Tate also won three of the 15 skills stations during the Hands-on Skills Challenge, including Tire and Wheel, Wheel End, and Written Test. At this year's event, he again represented the New York State Motor Truck Association as its champion truck technician.
For his win, Tate will take home a trophy, a Nexiq Technologies' Snap-On two-piece Classic 78 model tool chest valued at approximately $8,000, a Midtronics Celltron MAX battery analysis system valued at $1,100, a trip for two to the Daytona 500, Noregon Systems' JPRO Fleet Diagnostic Kit, a custom-made championship leather jacket, $600 in gift cards, and other items.
Two Ryder System technicians, Rick Grivel, Alpharetta, Ga., and Christopher Barnett, Florence, Ky., placed second and third in the annual competition, receiving the Midtronics Celltron MAX battery analysis system. Another Ryder technician, Michael Bogard, Neenah, Wis., earned fourth place. Bogard was last year's third-place winner, and earned the top score on the written portion of the competition the previous three years.
Rounding out the top 10 technicians this year included Michael John Vallery, Oak Harbor Freight Lines, Portland, Ore.; Grant Allen Cherry, Wal-Mart Transportation, Pilot Rock, Ore.; Richard Zacholl, Swift Transportation, N. Syracuse, N.Y.; Jimmie Slusher, Ryder System, Elizabethton, Tenn.; Ray Wordekemp, Omaha Truck Center, Omaha, Neb.; and Thomas Pianalto, Diamond International Trucks, Lowell, Ark.
TMC, a technical council of American Trucking Associations, developed the national TMCSuperTech competition as a way to recognize truck technicians and promote the career opportunities for heavy truck technicians. The competition is meant to showcase the skill and knowledge of trucking industry technicians, and to increase the visibility of career opportunities available for truck technicians.