All-Star Lineup

Some of America’s leading truck makers are showcasing their latest products at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, Sept. 6-8.

As of early August, Volvo, Mack, Kenworth and Peterbilt had confirmed plans to exhibit at the show. This is in addition to other major engine and component manufacturers.

“We’re delighted to have these premier companies joining us in Dallas,” said Mike Reilly, president and chief executive officer of Randall Publishing Co., which puts on the annual show.

The show offers educational seminars, concerts, a popular truck beauty show, giveaways and exhibits of the latest trucking-related products and state-of-the-art technology.

Truckers News will recognize the Snyder family from Michigan as its winner of the Great American Trucking Family contest, which spotlights a family with deep roots in the trucking industry.

GATS will also feature a family-oriented seminar to help truckers deal with the stresses of balancing life on the road with home life.

Visitors to the Dallas Convention Center will have the chance to see two major country artists perform free concerts. Tracy Byrd (“Watermelon Crawl,” “Keeper of the Stars”) will be sponsored by Volvo Trucks North America, and John Michael Montgomery (“I Swear,” “Life’s A Dance”) appears courtesy of Ford Commercial Trucks. Cajun country singer Eddy Raven will be at the show’s Midnight Trucking Radio Network booth. Former trucker Kenny Robbins, the 2000 Country Gospel Artist of the Year and a recent inductee into the Country Gospel Hall of Fame, will also perform.

Other GATS highlights include an Internet & Technology Pavilion, a Fleet Executive Conference, Overdrive magazine’s indoor Pride & Polish truck beauty show (up-and-coming country singer/truck driver GM Paterson will entertain at this show Friday) and a Commercial Work Truck Pavilion for Class 3-7 trucks.

Focus on the Family will present a two-hour seminar, “Strengthening Your Family for the Long Haul.” The panel discussion will be moderated by Dr. Bill Maier, psychologist in residence at Focus on the Family, the nation’s largest family-oriented Christian ministry.

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The panel will address issues related to the problems of raising a family while a parent, or parents, are on the road for much of their working life. Panelists will also examine how fleets can improve their recruiting practices – and also improve their ability to keep drivers – by addressing drivers’ physical, emotional and family needs. The panelists will be Chuck Sonn, founder of Hope Haulers (his Chaplain’s Corner column appears on; Scott Weidner of Transport for Christ; Yvette Maher, vice president of women’s ministries for Focus; Bob Hataway, president of Transalive, a nationwide service that assists injured or ill truckers with transportation; and Rick Towe, vice president of driver relations at Covenant Transport, which provides a benevolence and faith-based care and counseling for its drivers.

The GATS free seminar list includes subjects such as “Legal Deductions for the Driver,” “Maintenance Secrets to Save Money,” “How to Survive a Safety Audit,” “Legal Deductions for the Driver,” “Understanding Hours of Service Regulations,” “Complying with Drug/Alcohol Regulations,” “Saving Dollars by Managing Your Tire Program” and “Utilizing Route Management Software to Maximize Your Bottom Line.”

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