Jason Swann, a technician at Rush Truck Center Dallas, had to rise from a dinner table last night and walk to a stage to accept top awards not once or twice, but three times. But those walks, and the diagnostic and repair performance he showed during Rush Enterprises’ Tech Skills Rodeo, earned him $9,500 in prizes plus a racing suit and helmet presented by Nascar driver Tony Stewart.
Swann was among 106 Rush technicians from around the U.S. who journeyed to San Antonio to compete in the eighth annual competition, and he emerged as All-Around Grand Champion in all categories, as well as Grand Champion in heavy duty divisions and First Place winner in Eaton components.
Thirty other technicians were each awarded checks for $3,000 to $5,000 for winning or placing in one or more of 16 testing categories. Some won more than one category, which further boosted their earnings. Most top winners also got $1 per hour raises.
Testing was done over three days and judged by supplier representatives who set up their stations by bugging vehicles and equipment.
Prior to announcing the awards, Mike Besson, a Rush vice president who co-founded the first rodeo in 2006 and has directed subsequent events, heaped praise on the competitors and on fellow employees who attended to travel, entertainment and presentation details. And he profusely thanked suppliers for contributing more than $400,000 to assist Rush in hosting the event.
Rusty Rush, the company’s chairman and CEO, saluted technicians for keeping customers’ trucks running. Rush Truck Centers employ about 1,500 technicians and is adding 500 more from recent dealership acquisitions.
Stewart, whose Number 14 car is sponsored by Rush and hauled to races by Rush transporters, was the celebrity guest. His appearance was a crowd pleaser because many truck technicians, like drivers and truck owners, are fans of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.
The following is Rush’s list of all winners and prizes they earned.