Showtime In Dallas

DATES: Sept. 10-12
LOCATION: Dallas Convention Center
REGISTRATION: Free prior to the show. Call (888) 349-4287 or visit $10 at door.
TRUCK PARKING: Free, including 24-hour security, restroom facilities, refreshments, entertainment and giveaways.
CONCERT TICKETS: Free to registered GATS attendees. Distributed at 10 a.m. the day of the show. First come, first served.

Next month’s Great American Trucking Show will feature two big concerts, in-depth owner-operator seminars and a wide range of exhibits from the industry’s top manufacturers and carriers.

“We expect to have between 450 and 500 exhibiting companies this year,” says Alan Sims, director of events for GATS. “We have expanded the show into a new hall that wasn’t utilized in 2003.”

Sims says 20 acres of free, on-site truck parking – sponsored by, Intel, and Sprint – will be available in the Reunion Arena Parking Lot.

Overdrive will sponsor its free Partners in Business seminars in conjunction with The Alliance, an owner-operator financial services firm based in Orlando, Fla. Alliance head Kevin Rutherford, an accountant and former owner-operator who now runs a three-truck fleet, will present the sessions.

The main workshop, Five Keys to Success & Wealth as an Owner-Operator, will be held 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sept 11.”We’ll talk about how to control and manage costs and how to operate the business efficiently,” Rutherford says.

He will also give one-hour sessions:

  • Sept. 10, 3 p.m. – How to get started as an owner-operator.
  • Sept. 10, 4 p.m. – The owner-operator success equation.
  • Sept. 12, 11 a.m. – Using cost per mile.
  • Sept. 12, 12 p.m. – Surviving an IRS audit.

Also, The Alliance will staff a room for owner-operators to receive an income tax review, a personal business plan, and to ask general questions about starting or running an owner-operator business.

Other free GATS seminars, sponsored by the Texas Motor Transit Association, will address income tax problems, health insurance, preventive maintenance for tires, hours-of-service regulations and other topics.

Diamond Rio, a big hit at last year’s show, will perform again, sponsored by Mobil Delvac, on Sept. 10. Combining bluegrass harmonies with a driving beat and strong solo instrumental work, the group has won six Vocal Group of the year awards from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.

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Six-time Grammy-winning country artist Ronnie Milsap, sponsored by Volvo Trucks North America, will perform Sept. 11.

The chromed-out trucks competing in Overdrive’s Pride & Polish will be showcased indoors. The award ceremony will take place Sept. 12.

Freightliner’s Big Rig Redo will return to the show this year, allowing four lucky Freightliner owners to receive a complete themed interior makeover in the fashion of the popular television show Trading Spaces.

At the WBAP Midnight Trucking Radio Network’s lobby booth, Midnight Trucking hosts Eric Harley and Joe Kelley will introduce fans to celebrities – country music star Rebecca Lynn Howard on Sept. 10 and comedian Roy D. Mercer on Sept. 11.

Attendees will also have a chance to win some valuable giveaways:

  • will give away a Harley Davidson Roadster to someone who enters a drawing at the eTrucker booth.
  • WBAP is giving $1,000 to a lucky attendee who registers at the WBAP booth.
  • Bridgestone/Firestone Tire Co. will give away a set of steer tires each day of the show.
    Various Christian ministry groups will hold a non-denominational service at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 12.

“Based on last year’s attendance of nearly 40,000 people and this year’s expansion, we expect a great crowd,” Sims says. “We encourage attendees to register in advance to avoid long admission lines.”

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