FedEx Freight technician Mark McLean Jr. has won the TMC SuperTech National Technicians Skills Competition for the second straight year. He also scored the highest total points at the competition last year in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The 2014 competition was held in conjunction with the fall meeting of the Technology and Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Associations at the Dolphin Hotel’s convention center at Disney World, near Orlando, Fla.
McLean's naming as champion climaxed an awards luncheon during which he and other top finishers were feted for mastering hands-on skills and written knowledge tests on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
McLean, from Montgomery, N.Y., helped FedEx technicians sweep the top three spots in the event. Eric Vos, Boise, Idaho, finished second and Charles Kerr, Schertz, Texas, was third.
In addition to accolades, each won an all-expense-paid trip for two to a NASCAR race next year, as well as thousands of dollars in gift cards, tools and other merchandise. The prizes were paid for by the many corporate sponsors of the event and TMC itself. The other Top 20 winners also received gifts.
On his way to being named Grand Champion, McLean won three of 15 skill stations: drivetrain, service information and wheel end.
McLean said he was interested in cars and trucks when he was a boy, and his parents encouraged him to work toward a career in mechanics. He took auto shop classes while at New Falls High School in New York, then attended Baran Technical Institute in East Windsor, Conn.
"My father is a driver for FedEx Freight and going to work for them was natural,” he said. He’s been at the fleet’s Newburgh, N.Y., shop for seven years, and credits his supervisors for helping build his skills to the competition level.
"It really helps you stay on top of technology,” he said of the SuperTech competition and the need to study for it. “I learned a lot of what I know at these events.”
McLean briefly broke down on stage after the announcement was made. It was a combination of happiness and relief, he said.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself,” he explained. “I really wanted to win this.”
McLean also led the FedEx Freight team, along with Matthew Nolan, Windsor Locks, Conn., to victory in the team competition.
In addition to the main SuperTech program, TMC sponsored a first-time student technician skills competition. Lueck Gunnar, a student at WyoTech, won the competition and three of eight station events. Mid-Florida Tech student Robert Gonzalez finished second and Advanced Technology Institute’s Kenneth McDonald finished third.
The station winners in SuperTech, including some multiple winners:
- ASE Written Test, Jeffrey Nesheim, Ryder System, Carol Stream, Ill.
- Starting & Charging, Jeffrey Nesheim, Ryder System, Carol Stream, Ill.
- HVAC, Eric Rusk, McKee Foods Transportation, Gentry, Ark.
- Brakes, Darrell Duggan, Walmart Transportation, Grantsville, Utah
- Steering & Suspension, Frederick Morra, Ryder System, Hanford, Calif.
- Fifth Wheel, Robert Bruen, Swift Transportation Co., Jonestown, Pa.
- Tire & Wheel, Joseph Calaway, Walmart Transportation, Reading, Mich.
- PMI, Andrew Dilmuth, FedEx Freight, Jacksonville, Fla.
- Drivetrain, Mark McLean Jr., FedEx Freight, Montgomery, N.Y.
- Engine Electronics, Jeff Schlecht, Omaha Truck Center, Omaha, Neb.
- Service Information, Mark McLean Jr., FedEx Freight, Montgomery, N.Y.
- Electrical 2, Darrell Duggan, Walmart Transportation, Grantsville, Utah
- Engine Hardware, Christopher Tate, Mohawk Truck, West Seneca, N.Y.
- Wheel End 2, Mark McLean Jr., FedEx Freight, Montgomery, N.Y.
- Liftgates, Eric Vos, FedEx Freight, Boise, Idaho
2014 SuperTech Student station winners, also including some multiple winners:
- Fasteners, Jacob Devault, Mid-Florida Tech
- TMC RP Manual, Danny Gonzalez, Mid-Florida Tech
- PMI, Danny Gonzalez, Mid-Florida Tech
- ASE Written Test, Danny Gonzalez, Mid-Florida Tech
- Wiring Diagram, Kenneth McDonald, Advanced Technology Institute
- Electrical, Lueck Gunnar, WyoTech
- Service Information, Lueck Gunnar, WyoTech
- Trailer Lighting, Lueck Gunnar, WyoTech