SAN ANTONIO, TX. Jason Swann and Lance Kilburn took home top honors as heavy- and medium-duty champion, respectively, in the 2013 Rush Truck Centers (RTC) Technician Skills Rodeo, with Swann also being named the event’s all-around champion as well.

Kilburn, based in RTC’s Atlanta GA facility, won $8,000 in cash, $1,500 in prizes and a $1 per hour raise as medium-duty champion, beating out eight other finalists for the trophy.

Swann, from RTC’s Dallas location, took home $10,000 in cash, $1,500 in prizes, and a $1 per hour pay raise as well after surpassing 12 other heavy-duty finalists to gain the top prize.

He also won a further $4,000 in cash plus an Tony Stewart autographed race helmet and fire suit for the top score on a 130 question ASE multiple choice test given to all 20 medium- and heavy-duty finalists in RTC’s annual skills competition.

Swann, currently working as a mobile technician, told Fleet Owner he entered the profession 14 years ago right out of high school. “I rebuilt lawnmowers and worked on my old pickup – a 1979 GMC Sierra Classic – along with the cars my friends had, but I never really planned on this career,” he said. “But I was very mechanically inclined, so when my varsity basketball coach asked me what I was going to do after high school, I just said ‘heavy equipment repair.’”

Swann, who has now won the heavy-duty champion title four out of the last eight years that RTC held this event, noted that experience and a willingness to keep learning are what helped him gain top honors so many times. “You also need to put into this career what you want to get out of it,” he added.

The champions of the different categories from RTC’s skills rodeo this year include:

  • Gonzalo Uribe in the “Go Green” or alternative fuel division
  • Louis Fontano in the Refuse division
  • Jason McCarty in the School Bus division
  • Humberto Elizando in the Body Repair division
  • Celestino Ramirez in the Body Paint division
  • Steve Brain in the Hino medium-duty division
  • Gavin Mathews in the Isuzu medium-duty division
  • Gary Fassett in the Navistar medium-duty division
  • Mark Jones in the Peterbilt medium-duty division
  • Sherman Brack in the Cummins engine heavy-duty division
  • Jason Swann n the Eaton transmission heavy-duty division
  • Travis Roark in the Paccar MX engine heavy-duty division
  • Robert Henry in the Allison Transmission heavy-duty division
  • Dylan Moser in the Navistar MaxxForce engine heavy-duty division