The national championship will be held December 13-14 in Nashville. Three professional winners and three student winners will take first, second and third places and share $ 200,000 in cash and prizes.
The competition is the brainchild of Ideal Industries Inc., which manufactures equipment and tools for the trades, and marketing company Intersport. Ideal has been running a similar competition for electricians for the past five years. He says the two competitions help publicize career opportunities in the trades.
Competitors are timed on how quickly they can remove and replace a strut assembly, remove and replace an outer link, and adjust toe angle to factory specifications. They are judged based on the correct installation and tightening of all components, as well as their overall safety, workmanship and procedure.
Competitors may be penalized by adding seconds or minutes to their final time. Violations include unworn safety glasses, tools not returned to their original location, loose components (every 10 seconds) or hitting the bottom of the tie rod with a hammer (10 minutes).
The creators of the competition recorded a time of around 8 minutes, and the judges were pleasantly surprised by some of the quick times.