First-Time In-Person Competitor Wins Rush Tech Skills Challenge

First-Time In-Individual Competitor Wins Rush Tech Abilities Problem

Paul Crawford exhibits off his trophy and spurs as grand champion. (Connor D. Wolf/Transport Subjects)

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SAN ANTONIO — Rush Enterprises Inc. resumed its annual technician problem as an in-person competitors ­— with a first-time in-person competitor as grand champion — after a two-year hiatus attributable to the coronavirus pandemic, a return to regular that was welcomed by the corporate’s chief.

“I couldn’t be happier to be again right here — two years of digital virtually killed me,” Rush Enterprises CEO W.M. “Rusty” Rush mentioned through the occasion’s Dec. 13 awards ceremony. “I do know it meant simply the identical for you of us however for me — for the occasion and all the things else — it simply wasn’t the identical. So, I can’t let you know how excited I’m; I imply that sincerely.”

The corporate’s Tech Abilities Rodeo invitations Rush’s truck technicians to check their information and expertise by means of hands-on and written challenges. Greater than 1,000 individuals competed this 12 months, throughout classes together with heavy-duty, medium-duty, specialty, “rising star,” components, aftermarket gross sales and truck gross sales classes. Inside every class are subdivisions the place rivals should place earlier than advancing.

About $300,000 in prizes had been accessible to a subject of rivals that has expanded because the occasion’s launch, mentioned Robb Nixon, Rush Enterprises vice chairman of gross sales.

Rush Enterprises CEO W.M. “Rusty” Rush on stage through the awards ceremony. (Connor D. Wolf/Transport Subjects)

“The rodeo started in 2006 and it was for service rivals solely,” Nixon mentioned. “Through the years, we’ve added and expanded to the service aspect of the competitors with components, counter folks, aftermarket gross sales folks, truck gross sales folks. This 12 months we’re excited to introduce a brand new leasing class as a part of our specialty division, giving our techs at Rush Truck Leasing an opportunity to compete for money and prizes. And for the primary time ever, we’ll announce a truck gross sales model champion. So, there are quite a lot of causes to be excited concerning the awards this season.”

The competitors this 12 months occurred Dec. 12-13, and the winners had been introduced through the Dec. 13 ceremony. Paul Crawford, who competed within the medium-duty service class and works at Rush Truck Facilities in Haines Metropolis, Fla., took residence the grand champion trophy. It was his first time coming into the in-person competitors, and he walked away with $18,500 in whole prizes — together with a set of customized spurs.

“I instructed my boss if I got here up right here, I used to be going to take all of it,” Crawford instructed Transport Subjects. “They’re excited. They need that trophy on show.”

Crawford attributed a part of his success to carefully following the guide through the hands-on phase of the competitors. He additionally famous that the in-person competitors was very completely different from the digital occasion; with so many individuals round, he thought there was a bit extra strain on individuals.

The winners for every of the principle classes had been:

  • Tim Kelley, heavy-duty service, Rush Truck Facilities of Smyrna, Ga.
  • Paul Crawford, medium-duty service, Rush Truck Facilities of Haines Metropolis, Fla.
  • Kyle Smith, truck gross sales, Rush Truck Facilities of Fort Price, Texas
  • Michael Field, aftermarket, Rush Truck Facilities of Lubbock, Texas
  • Chris Klansky, components, Rush Truck Facilities of Denver.

The heavy-duty service class included six subdivisions with a winner and runner-up. Heavy-duty winners obtained a $6,500 prize. They had been:

  • Jorge Alvarez, heavy-duty different fuels, Rush Truck Middle of Houston
  • Carl Trevino, heavy-duty vocational, Customized Automobile Options, Denton, Texas
  • John Metz, heavy-duty Cummins engine, Rush Truck Middle of Russellville, Ark.
  • Ken Tomasek, heavy-duty Eaton engines, Rush Truck Middle of Carol Stream, Unwell.
  • Jon Steckman, heavy-duty Navistar Engine, Rush Truck Middle of Columbus, Ohio
  • Eric Schuessler, heavy-duty Paccar MX, Rush Truck Middle of Jacksonville, Fla.

The Tech Abilities Rodeo this 12 months additionally noticed a lift in rivals due to enterprise expansions during the last 12 months, most notably Rush Enterprises buying sure belongings of Summit Truck Group in December 2021. This additionally was the primary 12 months with two feminine technicians competing.

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