Best of GATS: Pride & Polish champs, Most Beautiful crowning, biz strategy, software highlight 2014 show

| August 28, 2014

The 2014 Great American Trucking Show was held last week and hosted the country’s most prestigious show truck competition, equipment displays, educational seminars for owner-operators, live entertainment and more. Here’s a rundown of some highlights. 

Pride & Polish:

Mike Lemley's 2000 Peterbilt 379 won Best of Show, Working Bobtail

Mike Lemley’s 2000 Peterbilt 379 won Best of Show, Working Bobtail

There were no shortage of show trucks — nearly 70 — for gawkers at the show, all competing in the Pride & Polish competition. And to top the whole event off, four trucks were named as this year’s Overdrive’s Pride & Polish National Champions. Here is OD’s coverage, ranging from photo galleries showing off the competitors to stories on the winners:

The reign continues: Diorio, Rethwisch repeat as champs as Pride & Polish names 4 top rigs

Pride & Polish champs, Best of Show trucks: Beauty shots of the winners

Video: Pride & Polish competitors rolling into the sunshine after GATS

Photo gallery: Pride & Polish competitors just after ‘rags down’ call

Photos: Pride & Polish competitors grabbing attention on day 2 of GATS

Photo gallery: Pride & Polish trucks prepping, staging for showdown

 

Owner-operator business smarts:

Kevin Rutherford presenting at Overdrive's Partners in Business seminar.

Kevin Rutherford presenting at Overdrive’s Partners in Business seminar.

This year’s show hosted two Partners in Business seminars, in which owner-op business experts offered attendees advice and direction on how to run more profitably by cutting costs and raising revenue.

Todd Amen of owner-operator business services provider ATBS spoke on Friday, in which he told the tale of two drivers. Click here to read the coverage and listen to a podcast of Amen’s presentation.

Kevin Rutherford spoke Saturday, emphasizing his goal-oriented strategy for owner-operators to increase their income. Click here to read coverage of his presentation and to listen to a podcast from his seminar.

The Texas Trucking Association also hosted some educational seminars, including ones on inspections and natural gas adoption in trucking. Click here to read coverage of those.

Tech, software updates:

Rand McNally's new TND 730

Rand McNally’s new TND 730

Rand McNally unveiled not only a sleeker, updated version of its IntelliRoute TND line of truck-specific navigation units, it also announced completely revamped software for the units. It also announced its electronic logging device system can now be used through any mobile device by simply downloading their app. Click here to see coverage of Rand McNally’s updates.

TruckingOffice, maker of owner-operator bookkeeper software, announced an upgraded version of its online suite. Click here to see what’s new with it.

 

Truck racing update:

The map and dates of next year's ChampTruck truck racing circuit.

The map and dates of next year’s ChampTruck truck racing circuit; beyond the Charlotte opener, dates are tentative awaiting IndyCar, NASCAR schedule announcements.

The big rig racing series coming to the U.S. next year, ChampTruck, updated press members at the show on its locations and dates next year, along with what type of equipment will be used in the races.

It also unveiled its fleet/truck exchange program. Click here to read more on what ChampTruck announced and to see the dates for next year’s events.

 

Trucker Talent Search winner:

Trucker Talent Search winner Keith Sampson performing at the TTS finale at GATS.

Trucker Talent Search winner Keith Sampson performing at the TTS finale at GATS.

After months of listening, voting and singing, Overdrive’s first Trucker Talent Search (held in conjunction with Red Eye Radio and sponsored by Delo) named a winner after a three-person sing-off at the show on Friday.

Owner-operator Keith Sampson, who runs team with his wife, wowed the panel of celebrity judges with an original, called “The Woman Behind the Man Behind the Wheel”.

Click here to see coverage of the TTS finale and to see a video of Sampson’s live performance.

“Deadliest Catch” star Edgar Hansen also spent some time with the three TTS finalists. Click here to see video of their interactions.

 

Most Beautiful coronation:

2014 Overdrive's Most Beautiful winner Emily Weymouth, left, was officially crowned the contest's winner at GATS by last year's winner, Maggie Stone.

2014 Overdrive’s Most Beautiful winner Emily Weymouth, left, was officially crowned the contest’s winner at GATS by last year’s winner, Maggie Stone.

Overdrive’s second Most Beautiful competition winner, Emily Weymouth, officially received her OMB crown Thursday at the show from last year’s winner Maggie Stone.

Click here to see more on the crowning ceremony.

Click here for a full write-up on Weymouth from earlier this month.

OverdriveOnline.com strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.