PORTLAND, Ore. — Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) recently announced the winners of this year’s Technician Skills Competition, which was held in a virtual format because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kyle Siebert, Northwest Trucks Inc., Palatine, Illinois, is the winner of the vehicle category; and Ryan Picken, Metro Freightliner Hamilton Inc., Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada won the engine category. The winners will receive a diagnostic laptop, electrical tools, branded items and select merchandise of their choice for their entire shop.
The annual competition tests the abilities of technicians from Freightliner and Western Star dealerships, as well as and Detroit distributors, in the U.S. and Canada to diagnose and repair a variety of DTNA’s vehicle and engine products. There were 1,073 participants in this year’s competition, with a group of 28 finalists.
This year’s competition began with a written exam in June and culminated with the virtual “hands-on” round, with finalists completing the challenges at their respective locations. The judges — based in Portland, Oregon; Detroit, Michigan; and Cleveland, North Carolina — walked the finalists through different stations, where the competitors were evaluated on how accurately they were able to troubleshoot problems.
“It required a lot of creativity to translate what normally would have been a hands-on and in-person event into a virtual competition,” said Mike Mallett, training programs manager for DTNA.
“Because the technicians had to verbalize their rationale for all proposed actions, the virtual format afforded the judges fantastic insight into the diagnostics and troubleshooting approaches of those competing,” he continued. “Congratulations to Kyle and Ryan for winning this year’s competition, and thank you to all of our engine and vehicle technicians who continually provide our customers with the highest level of efficiency and expertise to maximize uptime.”
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