Showcasing Service at SuperTech
On September 16, 2018, Great Dane trailer mechanics Adam Burton and Rickey Whipple walked into the Orlando World Center Marriott to compete for the first time at the Technology and Maintenance Council’s National Technician Skills Competition (TMC SuperTech). Burton and Whipple were chosen to represent Great Dane from among the many highly-skilled technicians throughout Great Dane’s network of aftermarket branches across the U.S.
“Adam and Rickey are hardworking, skilled mechanics,” said Art Hobbs, Great Dane Branch Service manager, “I’ve known these guys for a long time and I knew they would represent our company well.”
Burton has worked at Great Dane’s branch location in Springdale, Arkansas, since 2010 and Whipple has been at the company’s Little Rock, Arkansas, branch since 1999. While Great Dane has been involved with TMC SuperTech for many years – providing trailers, helping develop test curriculum and chairing stations – this was the first time the company has entered competitors in the event. Great Dane provides its employees with access to a comprehensive training program that has received ASE accreditation – a first in the trailer industry – so the SuperTech competition was an excellent opportunity for Burton, Whipple and Great Dane to put these skills and trainings to the test.
Burton and Whipple competed in 15 skill tests, assessing their abilities in diagnosing, servicing and repairing various trailer parts. Burton took home first place in the trailer alignment station, which consisted of written questions based on TMC recommended practices for trailer alignment and required competitors to demonstrate the proper use of alignment tools and perform a trailer alignment. Burton’s first place finish was an exceptional achievement for any technician, but Great Dane was especially proud to have one of its first-time competitors take home a win against some of the industry's best and brightest.
“SuperTech provides a much-needed opportunity to recognize the talented mechanics and technicians in our industry and showcase their knowledge and skills,” said Tony Neven, Great Dane’s Aftermarket field support manager. “We’ve always enjoyed supporting and being involved with the event in the past, but it was more exciting this year to actually have competitors representing Great Dane – and even better that we had a winner!”
Great Dane’s extensive aftermarket network of more than 100 service locations is staffed with trained technicians who are up-to-date on the most current products and repair techniques. The company has received ASE accreditation for its aftermarket service technician training program, which requires technicians to prove their knowledge and skills in trailer maintenance by passing theoretical and practical tests in their specialties. This training ensures technicians provide safe, consistent and quality workmanship and helps Great Dane customers increase uptime by putting trailers back on the road quickly. Great Dane is the first trailer OEM to receive ASE accreditation for its training programs, and the remarkable performance of Burton and Whipple at the SuperTech competition is a testament to the effectiveness of these programs.
Great Dane was a platinum sponsor of SuperTech this year and partnered with Walmart to send eight Great Dane Champion dry vans to be used in the competition. This annual event determines the industry’s top truck technicians through qualifying written exams and hands-on skills challenges.