likely addition of more contestants to the hands-on portion of the competition; possibly up to 114, which Arrants says would also create a need for additional skills stations.

"We review our workstations when we're done and look at the overall scoring, and Chuck Roberts with ASE provides input to the group on the bell curve and how the workstation actually performed, based on the scores, to determine if it was a little too easy or too hard, or if we have to make some modifications," he says.

It is never too early to start gearing up for next year for hopeful competitors, either, and while some fleets are more proactive than others at helping their technicians' preparation, Long says it is ultimately up to the competitors to be ready to answer the bell.

"The technician has to make sure he's taking matters into his own hands by keeping himself up-to-date, by reading trade magazines, technical literature, bulletins, service manuals, that type of thing," Long says. "We have the RP manuals there in place at the workstations, and we also have the literature there that outlines what he needs to do in order to do the process properly. Sometimes the tech will get in such a hurry that he thinks he knows the procedure and he leaves out a step along the way. Then he gets to the end and finds out he has an extra part, and (says) 'Wait a minute--where does this go?' And you have to tear everything down and redo it."


Lewis, who will return as the two-time defending champion next year, says any technicians who missed the cut this year should have ample incentive to study up and come back even better in '09.

"You hate to see people cut out, but that's competition," he says. "If you stub your toe and stumble one little bit, you can count on the next competitors to take the ball and run with it. It tells the guys, 'I've identified a weak area I'm in; I need to study hard for the next time.'

If you sit back on your heels and rest, you'll be a spectator."

ASE's Hornicek credits the growth of the competition to the energy and enthusiasm of everyone involved.

"Bottom line--it's the volunteer efforts of the fleets, manufacturers and trainers that make this a great success," he says.

"Every year gets better."




Of course, you cannot have a competition without judges, and 227 dedicated volunteers from 118 companies were on hand to help evaluate the competitors, like WyoTech diesel instructor Chad Parsons, who returned after a one-year hiatus to serve as an engine judge.

Judges have the sometimes difficult task of learning their what their station will feature just a day before the event, yet must know the troubleshooting problems in and out before being able to evaluate technicians. Arrants says the secrecy-as well as other measures taken by the committee-helps ensure a fair competition.

"They know what workstation they're assigned to, but they don't know what is going to be expected from the technicians until that day, so that limits any massive knowledge of people knowing what's going on," Arrants says.

Parsons faced a bit of a challenge when he found out he was tasked to grade technicians on the DD15-an engine he had precious little time working with.

"We were originally told we were going to do the DD15s and started to build our preparation off that, and then were told about a month into it that we could not get enough to do the job, so we switched up," he says. "We were then told the Thursday before the show we were switched up again and were going to the DD15s."

Unfortunately, WyoTech did not have any of the engines on hand, so the next day, Parsons and his fellow WyoTech engine judges traveled to a nearby Freightliner dealer to get a crash course.
"We got to build our problem and test it right there in about two hours-it worked out good," he says.

Despite the last-minute scramble, Parsons says serving as a TMCSuperTech judge was once again a great experience.

"It's the satisfaction of being involved-seeing what the industry really is doing," he says. "We get to see first-hand, the guys out there in the field and their capabilities, and what do we need to do to make sure these techs stay on top of their game? If we go through and watch 10 guys do the same problem, not all 10 do the same, and you'll walk away with more knowledge because you've seen 10 different approaches to one problem."

Charles Ralston, Midwestern technician trainer for TA/Petro travel centers, participated as a judge (HVAC) for the first time after twice competing as a technician. He says while his new job is not easy, it's much less stressful that competing and is very valuable for his work.

"I got a lot out of this event-mainly the ways that techs go about diagnosing problems," he says. "I could see where people have problems and try to work on this with my techs, and I also saw the good ways. This is a place for them to show how good they really are, and also what needs more work."

Ralston says the competition provides lessons for both competitors and judges alike, and urged fleet professionals to send their employees next year to see the benefits for themselves.

"More people should come to this event to see what they need to work on to further their career," he says. "When I went in 2005, I didn't know what to expect; I thought I was the big fish in the small pond, and then I got thrown into the ocean. It gave me a lot to work on and made me a better tech."


Roger Maye of Consolidated Metro has served as the Wheel End Skills Station chairman since the station was added in 2006, and says it is important for station chairmen to include a wide variety of judges from across the industry-even your biggest competitors.

"It works out to be a pretty good team effort," he says. "If you look at TMC, everybody pulls together for a common cause, and the skills challenges are a good example, where you've got competitors working side-by-side to put the event together. They all come and bring their expertise; we pool our information to come up with written questions. You get the collective benefit of everybody's experience."

As station chairman, it's up to Maye to make sure everything is running smoothly with both judges and competitors.

"We set everything up a couple days before and try to have a contingency plan if something breaks, so we don't miss a beat in the competition," he says. "And we always have enough judges so they can have a

little flexibility in the day, and not have to stay there eight hours. If we have six stations, we might have 10 judges-that way they can go to a task force meeting."

Next up for Maye is putting together next year's test questions -not an easy task, as the technicians continue to improve.

"I'll be surveying all the people who have helped us judge so we can come up with some new challenges and new test questions, and we'll be getting the latest service literature so we can update our vehicle procedures accordingly," he says. "I've been making the test a little harder each year so we've got something that can challenge these guys."


