According to Miles Swanepoel, the Isuzu truck technician from Cape Town who recently placed 4th among 64 other global technicians at the Isuzu World Technical Competition in Japan, the recipe for his success is simple. "You have to think on your feet, stay calm under pressure and apply your training and practice," says Swanepoel, who was awarded fourth place in theindividual I-1 Grand Prix’s Commercial Vehicle division of the highly regarded competition.

The tournament took place over the course of two consecutive days and welcomed individuals and teams from no less than 32 countries who came to compete for top honours in various categories. First prize in Swanepoel’s division went to a technician from Japan, second to an Indonesian competitor, and third to an Australian technician, with Swanepoel placing fourth.

"I was hoping for a good position in the individual competition," says Swanepoel, "but it was by no means cut and dried. The level of competition is very high and the bar is raised higher every year."

Swanepoel also competed as a part of a team that placed 6th in the overall competition, and says the challenges truly tested the mettle of every single participant. One assignment required them to work to solve the problem on a stationary truck individually on trucks with the same fault. In his individual capacity he had 20 minutes to carry out a 50-point truck inspection and identify six faults, among other tasks.

He thanked their team coach, Steven Smith, who provided expert support and guidance throughout the preparation phase and the competition itself. He believes that every technician who participates in the competition will walk away more competent because the judges are so procedure-oriented and require that each competitor know their vehicles from bumper to bumper. Swanepoel started out as an apprentice at the Cape Town Isuzu Truck Centre in 2000 and believes that the four months of intensive training leading up to the competition has shaped him into an invaluable member of his team.

Congratulations Miles, the ITC South Africa team is proud of you! Keep an eye on the blog in coming weeks and months for more news from the ITC camp, and get in touch if you would like to book a service at one of our sought-after service centres.