Mid-America Trucking Show: Both Big & Rich

Big & Rich to perform March 23

The 2007 Mid-America Trucking Show, March 22-24 at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville, will provide education, entertainment and a whole lot of equipment – including a customized 2002 Freightliner Classic XL to be given away to one lucky trucker.

The show will cover more than a million square feet of exhibition space with more than 1,000 exhibitors, despite renovations ongoing in the East Wing. Construction forced organizers to expand into new areas indoors and outdoors, says Toby Young, the show’s president of operations.

Show highlights include the Partners in Business owner-operator workshop and country stars Big & Rich performing Kenworth’s 19th Annual Customer Appreciation Concert.

The concert is 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 23, in Freedom Hall. Complimentary tickets for CDL holders will be available beginning 10 a.m. March 22.

The opening act is Cowboy Troy, co-host of USA Network’s “Nashville Star,” who calls his music “hick-hop.” Recent singles include “I Play Chicken With the Train,” “If You Wanna Love Me,” “Hook ‘Em Horns” and “My Last Yee-Haw.”

Double-platinum-selling artists Big & Rich produced the recent singles “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” “Wild West Show” and “Coming to Your City.”

The Partners in Business workshop, 2-4 p.m. March 23, is two hours of in-depth information on how to profitably run an owner-operator business by cutting costs and maximizing revenue. The presenters are Jeff Amen and Richard DeForest of American Truck Business Services in Denver, the nation’s largest owner-operator financial services firm. All participants will receive a free copy of the 2007 Partners in Business manual. The program is a joint effort of Overdrive, ATBS, Freightliner Trucks and Castrol.

Great American Insurance will announce the winner of its Big Rig Giveaway on Saturday, March 24. The prize is a 2002 Freightliner Classic XL customized by 4 State Trucks of Joplin, Mo., and the Chrome Shop Mafia of CMT’s “Trick my Truck.” Enhancements include a big-screen television, a custom stereo, a camera system and a remote-control hood opener. The contest is open to all Class A CDL holders at least 18 years old. To enter the contest and see the makeover as it progresses, visit this site.

Show attendees will vote March 22-23 to determine the winner of the $50,000 Big Honkin’ Truck Makeover, presented by Castrol Tection Extra. One of three owner-operators will receive a complete interior, exterior and communications customization by the Chrome Shop Mafia. Finalists are Bruce Faulk of Montgomery, Ala.; Kevin Greene of Cincinnati, Ohio; and Ronny Robin of Belgrade, Minn. The winner will be announced at 7:45 a.m. March 24 at the Midnight Trucking Radio Network booth in the lobby.

Also at the Midnight Trucking Radio booth, country star Lorrie Morgan, the Chrome Shop Mafia, baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench and world-class fisherman Jimmy Houston will sign autographs as part of the Mid-America Jamboree. Visitors to the booth also can register for $1,000 and a Harley-Davidson, to be given away at the close of the show.

For more information, visit www.truckingshow.com. If you sign the guestbook, you are registered to win a free T-shirt and hat, among other prizes.

MATS 2007
WHERE: Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, Louisville, at the I-65/I-264 junction.

WHEN: Thursday, March 22, VIP admission 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., general public 1-6 p.m.; Friday, March 23, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, March 24, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

ADMISSION: Free if you register online by March 7; $5 at the door.

PARKING: For overnight truck or RV parking with hookups, call Linda Stone at (502) 367-5384 to make reservations. The fee is $45. For overnight parking with no hookups, the fee is $25, and no reservation is required. Day parking for all vehicles is $5.

LODGING: Visit the Online Reservation Center at the show website or call (800) 743-3100 to receive a list of hotels and access to special rates. For group reservations, call Maria Martin at (502) 560-0003.

FOR MORE INFO: visit this site or call (502) 899-3892.

As of late January, owner-operator Robert Jordan of Juneau, Wis., had not pulled a single load in 2007. Instead, he was hard at work promoting the fuel-saving system he invented. Installed long ago on his 1997 Mack CH600, it’s now patented, and Jordan is gearing up for a busy year of promotions.

First stop: the Mid-America Trucking Show. That’s where Jordan’s Reefer Link System is scheduled to make its large-scale public debut on a 2007 Mack CH Road Tractor.

Jordan, Overdrive 2006 Trucker of the Year, also will travel to other shows this year, including the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.

Mack became interested in Jordan’s invention “as customer demand for a true anti-idling solution escalated,” says Jerry Warmkessel, Mack highway products marketing manager. Mack hopes to offer the system as an option on all its sleeper rigs.

Price has not been determined, but Warmkessel says the system should be “less costly and more economical to operate” than an auxiliary power unit – and lighter, too.

The system eliminates idling by capturing energy via the reefer’s alternator while the rig is in motion and directing it to a bank of high-performance batteries, where it can be used to power the sleeper’s heater and air conditioner while the truck is parked. Or it can be used to power an inverter.

Jordan says the system not only saves diesel fuel but also reduces nitrogen oxide emissions and prolongs engine life. “There are a lot of good answers out there,” Jordan says. “This is just one of them.”

About 40 drivers already are using Reefer Link, having had it installed by Jordan or his authorized installer, truck modifier Heitzman Bros. of Milton-Freewater, Ore. For more information, visit this site.