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See our Top Tech updates on LinkedIn

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Every year, thirty finalists representing the highest caliber Technicians across Cox Automotive compete for the title of Top Tech Grand Champions. Thirty arrive as challengers, but just three left as champions.

Congratulations to the 2023 winners:
Jose Feliciano, Zach Nikorak and Michael “Jr” Kerfoot

Jose F

HEAVY-DUTY TRUCK CHAMPION
JOSE FELICIANO (CAMFS)

Zach N

LIGHT/MEDIUM-DUTY TRUCK CHAMPION
ZACH NIKORAK (CAMFS)

Michael K

TRAILER CHAMPION
MICHAEL “JR” KERFOOT (CAMFS)

The resounding echoes of technical excellence, unwavering determination, and a few loud lift gates filled the air as Top Tech unfolded at the Indiana Convention Center this year from August 10-13. Amidst an atmosphere of competition and camaraderie, Cox Automotive’s most adept technicians showcased their skills in an intense skills competition.

2023 Winners photo v2

Top Tech 2023 Champions pictured left to right: AJ Snyder, Zach Nikorak, Bud Haney, Michael “Jr” Kerfoot, Jose Felciano, Jeremy Piepmeier

WHERE EXCELLENCE MEETS INNOVATION

Out of an impressive initial pool of 2500 participants, a select 30 contenders managed to secure their coveted spots in Indianapolis. These individuals, representing the pinnacle of technical proficiency, exhibited their skills in three distinct categories: Light/Medium Duty, Heavy-Duty, and Trailer.

A TEST OF SKILLS AND COMPOSURE

The much-anticipated Top Tech competition is a pinnacle event that brings together technicians from diverse corners of the trucking industry. In Indianapolis, the stage was set for an exhilarating showdown, where the contestants were tested on their technical knowledge through multiple written exams ranging from wiring diagrams to hazard symbol identification, and their ability to perform under intense pressure through hands-on problem solving.

PRECISION UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT

With each move under scrutiny and every second counting down from several stop clocks displayed high in the battle arena, the competitors faced a dual challenge of written and practical exams. These challenges were designed to push the boundaries of their technical acumen and problem-solving skills, all under the watchful eyes of experienced judges. The strict time limits added an element of intensity, as participants had to execute tasks flawlessly while racing against the clock.

Congratulations to the remaining 2023 Top Tech Runners-up

Jeremy P

HEAVY-DUTY TRUCK RUNNER-UP
JEREMY PIEPMEIER (CAMFS)

AJ Synder

LIGHT/MEDIUM-DUTY TRUCK RUNNER-UP
AJ SNYDER (MANHEIM)

Bud H

TRAILER RUNNER-UP
BUD HANEY (TRUDELL)

Congratulations to the remaining 2023 Top Tech Finalist

Heavy-duty Truck Finalists

Jeff Nichols
Kyle Adams
Mike Colt
Ben Deisig
Travis Morgan
Brandon Yost
Chris Brekwoldt
Wayne Hochgesang

Light/Medium-duty Truck Finalists

Michael Naish
Tomas Perez
Brian Andrews
Juan Carlos
John Picinich
Eric Normandie
Chris Dziedzak
Craig Lafferty

Trailer Finalists

Dillon Grimes
Nathan Jones
Levi Stegemoller
Lance Mitchey
Curtis Harris
Jim Haltman
Jessie Duncan
Peter Aumau

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THE COMPETITION

We had a full day of competition on Friday and picked back up for the finals rounds on Saturday. Our techs were focused on their work as they rotated through multiple hands-on and knowledge-based stations.

THE AWARDS BANQUET

Saturday’s banquet was a night devoted to our competitors. We celebrated with good food, conversation, and the announcement of our winners. Each of the 30 finalists were also recognized and received a customized pocketknife. 

We are already pumped for next year and eager to see who our next round of finalists and champions will be. 

Every year, thirty finalists representing the highest caliber Technicians across Cox Automotive compete for the title of Top Tech Grand Champions. Thirty arrive as challengers, but just three left as champions.

Congratulations to the 2022 winners:
Harry Jordan, Zach Nikorak and Jeremy Piepmeier

Top Tech Jeremy 1

HEAVY-DUTY TRUCK CHAMPION
JEREMY PIEPMEIER 
CARTERSVILLE, GA

Top Tech Zach

LIGHT/MEDIUM-DUTY TRUCK CHAMPION
ZACH NIKORAK
ALLENTOWN, PA

Top Tech Harry

TRAILER CHAMPION
HARRY JORDAN
SAN ANTONIO, TX

On the weekend of July 29, 2022, 30 Technicians came to the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis for our annual Top Tech competition. This group comprised our top 3% – the most elite Technicians not only in our company, but arguably in the industry. Of this elite group, three left victorious… Jeremy Piepmeier, Zach Nikorak and Harry Jordan!

