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Hi, my name is Joacim Lundahl and I was one of the participants for the Swedish Team in the competition Mercedes Benz Global Techmaster Truck 2008.
I was competing as a diagnosis technician and I had four more participants in the team: Christoffer Westbacke (Service Advisor), Christian Petersen (System Technician), Kenneth Ivarsson (System Technician), and Thomas Andersson (Maintenance Technician). We also had a Team Manager, Markus Jönsson, and a Team Coach, Anders Hakansson. They helped us with all kinds of things around the competition.
All the information about the competition is on this site.
The experience I had in this competition is very hard to explain in words, but I will give it a go.In Sweden it started with tryouts with a theory test, and the best in each division became a team. We had two training days before the big competition in Stuttgart.
At first neither one of us realized the magnitude of the competition. But when the invitations were sent out we noticed that it was so much bigger than any of us could imagine. The event and everything around it was very professional. The competition had four elements:
Everyone in the team was very excited and nervous before and under the contest. We started with the practical test, where each specialist is responsible for a particular part of the service and maintenance process (see picture below). I feel that we didn’t do our best in that part, the nervousness was too high.
The second test “Skill Circle” was four stations with different problems, which we had to solve within 10 minutes. I felt that we did a really good job in the Skill Circle. We worked together and took advantage of the qualifications and experience of each team member.
After Skill Circle it was time for a well-needed lunch. The nervousness was little lower now and we tried to promote each other. The third test was called Team Exam, and we had to build a bridge between two tables. In this test we really proved that our team had fantastic teamwork.
The last part was an individual theory test. The questions were both simple and very hard.
When the competition was over, we had to wait for the results until the next evening. The feeling and energy in our team was that we had a possibility to be one of the top seven in the world.
The following evening when the award ceremony took place, we had a fantastic dinner with shows and live band. The first time I heard that it was 12,000 participants in the start of this competition was at this dinner gala.
They started to distribute the individual prizes. And when they called my name as the third best diagnosis technician in the world, I could not hold the tears back. My happiness was beyond all description. Cristoffer Westbacke in the Swedish team took the third prize as service advisor.
Now the time had come to announce the top three in the world. And when Germany took the third place I believed that our chances were all gone. But when they said:
The winner is Team Sweden!
All of us just jumped up and screamed. It was so hard to understand and the feeling of happiness was even larger now.
The winning prize is to drive a SLR on the Paul Ricard test track in France in the summer of 2009.
But it was not only a competition; we had also time to see the Mercedes Benz museum and visit the factory in Wörth . And just to have the opportunity to meet people in the same work category as myself from other countries was an awesome experience.
And I want to make a special thanks to my wonderful and supporting wife (of course), Ulf Nyman (my boss in Gothenburg) for all his support over all this years, Markus Jönsson and Anders Hakansson for all the help (it was needed).