Sweet time

Sugarland will perform at Kenworth’s free concert March 28.

Country music, show trucks and the industry’s leading owner-operator business training program will highlight the 2008 Mid-America Trucking Show, March 27-29 in Louisville, Ky.

More than 900 exhibitors will occupy a million square feet of space in Broadbent Arena and its adjacent wings, including 200,000 square feet of outdoor exhibits. Attendees will find recruiters and displays from the industry’s leading providers of trucks, engines, components, accessories and services.

The award-winning country duo Sugarland will headline Kenworth’s 20th Annual Customer Appreciation Concert at 7 p.m. March 28. The group debuted as a trio with the album “Twice the Speed of Life” in 2004, but since founder Kristen Hall left the act in 2006, Atlanta singer-songwriters Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush have carried on as a twosome. Sugarland’s awards include a Grammy for a 2007 collaboration with Bon Jovi.

Sugarland’s opening act will be Lady Antebellum, a country trio that has opened for Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood and Phil Vassar.

Other celebrities will appear at the lobby booth of the Midnight Trucking Radio Network. Bluegrass star Rhonda Vincent will sign autographs and perform from 1-4 p.m. March 27. Grammy winner Suzy Bogguss will sign from 1-4 p.m. March 28. The Chrome Shop Mafia from Country Music Television’s “Trick My Truck” will sign from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. March 29.

The Randall-Reilly Publishing booth will feature one of the most recognizable voices in trucking radio, Bill Mack, star of XM Radio’s Open Road Channel 171.

The Partners in Business owner-operator workshop will be 2-4 p.m. March 28. ATBS experts including Kevin Rutherford, host of “ATBS Trucking Business and Beyond” on XM’s Open Road, will share strategies for cutting fuel bills, choosing loads and evaluating industry trends. Refreshments are free, and each attendee will receive a free copy of the 2008 Partners in Business manual. The program is produced by Overdrive, ATBS and Castrol Tection Extra.

Partner Insights
Information to advance your business from industry suppliers

Many other free seminars will be held each day of the show.

The Paul K. Young Memorial Truck Beauty Championship, presented by Overdrive’s Pride & Polish, will feature many of the top show trucks in the industry. Both bobtail and combination trucks will be judged in working, limited mileage and grand antique classes. Winners will be announced March 29.

Held in conjunction with the truck beauty show will be the Big Rig Build-Off, sponsored by Jones Performance Products Inc. and PPG Industries, which showcases the work of top heavy-duty truck customizers. Competitors include Jeff Battler of 12 Ga. Customs in Guelph, Ontario; Rick Boardwine of Peterbilt of Bristol in Virginia.; Jordan Hitchcock of MBH Trucking in Webberville, Wis.; Phil Longevin of Valley Custom Trucks in Carlton Place, Ontario; Adrian Rocomontes of ACW Specialties in San Antonio; and Randy Stroup of First Class Paint and Customs in Owensboro, Ky.

One lucky MATS attendee will win a tricked-out Peterbilt 379 extended hood in Great American Insurance’s Big Rig Giveaway. This Pete features a uniquely designed paint finish, customized interior and chrome detailing. Its electronics include a DVD player, flat-screen monitor, blind-spot camera, security system, remote-controlled electric hood opener, microwave and mini-fridge. The winner will be chosen March 29 at random at Great American’s booth.

Castrol Tection Extra will announce the winner of its Big Honkin’ Truck Makeover March 29 at the show. The winning owner-operator will receive a $50,000 makeover by the Chrome Shop Mafia.

MATS will host the National Day of Prayer for Truckers at 9 a.m. March 27. The program will include Chaplain Joe Hunter of TruckStop Ministries and music by Jerry and Sharon Benson. The event is sponsored by Hunter and Bob Hataway of TransAlive SA.

Proud to be back
Overdrive’s Pride & Polish was the first truck beauty show to be held in conjunction with a trucking convention. That was 1990, at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

Beginning with this month’s show, Pride & Polish returns to MATS as the presenter of the Paul K. Young Memorial Truck Beauty Championship, one of the largest in the industry.

This year marks the expansion of Pride & Polish to five venues across the country, after the merger of the Stars & Stripes shows into Pride & Polish. The team that managed the Stars & Stripes events will continue to manage the Pride & Polish competitions.

In addition to MATS, Pride & Polish competition will be held at these shows:
April 25-27: 75 Chrome Shop Truck Show, Wildwood, Fla., www.75chromeshop.com
June 26-28: Great West Truck Show, Las Vegas Convention Center, www.greatwesttruckshow.com
Aug. 21-23: Great American Trucking Show, Dallas Convention Center, www.gatsonline.com
Oct. 18-19: Truck Show Latino, Pomona Fairplex, Pomona, Calif., www.truckshowlatino.com

For information about Pride & Polish at these shows, call Diana Owens at (916) 708-0294 or visit www.prideandpolish.com.