Big D Extravaganza

| September 04, 2002

The eyes of trucking industry will be upon Texas next month when the Great American Trucking Show kicks off its fourth annual event in Dallas. The Sept. 6-8 show offers educational seminars, concerts, a popular truck beauty show, giveaways and exhibits of the latest trucking-related products and state-of-the-art technology.

Show attendees at the Dallas Convention Center will have the chance to see two major country artists perform free concerts.

At 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6, Tracy Byrd will highlight some of the songs from his latest album, Ten Rounds, including its hot new single “Just Let Me Be In Love.” The RCA artist behind hits like “Keeper of the Stars” – which earned Song of the Year from the Academy of Country Music – and “Watermelon Crawl” will be sponsored by Volvo Trucks North America.

John Michael Montgomery takes the GATS center stage on Saturday, Sept. 7.

John Michael Montgomery will take center stage on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 6:30 p.m. The singer is known for such hits as “Be My Baby Tonight,” “Sold,” “I Swear” “Life’s A Dance,” and “I Love The Way You Love Me.” Ford Commercial Trucks is sponsoring the concert.

Cajun country singer Eddy Raven will be at the Midnight Trucking Radio Network booth on Friday to sign autographs. Those who stop by also can register for $1,000 to be given away on Sunday.

Truckers News will introduce the winner of the Great American Trucking Family contest, which spotlights a family with deep roots in the trucking industry. GATS will also feature a family-oriented seminar to help truckers deal with the stresses of balancing life on the road with home life.

Focus on the Family will present a two-hour seminar, “Strengthening Your Family for the Long Haul,” 1-3 p.m. Saturday. The panel discussion will be moderated by Dr. Bill Maier, psychologist in residence at Focus on the Family, the nation’s largest family-oriented Christian ministry.

Panelists will discuss what it takes to raise a family while on the road. The panel will also examine how fleets can do better when it comes to attracting and retaining truckers by addressing drivers’ physical, emotional and family needs. The panelists will be Chuck Sonn, founder of Hope Haulers (his Chaplain’s Corner column appears on; Scott Weidner of Transport for Christ; Yvette Maher, vice president of women’s ministries for Focus; Bob Hataway, president of Transalive, a nationwide service that assists injured or ill truckers with transportation; and Rick Towe, vice president of driver relations at Covenant Transport, which provides a benevolence and faith-based care and counseling for its drivers.

The discussion will continue from 8:30-10 a.m. on Sunday Sept. 8, and will include a performance by former trucker Kenny Robbins. He was the 2000 Country Gospel Artist of the Year and last year was inducted into Country Gospel Hall of Fame.

Always popular among attendees is the Overdrive magazine’s Pride & Polish truck beauty show. The contest is being held indoors for the second straight year. It offers a variety of categories, competitions and awards. The awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, Sept. 8.

Other GATS highlights:

  • Internet & Technology Pavilion.
  • The Commercial Work Truck Pavilion, for class 3-7 trucks.
  • GATS Fleet Executive Conference, Sept. 5-6.
  • GATS Expedited Trucking InfoCenter.

GATS offers the latest in new products and technology.

Free Educational Seminars

Friday, Sept. 6

  • Legal Deductions For The Driver: 2 p.m.
  • Integration of Environmental & Safety Systems: 2 p.m.
  • Maintenance Secrets To Save Money: 2 p.m.
  • How To Survive A Safety Audit: 2 p.m.
  • Legal Deductions For The Driver: 3 p.m.
  • Environmental Compliance Inspections: 3 p.m.
  • Understanding Hours Of Service Regulations: 3 p.m.
  • 2002 Communication Options: 3 p.m.

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