The event was bigger, better, and even more competitive this year. Keep scrolling to check out the video and highlights, where you will get a glimpse of our best-in-class technicians and the hard work, determination and grit they put forth. 

OUR WINNERS AND FINALISTS

We are extremely proud of the champions, runners-up and all finalists listed below. We had some repeat winners, but also some newcomers to the title! We wish our champs Jeremy, Zach and Harry best of luck – they will go on to compete on behalf of Cox Automotive at TMC’s SuperTech event in September.

Top_Tech_Ceremony_1257

Top Tech 2022 Champions pictured left to right: Jeremy Piepmeier and his wife, Harry Jordan and his wife, and Zach Nikorak and his wife.

Congratulations to the remaining 2022 Top Tech Runners-up

Top Tech Jose

HEAVY-DUTY TRUCK RUNNER-UP
JOSE FELICIANO
ORLANDO, FL

Top Tech Jason

LIGHT/MEDIUM-DUTY TRUCK RUNNER-UP
JASON SMITH
ROGERS, AR

Top Tech Cedric

TRAILER RUNNER-UP
CEDRICK DESHMARCHAIS
VERO BEACH, FL

Congratulations to the remaining 2022 Top Tech Finalist

Heavy-duty Truck Finalists

CHRIS MARKEN
FAVIAN OROZCO
JAMES WOLFE
JEFFREY NICHOLS
LUIS SANCHEZ
MICHAEL JOHNSON
SHANE PARSONS
STEVE LONNEBERG

Light/Medium-duty Truck Finalists

BRAD JENKINS
JACK JENKINS
JEREMY LAFRADES
JESUS ROJAS
JOHN PICINICH
JOSEPH STARKS
JOSHUA LAWHORN
TOMAS PEREZ

Trailer Finalists

BRAD ELKINS
BRANDON HARDEN
CHRISTOPHER THOMAS
CLARENCE JENKINS
JAMES HALTMAN
MICHAEL KERFOOT
JAY VANCURAN
STEPHEN NUTTER

Top Tech 2022
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THE COMPETITION

We had a full day of competition on Friday and picked back up for the finals rounds on Saturday. Our techs were focused on their work as they rotated through multiple hands-on and knowledge-based stations.

THE AWARDS BANQUET

Saturday’s banquet was a night devoted to our competitors. We celebrated with good food, conversation, and the announcement of our winners. Each of the 30 finalists were also recognized and received a customized pocketknife. 

We are already pumped for next year and eager to see who our next round of finalists and champions will be. 

Congratulations to the 2021 winners:
Brandon Monroe, Zach Nikorak and Jeremy Piepmeier

Held at Cox Automotive’s Manheim Indianapolis auction facility, temporarily converted to the Top Tech Battle Arena, thirty finalists representing the highest caliber technicians across Cox Automotive’s legacy brands (Dickinson Fleet Services and Interstate Truck Center) competed for the title of Top Tech Grand Champions. Thirty arrived as challengers, but just three left as champions.

We celebrate the Top Tech Grand Champions Brandon Monroe, Zach Nikorak and Jeremy Piepmeier, who will go on to compete nationally at the Technology & Maintenance Council’s SuperTech event in September. Congratulations also to the 2021 Top Tech runners up Cedrick Desmarchais, Jose Feliciano and Joshua Lawhorn.

TopTech_2021_GrandChampions@2x.png

The 2021 Top Tech Grand Champions pictured left to right: Brandon Monroe (DFS MI Mobile and 1st year Finalist) – Trailer. Zach Nikorak (DFS PA Mobile and 2019 LMD Champion) – Light/Medium-Duty Truck. Jeremy Piepmeier (DFS GA Mobile, 2018 HD Champion and 2019 HD Runner-up)
– Heavy Duty Truck.

