For the next year, Will Gross has the bragging rights as being named Truck Country’s Top Tech.
On the Sept. 23, 16 technicians from across Truck Country’s dealership group converged in Dubuque for the second annual Top Tech Rodeo, a contest that serves to name the company’s leading diesel technician for the year.
Of course, Gross has more than bragging rights to take from the event. Overall, Gross, of the Dubuque dealership, earned $3,500 from the contest, earning $3,000 with his first-place showing and scoring $500 as a result of winning the written exam. Greg Haring, of TC-Minocqua, finished in second place, netting him a $2,000 prize, and TC-Shullsburg’s Bobby Mosley won $1,000 after taking third place. The top-three place winners were also presented with a new jacket as a result of their efforts.
This year’s Top Tech Rodeo took place at Truck Country’s new diesel technician training center, near the south edge of Dubuque. Participants took turns rotating between eight different stations, where their knowledge of all aspects of trucks was tested.
Presented with different test scenarios, technicians were challenged to find solutions to problems facing trucks in the areas of braking, starting, electrical, after-treatment, HVAC, DOT, service info and engine. A reception recognizing the winners was held later that evening at the Julien Hotel in downtown Dubuque.
Gross, a second-generation Truck Country technician who has worked fulltime with the company for 10 years, also participated in the rodeo in 2015.
While his returning experience helped, Gross said organizers did a good job of changing the stations from the 2015 event.
“I think there were a couple of stations they had last year that they didn’t have this year,” Gross said. “You just didn’t know what to expect.”
Gross, who recently was married, said belated honeymoon could be in store with his winnings.
Haring, who was participating in the Top Tech Rodeo for the first time, called the competition “intense.” However, afterward he predicted he was would try to participate again in future years.
“The McCoys treat us very well,” said Haring, who said he would invest his winnings in repairing his home and treating his family to dinner. “I definitely think it was a morale booster. It is a good time; a good learning experience.”