45 Techs Competed for Cash Prizes; Thomas Pianalto from Lowell AR Awarded Top Honors

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August 14, 2017 – Summit Truck Group held their 5th Annual Summit Truck Group Technician Rodeo on Saturday, August 12, 2017, in Springfield, Missouri. Service Technician Thomas Pianalto from Summit’s Lowell, Arkansas, location received top honors in the skills competition.

As a prerequisite to participating in the Tech Rodeo, Summit service technicians first had to successfully complete all 12 required service certifications through Navistar, and then a written qualifying test. Top scorers on the qualifying test from each location were then eligible to participate in the rodeo.

In all, 45 Summit service technicians competed in this year’s event, representing each of the 27 markets in 8 states within which Summit does business. For his 1st Place finish, Pianalto received $5,000 plus a VIP experience for two for a NASCAR race. Service Technician Jeremy Thompson from Joplin, Missouri, achieved 2nd place overall and received $3,500; and 3rd place overall was won by Derek Castle, from Little Rock, Arkansas, who received a $1,500 prize. In addition, station prizes were awarded for each of the 14 challenge stations, with the 1st place technician at each station receiving $500; 2nd place earned the winning tech $300; and $150 was awarded for 3rd place. In addition to their overall wins, Pianalto received 4 station awards, Thompson won 2 station awards, and Castle scored highest on 2 station awards.

Duke Fancher, Vice President of Service Operations for Summit, said, “This is the 5th year that Summit has held a Technician Rodeo, and they get better every year. The caliber of the technicians competing is always high, the competition fierce, and the support for this event by employees throughout Summit incredible. Each of the 45 competitors is a winner by just participating in this event, and we were also pleased to see a large number of competitors this year who participated in the Tech Rodeo for the first time, which speaks well to the future of our service departments.”

The rodeo took place in the Springfield Convention Center, and was organized by Jim Hinton, Summit’s regional service trainer. Summit Chief Operating Office, Steve Dupuis, said he was impressed with the skills level of the participants, noting that overall scores have been increasing, with this year being the first that the top three finishers all earned over 1,000 points out of the total 1,400 points possible. “I was impressed with both the professionalism and technical abilities of our technicians, as well as the high level of support from vendors and other Summit staff who participated in this event,” said Dupuis.

Vendors who support this year’s Tech Rodeo included Exxon Mobil, Cummins, State Tech, Dana, Navistar, Purkey’s, Eaton, NanoMech, Central Power Systems & Service, NW Arkansas Tech, and Scott Regional Tech Center.