Tyson Sontag Wins TMCSuperTech2006 National Contest

Tyson W. Sontag, Gentry, Ark., has earned his spot as the nation's best professional truck technician after being named Grand Champion of TMCSuperTech2006 on Sept. 20 during the Technology & Maintenance Council's (TMC) 2006 Fall Meeting. Sontag, a...

Skills station winners include: Electrical/Electronic, Eric Rusk, McKee Foods Transportation; Brakes, Steve Roen, Rush Truck Centers - Dallas; HVAC, Eric Rusk, McKee Foods Transportation; Engines, Steve Talmadge, Premier Truck Centers; Steering/Suspension, Tyson Sontag, McKee Foods Transportation; Preventive Maintenance Inspection, Troy Scott, Transco Lines, Inc.; Drivetrains, Tyson Sontag, McKee Foods Transportation; Service Information, Larry Kennedy, J.B. Hunt Transportation; Wheel Ends, Anthony Oliver Wilson, Saia Freightlines; and Tire & Wheel, Numa Iraeta, Bay City Diesel.

In addition to his sixth-place overall score, Mike Bogard, Ryder Systems, again this year earned the top score on the written test. Bogard placed third overall in the 2005 competition. Steve Talmadge, last year's grand champion, placed 13th in the skills competition.

Five state trucking associations sent 2006 state grand champions to TMCSuperTech2006. They include: Arkansas, Troy Scott; New York, Christopher Tate; Oregon, Ray Jacky; South Carolina, Jeff Williams; and Texas, Steven Roen.

TMCSuperTech2006 was organized by TMC, a technical Council of American Trucking Associations, to showcase the skill and knowledge of trucking industry technicians, and to increase the visibility of career opportunities available for truck technicians. Industry experts report that 20,000-25,000 new truck technicians will be needed each year for the next 10 years.

In addition to the national skills competition, technicians and TMC members and registered guests of TMC's 2006 Fall Meeting could participate in the PTDC Technician Training Fair that was held Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 19-20. The training included many of the skills subjects tested in the TMCSuperTech2006 competition.

"TMCSuperTech is truly an industry event," said Robert Braswell, TMC's technical director. "An amazing amount of time was spent planning and coordinating this event - time that was donated by fleets, OEMs, suppliers and other industry partners." Operating the event and its 10 skill stations required the coordination of the dozen PTDC committee members with approximately 90 judges and station captains. Specialized tools and vehicles - including 24 Class 8 tractors - for the skills stations were provided by manufacturers and fleets, much of it through Friends of the Technician sponsors.

Friends of the Technician sponsorships include three levels - Platinum, Gold and Silver - that reflect annual sponsorship levels by companies, organizations or individuals at the $20,000, $10,000 and $5,000. Platinum level sponsors include Fleet Maintenance Magazine/Cygnus Business Media, WheelTime Network, and WyoTech technical college. Gold level sponsors include ArvinMeritor, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems & Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake, Cummins, Inc., FedEx Express, FedEx Freight & FedEx Ground, Haldex Commercial Vehicle Systems, Hendrickson International, Roadranger - Eaton and Dana, and Snap-On. Silver level sponsors include: Mack Trucks, Inc., United States Postal Service - NCED, and Wal-Mart Transportation.

Skills station sponsors for TMCSuperTech2006 include: Brakes - Arvin Meritor, Brake Tech Tools, Bendix and Haldex; Drivetrain - Arvin Meritor; and Electrical - Truck-Lite. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is sponsored the written test and scoring of the national skills competition.

In-kind sponsors for TMCSuperTech2006 include: Drivetrain - Roadranger - Eaton and Dana; Engines - FedEx, Volvo, Maverick Transportation, WyoTech, Cummins, and Cumins Rocky Mountain; HVAC - Rush Enterprises, Rush Truck Centers and St. Louis Community College; Preventive Maintenance Inspection - FedEx Express; Steering/Suspension - International Truck and Engine, Longhorn International Trucks, Ltd.; Tire & Wheel - Bandag, Inc., Hunter Engineering, Holt Caterpillar, Imperial Products, Matco Tools, Michelin, Myers Tire Supply and UPS; and Wheel End - Consolidated Metco, Dana, SKF, Stemco and Timken.

Information on how to become a Friend of the Technician sponsor is available online at http://www.truckline.com/aboutata/councils/tmc/ptdcsponsorship, or by contacting David Miller, TMC exhibit services manager, at 703-838-1927 or dmiller@trucking.org.

For information about competing or sponsoring in TMCSuperTech2007, contact TMC at 703-838-1763.

TMC, a technical council of American Trucking Associations, is North America's premier technical society for truck equipment, information technology and logistics professionals. Find out more about TMC at http://tmc.truckline.com.

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