X-tra Special reunion

| March 07, 2006

Eighteen Peterbilt 379X owners and 350 guests attended the first X Family Reunion in Springfield, Mo.

The attendees of the first X Family Reunion in August were related not by blood but by truck. Eighteen Peterbilt 379X owners gathered with friends and family to show off their limited-edition tractors at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield, Mo.

The Larson Group, which owns and operates seven Peterbilt dealerships, hosted the reunion. The Larson Group sold 170 of the 1,000 X models that Peterbilt made in 2005 and 2006, which is more than any other Peterbilt dealership group in the country.

About 350 people attended the event.

“We hosted the reunion to celebrate and say thank you to the people who purchased their X,” says Larson Group Marketing Coordinator Beckie Collins.

Activities at the reunion included a barbecue lunch, prize drawings, games and activities for children, displays of a racecar and a motorcycle chopper customized with a Peterbilt theme, and a Best X in Show truck beauty contest. Three Peterbilt representatives judged the contest.

Charles Simmons and wife Janet, owners of Simmons Trucking, Inc., in Gainesville, Texas, won the contest. Doug added $30,000 worth of lights and chrome accessories to the interior and exterior of his 379X.

All attendants of the reunion received a plaque and a picture with their truck, as well as a picture of all the 379X trucks. After lunch, the reunion was opened to spectators.

“We advertised it as a car show but on a much bigger scale,” Collins says. “These are trucks with a lot of chrome and a lot of time and money put into them.”

The next X Family Reunion is scheduled for Sept. 23, 2006, at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds.
Future details will be available at The Larson Group’s website.


Shelter From the Storm
A trucker ready for a night’s sleep instead transformed his rig into a shelter for families stranded by Hurricane Katrina.

On Aug. 31, two days after Katrina made landfall in Louisiana, Jimmy Levan parked his truck in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Brookwood, Miss. The Celadon Trucking driver was ready for a night’s rest after completing his delivery, according to the Truckload Carriers Association, which recognized the Graysville, Ala., resident as a Highway Angel.

Many locals fleeing the hurricane’s devastation already had visited that Wal-Mart for gas and supplies. By the time Levan arrived, the gas was gone, and vehicles were stranded in the lot.

“The sheriff had told people to vacate the property, but some people had grabbed everything they could when they left [home], and they had no gas and no place to go,” Levan recalls.

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