Navistar launches technician skills competition, awards winners

The Navistar corporate logo.

Navistar held its inaugural Top Team technician skills competition at the Service Solutions Expo in Grapevine, Texas, on May 22-24. 

"The Top Team competition is a concept which is very important for Navistar's future and our industry," says Executive Vice President, Service Solutions, Fabio Souza, Navistar. "This is an environment where the technician can feel that we recognize their value. I want them to understand that they are critical to the execution of our strategy." 

Nathan Reed, RWC Group in Seattle, was named International Truck's 2023 Top Team technician. Anthony DeCicco, Wolfington Body Company, Exton, Pennsylvania, was named IC Bus's 2023 Top Team technician. 

The Top Team competition replaces the Technician Rodeo, which was last held in 2019. All Master Certified technicians and Diamond Certified technicians from the International truck and IC Bus dealer networks were invited to test for a spot in the Top Team competition. More than 400 certified technicians took the test and the top 10 were selected to participate in the competition. 

During the competition, service technicians displayed their skills, knowledge and professionalism to safely and efficiently diagnose and repair different systems in mobile or stationary equipment. The 20 stations included tests on engines, air brakes, aftertreatment systems, electrical systems, wiring and the Diamond Logic electrical system and fault codes, among others. Competitors had 30 minutes to complete each station with 10 minutes of judging afterward until moving to the next station. 

"There is a lot of learning. There is a lot of networking. I hope the technicians walk away with a sense of pride about the career they have selected and that they share that pride with others, thereby attracting more people to become technicians." 

Reed, a Master Certified technicians, truck enthusiast and competitive rock crawler, became a technician 15 years ago. 

"The level of technicians who are here is incredibly high," Reed says. "To be able to win this competition and come in first place is a huge honor for me. The technicians sometimes don't get the appreciation for the job that they do and keeping these trucks on the road. There's a ton of people in the dealership that contribute to that from the salespeople who sell the trucks, to the advisors who bring them in for repair. But at the end of the day, if the technicians aren't there to get these trucks fixed, the whole thing stops. So I'm proud of those who are here. There are some incredibly talented technicians who are here for this competition and I'm hoping that we can see that grow and recognize even more technicians as we go forward." 

DeCicco was inspired by his father to join the trucking industry. After initially training under his dad, an ASE Master technician, when he was just 16 years old, DeCicco has 14 years of experience. He says his Navistar ASE certification is his proudest achievement. 

"This means everything," DiCicco says. "Working as a technician has really been my only career. To be able to come here and be recognized as the best is validation that I picked the right career. It's not necessarily a glamorous job. So, to come here and enjoy a nice resort, get to network, and do all the things that are rarities in our field is going to encourage people to try harder and recruit more." 

Each of the winning contestants received a first-place medal, a voucher for a future vacation of their choice and a trophy which Navistar specially designed and built at their Product Support Center in Woodridge, Illinois. Reed also earned a sponsorship to TMC's 2023 National Technician Skills Competition in September 2023 in Cleveland. 

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