During the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) Technology & Maintenance Council’s (TMC) Spring Meeting, the trucking technology organization announced the release of an augmented reality game app aimed at attracting, fostering, and welcoming a new generation of skilled technicians to the industry.
Based on TMC’s National Technician Skills Competition, the app — called TMCSuperTech: The Game — is geared to middle- and high-school students and is available as a free download for smart devices on the Apple iOS and Android platforms after an initial pilot test in Arkansas through the state’s Department of Commerce Office of Skills Development.
“The time is ripe for new methods of attracting next generation technician workforce to our industry,” said Chris Spear, president and CEO, ATA. “Having a mobile, smart-device based game is an excellent means of supporting outreach campaigns focused on generating interest in the trucking and transportation industry among school-aged children.”
“Today’s technician faces very different challenges than 30 years ago — they are more likely to use a computer than a crescent wrench to repair today’s commercial vehicles,” said Robert Braswell, executive director, TMC. “Gamification is a compelling new way to reach people, especially a younger audience, through smartphones and tablets. We are very excited to employ this new technology to reach students who may be otherwise unaware of the opportunities they have as a commercial vehicle technician.”
In the app, players learn to diagnose and repair tractor-trailers through a series of three mini-games focused on tire/wheel, brake, and engine repair. Gamers can progress through 15 levels of game play starting as a student technician and ultimately becoming the owner of their own repair shop. Gamers are rewarded by being “paid” within the app, with which they can purchase special paint jobs for their fleet of trucks and other performance improvements. Links within the game direct students to TMC and its outreach partner, the TechForce Foundation, where they can learn about career and scholarship opportunities for becoming a commercial vehicle technician.
Providing students with all the tools necessary to learn more about high-demand, high-wage career opportunities is paramount, said Andrew Parker, executive director of Be Pro Be Proud. “TMC has for decades been the leading force for developing the talent pipeline for America’s trucking industry,” Parker said. “Their introduction of TMCSuperTech is the next evolution of their incredible work. This mobile app places them again on the forefront of helping students imagine themselves as part of the next generation of diesel techs.” Be Pro Be Proud will offer students access to the TMCSuperTech mobile game during their Spring 2021 tour stops.
Travel Centers of America and Arkansas’ OSD are premier level sponsor of the game. Other sponsors include Cummins, Dana, Worldwide Equipment, Volvo Trucks Academy, and Peterson Manufacturing. The game was developed in partnership with Design Interactive, based in Orlando, Florida.
TMCSuperTech: The Game is available free in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.