Winning a station is certainly not easy, but putting together more than a dozen skills stations and accurately judging contestants is no piece of cake, either. TMC's 13-person Professional Technician Development Committee (PTDC), which conducts the competition, keeps things running smoothly, and committee member Lee Long says their mission is to provide a fair, but tough competition to bring out the technicians' best.

"The competition is grueling, but that is all a part of it," Long says. "Those (who work well under pressure) are the ones you want making decisions about the proper repair process on the shop floor."

The first hurdle is a 100-question written test directly from the ASE Medium/Heavy Truck Certification Testing Program, developed from the truck OEMs, component manufacturers, trainers and technicians. The topics cover diesel engines, drivetrain, brakes, steering & suspension, electrical, HVAC and PMI.

"This is a reflection of the technicians who participate in this contest," says Kurt Hornicek, ASE director, M/H Truck Technical Programs. "SuperTech is more than just a title."

Thanks to some suggestions, this year also featured two preliminary workstations to help determine the cut score of the technicians who move on to the hands-on portion of the competition.

"We had some folks say to us in the past that some of the technicians that may do very well in the hands-on may not get there because they don't do well on written tests," says PDTC Contest Chairman George Arrants. "So we provided them two avenues to possibly increase their score, to give them an opportunity."

Once the finalists are chosen, technicians move to various rotations on to the hands-on skills stations, where Hornicek says he and his colleague Chuck Roberts, ASE executive director for industry relations, maintain the scoring database "with extreme attention to detail." If there are technicians from the same company, committee members put them in the same rotation to avoid passing information. This year, organizers added stations for safety and environmental fasteners, increasing the number of stations to 14.

The scores from each station are not only used to help determine winners; they are evaluated in future committee meetings to help plan next year's stations. That preparation includes a planning session at the Spring TMC Annual Meeting and conference calls throughout the rest of the year. Arrants says the group starts working on next year's event while the competition is going on.

"We take all that information into account immediately and create kind of a checklist," he says. "We already had one conference call regarding this with some of the officers just to set things in motion for next year."
Long says TMC "tweaks" the event from year to year to keep things fresh and to prevent technicians from getting into a comfort zone.

"It keeps the guys on their toes as far as what they have to be in tune with in order to be confident in their skill levels when they get to the competition," he says. "We're trying to get them to make sure that they follow the protocols that we have-the diagnostic 'trees' and that type of thing that are laid out before them in order to complete the task they're assigned at the workstation."

Top 10 Finishers
1. David Bryan Lewis - Wal-Mart Transportation, Amelia Court House, VA
2. Scott Bennett - Ryder System, Inc., Tacoma, WA
3. Michael Bogard - Ryder System, Inc., Neenah, WI
4. Daniel Myers - Roberts Truck Center, Albuquerque, NM
5. Randy Qualls - Wal-Mart Transportation, Waterloo, SC
6. Timothy Peters - Ryder System, Inc., Newton, NC
7. Christopher Barnett - Ryder System, Inc., Alpharetta, GA
8. Bailey Johnson - McKee Foods, Stuarts Draft, VA
9. Thomas Pianalto - Diamond International Trucks, Lowelll, AK
10. Christopher Tate - Mohawk Truck, West Seneca, NY

Skills Station Winners:
• Steering & Suspension -- Christopher Barnett - Ryder System, Alpharetta, GA
• Fastener & Fastener Repair -- Norbert Estrada - TravelCenters of America, Gary, IN
• Starting & Charging -- Dave Thrower - FedEx National LTL, Middletown, PA
• Drivetrain -- Michael Bogard - Ryder System, Inc., Neenah, WI
• PMI -- Richard Fasoli - Con-Way Freight, Southampton, MA
• Brakes -- Norbert Estrada - TravelCenters of America, Gary, IN
• Electrical -- Ken Myers - New York State Motor Truck Assn., Victor, NY
• HVAC -- Thomas Pianalto - Diamond International Trucks, Lowell, AK
• Safety & Environmental -- Doug Skelly - First Vehicle Services, Pittsburgh, PA
• Service Information -- Kevin Schwarzbauer - Carolina International Trucks, Columbia, SC
• Repair Order Generation -- David Lewis - Wal-Mart Transportation, Amelia Court House, VA
• Wheel End -- Christopher Tate - Mohawk Truck, West Seneca, NY
• Tire & Wheel -- Eric Vos - FedEx Freight, Boise, ID
• Engines -- Phillip Mellor - Swift Transportation, Albuquerque, NM


TMC Offers Membership for Technicians

TMC currently has 213 technician members and is looking for more. The cost to join is $75 annually, and benefits include: a two-volume CD set of TMC's Recommended Practices Manual with supplements, monthly TMC Newsletter Fleet Advisor, providing in-depth articles on industry news (online); Fleet Maintenance & Technology, a quarterly magazine offering coverage of Council news and featuring in-depth articles on topics important to trucking professionals; access to industry training schedules; a TMC professional technician shoulder patch and substantial discounts on TMC products and publications, as well as meeting attendance. TMC President Robert Braswell says technicians are important for the organization as it moves forward.

"We recognize that attracting technicians to our organization is a movement towards our future existence and growth because often these individuals are the ones who eventually become fleet maintenance managers-a membership category that forms the backbone of our council," he says.

Visit www.tmc/ for more information.