Bigger and better
GATS grows in exhibitors and attendees.
The Texas-sized Great American Trucking Show grew even bigger this year. The exhibits and entertainment drew 44,925 attendees to the Dallas Convention Center in August for the seventh annual show, an increase in attendance of 5.1 percent over 2004.
The show saw a 5 percent increase in owner-operators and a 12 percent increase in fleet attendees. Almost 100 more exhibitors than last year were on display at the show, and Western Star and Mack rounded out the truck manufacturing OEMs for the first time. The show also grew in trailer manufacturers and distributors.
This year’s show featured two free concerts, Terri Clark, sponsored by Mobil Delvac, and Sammy Kershaw, sponsored by Volvo Trucks North America. Other celebrity events were autograph signings by Overdrive Radio Network hosts Bill Mack and Larry Shannon; country singers Shelly Fairchild, Bobby Pinson and Carolyn Dawn Johnson at the Midnight Trucking Radio Network booth; and the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders at the Freightliner booth.
The show also offered Partners in Business owner-operator success seminars and the first Fleet Forum, hosted by the Texas Motor Transportation Association and featuring keynote speaker, NFL great Bart Starr.
Truckers News booth events
Each day at the Truckers News booth, a chef cooked up reader-submitted recipes included in the free Cookin’ in the Cab cookbook. The cooking demonstration was sponsored by Interstate Distributors, who also gave away a microwave/coffee pot combo with inverter on Saturday.
The Truckers News booth was also the hub for the daily $1,000 Mardi Gras Giveaway. To enter, attendees visited various GATS booths to pick up Mardi Gras beads, then turned in the entry form in time for the daily drawing.
The three winners were Christina Shively of Belton, Texas, who owns Majestic Transport Company with her husband Dale and is leased to Panther Transportation Services; Lora Caudill of Brooksville, Fla., who drives for Prime, Inc.; and Bill Grose of Fort Wayne, Ind., who drives for Westside Transport.
Volvo introduces VT 800 daycab
Volvo introduced a daycab version of the VT 880 tractor Aug. 25.
Scott Kress, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Volvo Trucks North America, called the new VT 800 “a great daycab tractor for the heavy transport segment.”
Like the VT 880, the VT 800 daycab comes standard with the Volvo D16 engine, with up to 625 horsepower and 2,250 pounds-feet of torque. Ed Saxman, Volvo’s top expert in drivetrain spec’ing, said the new engine runs in a sweet spot that’s at a lower rpm than with the company’s D12 engine. He said over-the-road truckers would specify an axle in the range of 3.21:1 for highway applications with an overdrive transmission.
Volvo also introduced Volvo Link Sentry, a form of satellite communications that communicates with Volvo technical resources on an Internet-based network. It will provide remote diagnostics and monitor any of the truck’s fault codes. Drivers can read the codes on the truck’s Driver Message Center to be warned of a problem. The system is available at no charge on all 2006 model 880s.
Trucker Buddy Humanitarian Award
Trucker Buddy International honored the late Doug Holtzman with the Terry Tart Humanitarian Award on Aug. 25.