Guide To Competing In The TMCSuperTech

There are six steps to getting technicians involved as competitors in the annual Technology & Maintenance Council ( TMCSuperTech - trucking’s only industry-wide competition aimed at honoring commercial vehicle technicians and recognizing the best of the best.

This National Technician Skills Competition allows technicians to demonstrate their skills and knowledge through a variety of diagnostic and problem-solving skills tests over the two-day event. Those that are the most proficient earn industry recognition and valuable prizes.

Fleet Maintenance ( is proud to be a Platinum Sponsor of the TMCSuperTech.

TMC’s Professional Technician Development Committee (PTDC), a group that promotes and enhances the professionalism of commercial vehicle technicians, organized the TMCSuperTech in 2005.

“This year marks the first major change in format to the National Technician Skills Competition,” says TMC’s technical director Robert Braswell. “TMCSuperTech2013 now features an enhanced competition arrangement which will allow more contestants the opportunity to experience the hands-on side of the competition that previously had been reserved for finalists.

“TMC’s Professional Technician Development Committee feels the change will enhance the experience and value for all participating technicians and their supporting companies.”



Any commercial vehicle technician employed in the trucking industry may register for the TMCSuperTech. The entry fee for TMC technician members is $150. For non-member technicians, the entry fee is $250, which includes technician membership in TMC for the remainder of the year.

The entry fee is waived for verified grand champions of 2013 state maintenance council commercial vehicle technician skills contests. These technicians skip the pre-qualification tests and are automatically included in the finals.

This year, for the first time, technicians may register for the TMCSuperTech online at:



The TMCSuperTech is held in conjunction with the annual TMC Fall Meeting. This year’s meeting, themed Precision Maintenance, will take place in Pittsburgh, PA, Monday through Thursday, Sept. 9 to 12, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. (This is covered elsewhere this issue.)

Upon checking in for the competition, registered competitors will receive their TMCSuperTech credentials and be asked to attend a special orientation for the competitors.



On Monday, TMCSuperTech competitors will compete in the pre-qualification round. It consists of a written multiple-choice question examination, plus a series of hands-on skills tests.

The PTDC Technician Training Fair will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday. Open to all TMCSuperTech competitors and fall meeting attendees, the fair offers a range of educational opportunities.

The training sessions planned for this year are: Fastener Training 101, Compressed Natural Gas Engines - Spark Ignition Components, Compressed and Liquid Natural Gas Technology and Safety, Fifth Wheel Upper Coupler Technology and Inspection, and Computer-Based Total Vehicle Diagnostic Routines. (See article elsewhere this issue.)

By participating in these training sessions, competitors earn additional bonus points which are counted in the overall scoring for the TMCSuperTech. With as close as the competition sometimes is, these bonus points can make a big difference in how a competitor finishes.



The TMCSuperTech2013 Reception will be held Monday evening following the pre-qualification testing. During this reception, the names of the 100 or so competitors who have done well enough in pre-qualifying to advance to the finals - the Hands-On Skills Challenge on Tuesday, Sept. 10, - are announced.

After the reception, everyone has the opportunity to get a sneak peak at the Hands-On Skills Challenge stations.



The Hands-On Skills Challenge takes place on Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Qualifying competitors go through a series of 14 stations, covering the following diagnostic skills areas:

  • PMI (pre-trip inspection).
  • HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning).
  • Drivetrain.
  • Starting & Charging.
  • Service Information.
  • Brakes.
  • Liftgates.
  • Wheel end.
  • Fifth Wheel.
  • Electrical.
  • Tire & Wheel.
  • Steering & Suspension.
  • Engine Electrical.
  • Engine (Hardware).

Spectators are welcome on the competition floor.



The winners of the TMCSuperTech2013 will be announced, and trophies and prizes presented, during the TMC Industry Awards Luncheon that will take place on Wednesday, September 11. Awards are given for first, second and third best in the overall competition.

The technician who earns the first place honor is declared the TMCSuperTech Grand Champion and receives an expense-paid trip to the 2014 Daytona 500, plus other prizes. In addition, the winner’s name will appear on the TMCSuperTech Grand Champion Banner that is displayed at every TMC meeting.

Second place and third place winners will also receive trophies and valuable prizes. Individuals who hav the top score for each of the on-hands skills stations, including those from the pre-qualification round, receive special prizes as well.