Texas-sized show

Aaron Tippin made his mark on country music with six Top 10 singles, one Top 5 single, and three No. 1 hits. He has sold 5 million albums, thanks to songs such as 1991’s “You’ve Got to Stand for Something” and the post-Sept. 11 “Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly.” His concert is Aug. 25.

The Great American Trucking Show in Dallas will have plenty to see and hear, and Overdrive will offer two of the top attractions – the Pride & Polish truck show and the Partners in Business seminar. As in past years, big-name country music will be a major draw. Aaron Tippin will take center stage Aug. 25 for a concert sponsored by Mobil Delvac. The next night, Ronnie Milsap returns to top his packed 2004 performance in a concert hosted by Volvo Trucks North America. Both events are free to commercial driver’s license holders. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

major draw, too. Aaron Tippin will take center stage Aug. 25 for a concert sponsored by Mobil Delvac. The next night, Ronnie Milsap returns to top his 2004 performance in a concert hosted by Volvo Trucks North America. Both events are free to commercial driver’s license holders. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Names such as these will help pack the eighth annual GATS, Aug. 24-26. Nearly 45,000 trucking professionals participated in last year’s show, the largest turnout ever, and more are expected this year.

“We anticipate having 600-plus exhibitors, and the sold exhibit space exceeds last year’s total by 15 percent,” says show director Alan Sims. “Visitor registrations are coming in very well and the hotels are selling out.”

This year’s Overdrive Pride and Polish competition is expected to draw about 60 trucks, which will be displayed inside the Dallas Convention Center. Winners will receive money and trophies provided by sponsors Alcoa, Caterpillar, Firestone, Freightliner, Interstate Scales, Jack B. Kelley Inc., Mobil Delvac, Panelite, Peterbilt and United Pacific. Owners can register at www.prideandpolish.com or by calling (800) 633-5953, ext. 1361.

Attendees can also participate in the industry’s most comprehensive training program for existing and prospective owner-operators. Sponsored by Freightliner and Castrol, Overdrive’s Partners in Business seminar will be held 2-4 p.m. Aug. 25. The free seminar will be presented by American Truck Business Services of Denver, the nation’s largest owner-operator financial services firm. Each attendee will receive a free 2006 Partners in Business manual.

Other free sessions will provide attendees with the latest tips on maintenance, fuel conservation, taxes, safety audits, hours-of-service regulations, liability insurance, the 2007 engines and the used truck market.

BP Lubricants will launch its Castrol Tection Extra Big Honkin’ Truck Makeover contest at GATS. Owner-operators of Class 3 to 8 trucks can enter the competition, which concludes Oct. 31, for the chance to win a $50,000 makeover.

Some of the exhibitors will hold prize drawings. Attendees can register at the Midnight Trucking Radio Network booth for the chance to snag $1,000 and a pair of Cat boots. Firestone will give away a pair of premium steer tires each day.

More than 500 vendors will be on hand, including the major truck makers, carriers, product makers and other businesses. It also will be GATS’ largest showing of recruiters – representatives of more than 125 companies will be talking with company drivers and owner-operators.

Country music legend Mickey Gilley will sign autographs from 1-4 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Midnight Trucking Radio Network’s lobby booth. The session is sponsored by Castrol Tection Extra, Firestone, Greatwide Logistics Co., Meritor and Motel 6. The lobby booth also will feature appearances by the truck restyling shop, Chrome Shop Mafia, from 2-3 p.m. Aug. 24, and country music artist Robin English, from 1-5 p.m. Aug. 26.

Football Hall of Famer Roger Staubach will be the keynote speaker at the second annual GATS Fleet Forum, which runs Aug. 24-25. Having led Dallas to four NFC championships and two Super Bowl victories, Staubach is now CEO of a successful real estate development company.


LOCATION: Dallas Convention Center, off I-30 downtown.
SCHEDULE: Noon-6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24; 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26.
ADMISSION: Free online registration at www.gatsonline.com through Aug. 15, or $10 at the door.
PARKING: More than 20 acres of free on-site parking for big rigs.
LODGING AND OTHER INFORMATION: Visit www.gatsonline.com or call (888) 349-4287.

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