Best in the West

Dallas was the center of the trucking world in early September as the third annual Great American Trucking Show drew more than 33,000 visitors during its three-day run at the Dallas Convention Center.

Show producer Warren Sellers said show officials were “ecstatic about attendance this year at GATS.” Show officials said 33,801 people registered for the trade show, which featured 464 exhibitors. They added that truck industry professionals from all 50 states and 30 countries visited the 2001 GATS.

Attendees were treated to a wide variety of product and service displays, educational seminars from the Texas Motor Transportation Association, Overdrive‘s Partners in Business and industry workshops. Overdrive also wound up its cross-country 40th Anniversary Voice of the American Trucker Tour with its exhibit truck and trailer, which highlighted the magazine and trucking industry over the past 40 years, on display.

GATS also offered a number of sweepstakes opportunities. Rudy Obregon, a trucker from Lancaster, Texas, won a NASCAR racing package from Caterpillar Inc. including four free tickets to the 2002 Winston Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway, and two nights’ accommodations at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Marriott. Obregon will also be a VIP guest in the Caterpillar hospitality tent during race festivities, with an opportunity to meet driver Ward Burton and tour the pits. GATS management kicked in $1,000 spending money.

Truckers gather around the Overdrive exhibit trailer in hopes of winning prizes from tour sponsors.

Another lucky CDL holder, Joe Holford, won a black leather jacket bearing the GATS logo in a drawing held at the show’s off-site truck parking area at Fair Park.

TMTA gave away three Palm Pilot devices to truckers attending its seminars during the show. Winners were Kenneth Hines, D-3 Farms, Benton, La.; Mark Fitts, Fitts Freightways Inc., Midwest City, Okla.; and Jodi Smith, JAS Transport, Dayton, Texas.

For the first time this year, Overdrive magazine’s Pride & Polish show was held inside the convention center. See our story on page 42 for information and photos of show winners.

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Dates for next year’s GATS are Sept. 6-8, 2002. Show organizers say information on GATS 2002 will be available online soon at

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