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The 2021 Top Tech runner-up: Cedrick Desmarchais (DFS S. FL Mobile and 1st year Finalist) – Trailer

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The 2021 Top Tech runner-up: Jose Feliciano (DFS Orlando Service Center, 2017 and 2019 HD Champion and 2016 HD Runner-up) – Heavy Duty Truck

TopTech_2021_RunnersUp_3@2x

The 2021 Top Tech runner-up: Joshua Lawhorn (DFS GA Mobile and 4 year Finalist) – Light/Medium-Duty Truck

Congratulations to the remaining 2021 Top Tech Finalists:

Heavy-duty Truck Finalists

Jeff Brinkman – DFS IL Mobile
Mike Colt – DFS Tampa Service Center
Michael Johnson – DFS S. Fla. Mobile
Josh Kahler – DFS TN Mobile
Dylan Parrish – DFS MI Mobile
Barry Morrison – Interstate Truck Centers SE Division
Brad Sherman – DFS AZ Mobile
Donny Tackett – DFS Indianapolis Service Center

Light/Medium-duty Truck Finalists

Jack Jenkins – DFS TN Mobile
Scott McKee – DFS GA Mobile
Rhandi McKoy (FleeTec Program) – DHL Captive NY
Ervin Mosely – Cox Automotive / Mobility Pivet ATL
Ricky Pope – Cox Automotive / Mobility Pivet PHX
Jesus Rojas – DFS SoCal Mobile
Sciler Jarrett (FleeTec Program) – Truck PM Plus Indy
Cory Walters – Truck PM Plus Orlando N

Trailer Finalists

Robert Caulder – DFS SC Mobile
Howard Carr – Interstate Truck Center MW Division
Curtis Harris – DFS MI Mobile
James Haltman – Cincinnati Service Center
Stephen Nutter – DFS OH Mobile
Kenny Puckett – Cincinnati Service Center
Dale Skogman – DFS SoCal Mobile
James Wolfe – DFS OK Mobile

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Top Tech 2021 - two men talking
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Congratulations to each of the 2021 Top Tech Skill Station Winners – $100 cash prize award to the winner of each station sponsored by Shell Oil Co:

Heavy-duty Truck Skill Station Winners

Wheel Ends: Jeff Brinkman – DFS IL Mobile
Suspension: Dylan Parrish – DFS MI Mobile
Brakes: Jose Feliciano – DFS Orlando Center
Service Information: Jeremy Piepmeier – DFS GA Mobile
Written: Brad Sherman – DFS AZ Mobile
Fasteners: Jeremy Piepmeier – DFS GA Mobile
Fuels & Lubricants: Jose Feliciano – DFS Orlando Center
Coolant & DEF: Jeremy Piepmeier – DFS GA Mobile
Engines & Aftertreatment: Donny Tackett – DFS Indianapolis Center
PMI: Jeremy Piepmeier – DFS GA Mobile

Light/Medium-duty Truck Skill Station Winners

Wheel Ends: Scott McKee – DFS GA Mobile
Written: Skyler Jerrett – Truck PM Plus Indy
Lighting: Zach Nikorak – DFS PA Mobile
Hydraulic Brakes: Ervin Mosley – Pivet Fleet Services ATL
Fasteners: Skyler Jerrett – Truck PM Plus Indy
Service Information: Jesus Rojas – DFS SoCal Mobile
Starting & Charging: Rhandi McKoy – DFS NY Mobile
Engine Electronics: Rhandi McKoy – DFS NY Mobile
HVAC: Joshua Lawhorn – DFS GA Mobile
Coolant: Zach Nikorak – DFS PA Mobile

Trailer Skill Station Winners

Wheel Ends: Kenny Puckett – DFS Cincinnati Center
Anti-lock braking systems: Stephen Nutter – DFS OH Mobile
Written: Robert Caulder – DFS SC Mobile
Alignment: James Wolfe – DFS OK Mobile
Brakes: Brandon Monroe – DFS MI Mobile
Fasteners: Cedrick Desmarchais – DFS FL Mobile
Safety: Curtis Harris – DFS MI Mobile
PMI: Kenny Puckett – DFS Cincinnati Center
Roll-up Doors: Kenny Puckett – DFS Cincinnati Center Lift

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Do you have what it takes to become a Top Tech at Cox Automotive?

Hey, awards are wonderful. We’re always grateful for positive recognition. But to us, the most important thing about these honors is that they’re based on feedback from our employees, customers and community partners. We really love that. Below are just a few. See all awards here

Hey, awards are wonderful. We’re always grateful for positive recognition. But to us, the most important thing about these honors is that they’re based on feedback from our employees, customers and community partners. We really love that. Below are just a few. See all awards here

cox auto awards mobile top work, fortune 100, forbes
cox auto awards mobile diversityinc, great place and dei
cox auto awards mobile people, equality, esgr