It is the most prestigious award of its kind in the UK motor industry, and provides Steve with a trophy and a prize pot worth £14,000.
Passing through two preliminary on-line rounds, Steve made it to the semi-final in May before qualifying among just six finalists for the competition’s climax, a day of six hour-long practical challenges, in April. His ultimate success was announced at the Top Technician awards ceremony on 17 May.
“I’m thrilled to have won,” said Steve, 46, “in the final you had no idea of just what you might have to do. And of course, it wasn’t all about Toyota, the challenges covered a huge range of areas and skills.”
Undaunted, Steve tackled the tasks successfully, from a complex fibre optic fault on a luxury saloon, to a non-starting lawnmower.
“Certainly my Toyota training has proved the perfect grounding, it has been exceptional, taking in foundation work, new technologies and every new model that has come along,” he said.
Steve has spent all his working life as a motor mechanic, starting out as on a Youth Training Scheme placement in the 1980s. After 13 years with Toyota centres he has attained the status of Toyota Master Technician and is two-time winner of the manufacturer’s own UK technician of the year title.
As well as being a key member of the service and repair team at Hills Toyota, he is also a Toyota SMART (Symptom Monitoring and Reporting Team) technician – part of a highly skilled national team that takes the lead in diagnosing and reporting on issues and drawing up repair strategies.
Steve will be taking a well-earned break, thanks to holiday vouchers that formed part of his prize along with tools, equipment, cash and the Top Technician spark plug trophy. The contest is basked by a number of industry sponsors and is supported by the Institute of the Motor Industry through its Automotive Technician Accreditation scheme.