Photo courtesy Rush

Photo courtesy Rush

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- The 11th Annual Rush Truck Technician Rodeo is in the bag. More than $250,000 in cash and prizes has been handed out, and the new Rush 2016 Technician Rodeo Grand Champion has been named.

CEO Rusty Rush addressed the large crowd on hand at the Texas Ballroom in the San Antonio Grand Hyatt Hotel, consisting of Rush technicians and suppliers, and reiterated his annual message and firmly held belief that it is service that ultimately sells trucks.

"This is a competitive business that is on track to be down 40% next year in Class 8 sales," he told attendees. "And the only way we can address that issue is by service - keeping our customers' trucks on the road and making money. And if we can do that for them in a down year, they will remember us when things turn around and get better."

The Grand Champion, Lucas Manlief, a technician at Rush Truck Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, has competed in two previous Rush Tech Rodeos, placing as a finalist. Manlief described his win as Grand Champion as "very tough but still very surreal" and said he was having a hard time processing the experience.

"But overall, my participation in this event has made me a better technician," he said, because it has shown him the importance of working through technical issues methodically and following the documented procedures to resolve an issue.

Rusty Rush noted that Manlief took a job at Rush as a technician right out of trade school and has been with the company ever since -- for over 15 years. "People need to understand that being a diesel technician is not the old job they imagine it to be," he said. "It' is a well-paying job that demands a great deal of expertise and is always challenging and changing."

Manlief agreed, noting that increasing electronic control and computing systems were changing the role of a technician in ways that were unimaginable when he started at Rush 15 years ago.

But, technology aside, Manlief said his ultimate satisfaction as a Rush service technician remains unchanged: "I still feel like I've done my job when I'm fixing trucks and getting our customers back out on the road," he said.

The complete winners list for the 2016 Rush Technician Rodeo includes:



  • First place: Ron Hall, Rush Truck Center – Dallas Light- and Medium-Duty ($2,750 cash and prizes)


  • First place: Aaron Van Straten, Rush Truck Center – Sealy ($2,750)


  • First place: John O’Brien, Rush Truck Center – Orlando South (($2750)


  • First Place: Alejandro Gonzalez, Rush Truck Center – Atlanta ($2750)


  • First Place: Randy  Brehm, Rush Truck Center – San Antonio ($2750)


Rising Star

  • First place: John Malone, Rush Truck Center – Lake City ($6700)
  • Second place: Nathaniel Walder, Rush Truck Center – Dayton ($6300)
  • Third place: Thomas Powell, Rush Truck Center – Austin (($3800)


  • First place: Carl Trevino, Rush Truck Center – Houston Medium-Duty ($5200)
  • Second place: Marc Hurley, Rush Truck Center – Denver ($3325)


  • First place: Shane Myers, Rush Truck Center – Springfield, Ohio (($5200)
  • Second place: William Loving, Rush Truck Center – Gainesville ($3200)

Collision Center

Body Repair

  • First place: Ryan Dugat, Rush Truck Center – Lufkin ($5200)
  • Second place: Marcos Silva, Rush Truck Center – San Antonio ($3400)

Body Paint

  • First place: Shawn Hengstebeck, Rush Truck Center – Fontana Collision Center ($5100)
  • Second place: Daniel Skiles, Rush Truck Center – Denver ($3400)



  • First place: Matthew Pogue, Rush Truck Center – San Antonio ($4000)
  • Second place: Steven Brain, Rush Truck Center – Dallas Medium-Duty ($3,000)


  • First place: Rick Nonamaker Rush Truck Center – Waco ($4000)
  • Second place: Chris Williams, Rush Truck Center – Denver ($3000)


  • First place: Lucas Manlief, Rush Truck Center – Indianapolis ($4000)
  • Second place: Eric Custead, Rush Truck Center –  Hickory ($3000)


  • First place: Travis Graham, Rush Truck Center – Orlando
  • Second place: Dustin Ebert, Rush Truck Center – Phoenix ($3000) 

Heavy Duty

Alternative Fuels

  • First place: Will Young, Rush Truck Center – Oklahoma City ($5000)
  • Second place: Joe Ulakovic, Rush Truck Center – Dallas ($4000)


  • First place: Christopher Jordan, Rush Truck Center – Carol Stream ($5000
  • Second place: Nicholas Misch, Rush Truck Center – San Antonio ($4000)
  • Third place: Matthew Chilson, Rush Truck Center – Houston ($3000)


  • First place: Paul Serr, Rush Truck Center – Denver ($5000)
  • Second place: Jason Swann, Rush Truck Center – Dallas ($4000)
  • Third place: Brian Noska, Rush Truck Center – Sealy ($3,000)

Navistar Engine

  • First place: Michael Denero, Rush Truck Center – Charlotte ($5,000)
  • Second place: Brandon Sloan, Rush Truck Center – Salt Lake City ($4000)
  • Third place: Derik Frazier, Rush Truck Center – Cincinnati ($3,000

Paccar MX

  • First place: Glenn Boothe, Rush Truck Center – Nashville ($5000)
  • Second place: Mark Craver, Rush Truck Center – Mobile ($4000)
  • Third place: Erick Lincoln, Rush Truck Center – Albuquerque ($3,000)

Reserve Champions

  • Parts: Ron Hall, Rush Truck Center – Dallas Light- and Medium-Duty (Total winnings $6150)
  • Medium-Duty: Dustin Ebert, Rush Truck Center – Phoenix (total winnings $8500)
  • Heavy-Duty: Jason Swann, Rush Truck Center – Dallas (total winnings $9500)

Grand Champions

  • Parts: Jonathan O’Brien, Rush Truck Center – Orlando South (total winnings $10,250)
  • Medium-Duty: Lucas Manlief, Rush Truck Center – Indianapolis (total winnings below)
  • Heavy-Duty: Erick Lincoln, Rush Truck Center – Albuquerque (total winnings $13,000)

All-Around Champion

Lucas Manlief, Rush Truck Center – Indianapolis (total winnings $17,100)