By: Fabian Cotter

A LEADING HAND from Chipping Norton, NSW, has been announced as the 2018 Detroit Master Technician by Penske Power Systems, it's reported.

David Willis narrowly outperformed five other finalists to win the 2018 Detroit Master Technician award.

David Willis narrowly outperformed five other finalists in the annual skills and diagnostics contest held in Brisbane, last Friday.

Open to all Detroit Guild members, the contest saw technicians from around Australia and New Zealand compete in qualification rounds in Brisbane, Auckland, Sydney and Perth in a range of challenging tasks, it’s reported.

These tests included both general procedural tasks, as well as advanced diagnostics scenarios to complete. The added pressure of racing the clock in a competition environment made the contest particularly demanding, Penske states.

"The Master Technician competition was hard-fought, bringing out excellence among the six finalists," said Russell Koch, Detroit training manager, Penske Power Systems.

"This competition demonstrates to our customers the high standards that they can expect from a Penske-trained technician.

"It is no easy task to win this title. Whether it is a simple duty such as changing a gasket, or a complex electronic control issue, customers can be assured that lessons learnt by participants in the heat of the competition are directly transferred to continuously improving the quality of work performed on their valuable assets.

"The competition has evolved over the last three years to a very streamlined event. The most difficult thing about this competition is that our Detroit Guild members are of such a high standard. This makes finding tasks for them to complete all that much harder, as they gain more experience both in their workplace and from the competition itself," he said.

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Mark Hurst, who won the inaugural competition in 2016, has since progressed from working as a technician to taking on a role as a trainer within the technical training department, where he is able to pass on the skills he has acquired.

"Visiting the Detroit factory in 2016 gave me a new appreciation for the Detroit product range," said Hurst.

"It inspired me to push further in my pursuit of knowledge. The technology and manufacturing processes I saw were nothing short of awesome, and it all confirmed my view that the products we represent are truly world-class."

As Penske Power Systems’ Master Technician, Willis will receive a trip to the United States to tour the world-class manufacturing facilities of Detroit and Daimler. He will also tour the Team Penske motorsport facility in North Carolina, USA.


Penske Power Systems is a leading distributor of the world’s finest diesel and gas engines and power systems across the most dynamic on- and off-highway markets in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific – including trucking, mining, power generation, C&I, rail, marine, agriculture, oil & gas and defence, it’s stated.

It represents some of the most innovative and well-respected brands in the industry, and boasts a product portfolio from MTU, Detroit, Allison Transmission, Mercedes-Benz and MTU Onsite Energy, as well as aftermarket products from leading oil, coolant and filter brands.

Penske Power Systems is fully owned by international transportation services company Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:PAG), and operates independently to service its customer base throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

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