By David Tanner
Jason Swann went into the finals without putting pressure on himself to win. That, he said, along with a strong work ethic as a diesel technician helped him land a nice chunk of change at the Rush Truck Centers Third Annual Technical Skills Rodeo Dec. 15-16 in Nashville, TN.
Swann, who works in Rush Truck Centers’ heavy-duty shop in Dallas, took home $17,500 in cash and prizes as well as the title of top all-around tech.
“The harder you work, the more it’s going to come naturally,” Swann told Land Line at the award presentation.
For the Rush company, rewarding the top 60 technicians with a trip to Music City and a chance to compete for bonus cash, prizes and pay raises is “one of the best things we’ve ever started,” according to Board Chairman Marvin Rush.
“The heartbeat of the dealership and the lifeline of the dealership is the technician,” adds President and CEO Rusty Rush, reciting an oft-used company adage. “Trucks don’t sell service; service sells trucks.”
Event organizer Mike Besson said approximately 500 technicians representing 70 Rush locations across the southern U.S. took written tests to qualify for the competition at the Nashville Convention Center.
Techs performed diagnostics and repairs on the trucks and were graded by experts supplied by equipment manufacturers.
Besson believes that rewarding good diesel techs is important for obvious reasons.
“A good tech will bring in more gross profit than a salesman can,” he said.
By category, the top Rush technicians at the skills rodeo were:
- All around – Jason Swann, Dallas Heavy Duty
- Cummins – James Collins, Fort Worth
- Caterpillar – Richard Bennett, Winter Garden
- Eaton – Dustin Ebert, Phoenix
- Medium duty – Randy Hughes, Texarkana LL