Trailer Talk

Trailers an Important Part of 2016 SuperTech

Techs from TravelCenters of America dominated the Trailer Track competition, winning 12 of 15 awards announced.

September 23, 2016

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Check the lights? Sure. The electrical system was among 12 items tested in the Trailer Track competition at TMC's SuperTech event in Raleigh, N.C., Sept. 18-21. Photos: Marsh Galloway
Check the lights? Sure. The electrical system was among 12 items tested in the Trailer Track competition at TMC's SuperTech event in Raleigh, N.C., Sept. 18-21. Photos: Marsh Galloway

TMC’s SuperTech competition concluded Wednesday (September 21) with a special luncheon and reading of names of the numerous winners who trouped up one by one to get their awards.

It went on for more than two and a half hours, yet almost everyone in the audience, contestants and non-contestants alike, stayed ‘til the bitter end. Of course, they wanted to see who won. And they know that these young technicians are an important part of trucking’s future. (Do a subject search on the technician shortage on this website and you’ll find many columns and stories about how it’s only going to get worse.)

Because I write this weekly blog about trailers, I was pleased that the folks who run the Technology & Maintenance Council’s SuperTech program saw fit to inaugurate a Trailer Track for competitors. Trailers get little enough attention in the real world, and this new focus gives them the respect they deserve.

Trailers (and truck bodies) are where the payloads go, after all. Besides, they’re getting more complex, and mechanics need to know what makes them tick – or hum, preferably.

Anyway, among the winners announced were those in the Trailer Track. Its overall winners were 1, Scott Davidson, TravelCenters of America;  2, Robert Anderson, TravelCenters of America; and 3, Michael Kerfoot, TravelCenters of America. That’s right, techs from TA swept the top three places in the trailers competition.

There were 12 stations testing the techs' skills on individual trailer systems, and TMC reported that the winners at each were:

T1. Brakes:                                               Scott Davidson, TravelCenters of America

T3. Trailer Coupler:                                   Michael Kerfoot, TravelCenters of America

T4. Trailer Electrical:                                  Robert Anderson, TravelCenters of America

T5. Trailer Tire and Wheel:                        Robert Anderson, TravelCenters of America

T6. Trailer Liftgates:                                  Scott Davidson, TravelCenters of America

T7. Trailer Alignment:                                Richard Holt, Tyson Foods

T8. Roll-up Doors:                                     Sean Bailey, Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc.

T9. Trailer Antilock Braking System:         Scott Davidson, TravelCenters of America

T10. Trailer Electrical System Corrosion:  Michael Kerfoot, TravelCenters of America

T11. 7-Pin Connector Repair:                   Justin Munoz, TravelCenters of America

T12. Trailer Fasteners:                              Scott Davidson, TravelCenters of America

Lookie there! TA’s Davidson, Anderson and Kerfoot dominated the station testing, too, together winning nine out of the 12. “TA must fix a lot of trailers,” quipped the presentation emcee, George Arrant of the WheelTime Network, who’s also chairman of the SuperTech committee.

Look for other individual results in’s News section next week.

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Author Bio

Tom Berg

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Senior Contributing Editor

Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978. CDL-qualified; conducts road tests on new heavy-, medium- and light-duty tractors and trucks. Specializes in vocational and hybrid vehicles.


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