This year, Ruan celebrated our first Technician Appreciation Week to recognize all our service managers and technicians. Our maintenance team is critical to our operations, ensuring our trucks are running properly and our customers’ loads are delivered safely. Ultimately, skilled technicians keep Ruan and the country moving.
As with the rest of the trucking industry, the demand for skilled technicians is higher than ever, and the shortage of available workers continues to grow. In an effort to attract the best in the business and highlight our skilled roster of professional technicians, we hosted our first Top Technician Competition during Technician Appreciation Week. This competition is an opportunity to highlight our technicians’ skills and mastery of the industry’s latest diagnostic tools and technologies. In addition, it placed a focus on training and education in an ever-changing and ever-advancing field. As part of the competition, all Ruan technicians participated in a written assessment, and the top 10 scoring participants advanced to the skills test in our headquarters city of Des Moines, IA. Congratulations to these technicians from across the country:
• James Wheetley, Cedar Falls, IA
• Jason Shultz, Fontana, CA
• Devin Hoskins, Gastonia, NC
• Shane Riffe, Phoenix, AZ
• Thomas Soltermann, Terre Haute, IN
• Clarence Vaughan, Des Moines, IA
• James Clapsaddle, Meridian, ID
• Thomas Phillips, Hagerman, NM
• Daniel McKinstrie, Kansas City, MO
• Brian Gill, Sellersburg, IN
The Top Technician Competition was conducted in cooperation with Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), the Iowa Motor Truck Association (IMTA), and several of Ruan’s suppliers. The technicians competed in 10 separate skill stations:
• Brakes and Collision Mitigation Systems – sponsored by Meritor
• Preventative Maintenance Inspections – sponsored by Ruan
• Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) – sponsored by Truck Country
• Engine Service Information and Diagnostics – sponsored by Truck Country
• Tire and Wheels – sponsored by Bridgestone
• Warranty and VMRS coding – sponsored by Ruan
• DOT Inspections – sponsored by the IMTA and the Iowa DOT
• Electrical – sponsored by Purkey’s Electric
• Wheel End – sponsored by Stemco
• Fasteners – sponsored by Imperial Supply
Out of the 10 competitors, James Wheetley of Cedar Falls, IA, took home first place, earning $2,500 and a chance to represent Ruan at the Technology and Maintenance Council’s (TMC) National Technician Competition this fall in Orlando, FL.
Shane Riffe of Phoenix, AZ, placed second, and Brian Gill of Sellersburg, IN, finished third. Each won a cash prize and a place in TMC’s National Technician Competition as well.
“We are incredibly proud of all of our winners and our competitors,” said Vice President of Fleet Services James Cade at the Top Technician Competition awards banquet. “It’s fitting that we’re hosting this event to highlight your skills and professionalism during Technician Appreciation Week. The work each of our technicians do is challenging, and it’s important. We thank all of you for your dedication and for keeping our drivers safe.”
Ruan could not be prouder to have these talented professionals on our team. We thank our technicians and service managers for their dedication and tireless efforts to keep our drivers safe and our trucks moving.
(L to R): Shane Riffe, James Wheetley, Brian Gill.