Throngs of truckers and their families packed the Dallas Convention Center in September for the 4th annual Great American Trucking Show.
Attendance was up almost 10 percent over last year with more than 33,000 people turning out for the three-day show.
GATS 2002 featured a myriad of events including hundreds of exhibits, free concerts, educational seminars, a truck beauty show, contests and giveaways.
Truck makers Volvo and Ford showcased their latest models and both sponsored country music concerts. Tracy Byrd appeared courtesy of Volvo and John Michael Montgomery performed on behalf of Ford.
Prior to a seminar sponsored by Focus on the Family, Truckers News Editor Randy Grider presented the magazine’s inaugural Great American Trucking Family Award to Brenda (Snyder) Striebich of Port Huron, Mich., who accepted the award on behalf of her family. The Snyder clan boasts 18 owner-operators, most of who are in the household moving business.
Grider told the attendees of Trucking for the Long Haul, a two-hour seminar featuring a panel of experts assembled by the nationwide ministry, that the editorial judges were especially impressed with the Snyders because, in addition to numerous awards for safety and job performance, they put a true emphasis on their home life.
“When I asked the family patriarch Ken Snyder Sr. (Brenda Striebich’s father) which of his accomplishments he was most proud of, he didn’t hesitate. He told me, ‘What I’m most proud of is that we have seven children who are all still with their original spouses.’ That says a lot about this family,” Grider said.
Country artist Tracy Byrd rocks the crowd at a free concert sponsored by Volvo Trucks North America, Sept. 6. John Michael Montgomery performed the following night on behalf of Ford Trucks.
The Truckers News 25th Anniversary booth was also a big draw for GATS attendees when popular trucking radio personalities Bill Mack, Dave Nemo and Larry Shannon, made appearances to sign autographs. Visitors to the booth also had the chance to sign up for a pickup truck that will be given away in December. For more information on the pickup sweepstakes, go to www.truckersnews.com.
Other GATS highlights included:
- Norman and Rhonda Pike’s “Ole Rag,” a 1998 Peterbilt 379, won Best of Show, Bobtail, in Overdrive‘s 2002 Pride & Polish competition, and Neal and Barbara Holsomback’s “Plum Classy,” a 1988 Peterbilt 379, won Best of Show Combination.
- Canadian trucker GM Paterson, who is a singer and songwriter, performed at Pride and Polish on competition judging day.
- James McBryde of Walnut Cove, N.C., won $1,000 in the Proud American Sweepstakes, which is sponsored by Randall Trucking Media Group, publisher of Truckers News.
- Joe Charboneau, of Millington, Tenn., won Caterpillar’s Racing Package Giveaway. He gets four free tickets to the 2003 Winston Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway, along with two nights accommodation at the Dallas/Fort Worth Marriott, compliments of Caterpillar, and $500 cash.
- Robin Goracke, of Denison, Texas, won $1,000 from the Midnight Trucking Network.
- Cajun country singer Eddy Raven signed autographs at the Midnight Trucking Network booth.