The 2022 Mercury Marine Technician of the Year competition returned to pre-covid conditions, with highly skilled technicians from across Australia and New Zealand competing for the crown.
Technicians had to complete a written exam featuring more than 160 questions, where they were given just 18 seconds to answer each question.
Six finalists were then chosen, with the top technicians from each State invited to Mercury’s headquarters in Dandenong to compete in a practical test to determine who would win the national title.
The winner was James Taylor from Trev Terry Marine in Napier, New Zealand, who went one better than his runner-up finish in 2021.
“I’m absolutely stoked to win, particularly as I think the return of the practical element really allowed the competitors to better showcase their skills,” James said.
“Because of COVID, last year’s competition was purely based on the online exam while this year’s final was based on your practical skills which was a fairer way to assess technicians because that’s what we do every day,” he said.
“The experience of last year definitely helped; I ran out of time on the exam in 2021 but this year I got through all the questions and had time left over.
“Coming to Australia for the final, I kept my expectations low so it was a real surprise to win. It’s a fantastic result.”
In the grand final showdown – which you can see on this video – the finalists were given three engines with different problems and were asked to diagnose and repair with 45 minutes provided to complete each scenario.
“They had three engines set up with faults including a 6.2L MerCruiser which I had never worked on before, a 9.9hp FourStroke and a classic 150hp FourStroke.” James said.
“The 6.2L MerCruiser had a throttle body fault, the 9.9hp had a number of faults and the 150hp needed a service procedure.
“It was about being efficient, thinking on your feet and getting it done quickly but ensuring you maintained the processes and didn’t just stumble across the fault but rather ran through the diagnostics procedures.”
The competition has been running since 2017 and is part of Mercury’s commitment to showcase the exceptional technicians who operate, repair and sell Mercury engines.
“The Technician of the Year Competition is designed to recognise and reward Mercury Certified technicians for their commitment and dedication to Mercury Service training. This training not only improves their technical product knowledge, but also improves their productivity and efficiency which in the end leads to an improved experience for Mercury engine owners,” said MercTech/Training Manager Trevor Henri.
“It was fantastic to welcome our finalists to our Dandenong headquarters for the first time since 2019 with them all showing their exceptional skills and knowledge of Mercury’s products. A big congratulations to our winner James Taylor for his exceptional performance throughout the competition.”
2022 Technician of the Year – Mercury Marine
All the finalist received a Mercury FourStroke 6hp outboard valued at over $2,000, while James took home a Mercury 60hp FourStroke outboard valued at over $10,000.