Texas Upswing

Family Garners Top Trucking Family Honors

Truckers News Editor Randy Grider presents the magazine’s 2003 Great American Trucking Family to the attendees of the Diamond Rio concert. The Doyle family of southeast Colorado was featured in the September issue of the magazine.

The Dallas Convention Center hosted 39,854 attendees September 26-28, 2003 for the 5th annual Great American Trucking Show. Billed as America’s convention of trucking professionals, the attendance grew nearly 10 percent over 2002. The upswing came from an increase in owner-operator and fleet management attendees, both critical equipment-buying market segments.

“We are very pleased with the increase in attendance and quality of visitors at this year’s GATS,” says Alan Sims, GATS director of event sales and marketing. “Exhibitors from component manufacturers through truck and trailer manufacturers have already put their stamp of approval on this year’s event.” GATS’ exhibit space increased by more than 5 percent in 2003, with a total of 421 exhibitors.

Enhancements to this year’s show included relocation to newly completed Halls E and F. These halls do not have columns, a feature that is especially beneficial to large exhibitors. Using these new halls put the exhibits adjacent to 20 acres of free truck parking, which was jam-packed each day of the show. This addition gives GATS the second-largest parking area of any trucking show in the country.

To address the needs of fleet attendees, the Truckload Carriers Association held its annual Independent Contractor Division Meeting at the Dallas Hyatt Regency Reunion in conjunction with GATS. A Fleet Pavilion area, reserved especially for fleet executives, provided educational sessions and refreshments.

In addition to exhibits, GATS attendees enjoyed a wide range of activities, including concerts sponsored by Mobil Delvac and Volvo Trucks North America, the Overdrive Pride & Polish Truck Beauty Show and numerous educational seminars.

“From the new truck parking, concerts and quality educational opportunities, to the overwhelming response to the Pride & Polish event, we feel the show made impressive strides,” says GATS General Manager Randy Schwartzenburg. “We look forward to making GATS 2004 even better.”

“With the increase in attendance and quality of visitors, GATS has positioned itself as the undisputed second-largest trucking event in North America,” Sims says. “As the economy and the industry continue to strengthen, we expect GATS to gain even more momentum.”
Dates for next year’s GATS are September 10-12. For more information, visit www.gatsonline.com.


Nebraska Trucker Wins New Volvo VN

Trucker Dale Brown of Phillips, Neb., walked away from the Great American Trucking Show with the keys to his third Volvo, a brand new VN780 given away by Volvo Trucks North America.

“It took a while to get that key to work,” Brown said. He was the first of four final contestants to try a truck key. Even better, Volvo is paying Brown’s sales tax and other costs, except insurance, to get the VN on the road. Three runners-up – Ray Lilly, Joseph Mitchell and Frank Bless – won owner-operator prize packages worth $5,000 each.

In other show giveaways:

  • Darlene Woods of Fort Worth, Texas, won $1,000 when her name was drawn at the Midnight Trucking Radio Network booth.
  • Chris Harper, a driver for C&J Trucking, won six Alcoa Durabrite wheels.
  • Meanwhile, at the Bridgestone Firestone booth, two lucky people won a set of Bridgestone or Firestone steering tires on each of the show’s three days.
  • At the Overdrive and Truckers News booth, Jackie Burnen Jones won $1,000 in Randall Truck Media Group’s Proud American Giveaway.

    – Tim Barton


    This NASCAR-themed makeover won in two categories in the Freightliner-sponsored Big Rig Redo.

    NASCAR-themed Cab Takes Top Honors at Big Rig Redo

    NASCAR ruled the day at the Freightliner Big Rig Redo awards Sunday at the Great American Trucking Show. Ryan, Becky and Seth Curle’s NASCAR-themed cab took two of the three trophies presented. Curle’s truck won Best Use of Budget and Best Use of Theme. James and Barbara Caldwell’s Harley Davidson-themed rig claimed the trophy for Most Creative. Six finalists were selected to receive a complete cab interior makeover in the contest.

    Each driver chose his or her own theme for the makeover, and students from the Art Institute of Dallas were given a week to come up with a design. Themes selected for the interior makeovers were: Route 66, Space, Log Cabin, Harley Davidson, Western/Native American and NASCAR. Each of the finalists and their respective design teams received an assortment of prizes including a Freightliner cap and a pair of Cat boots and various chrome interior and exterior items by Panelite.

    Students from the Art Institute volunteered to perform the makeovers. They receive no classroom credit and will not be paid for their work. The teams were given a small budget and challenged to use their creativity and ingenuity to develop designs to match the theme.
    Blake Baker, Michelle Fester and Brandon Morgan were designers for Curle’s NASCAR rig. Caldwell’s Harley Davidson interior was designed by Sheralee Clark and Robert Moake.

    Driver Phillip Butler settled on a Route 66 theme. His interior makeover, which included a lighted map behind the bunk, was designed by Leah Colbert, Jamie Johnson and Theresa Ventura.
    Keith Garrett selected a Western/Native American theme for his interior design. Carla Cravens, Cory McDonald and Lindsay Parker were the designers.

    Space was the frontier chosen by driver Desmond Rafeek. His interior design was created by Nicholas Hawkins, Angela Green and Dave Hartman. “I am so excited about my new work space and expect it to help me become a more efficient businessman,” Rafeek says.

    Charles and Alexa Huggins picked a log cabin theme. Designers for their makeover were Jenny Blakemore, Jennifer Collins and Kaitrin Downey.

    Big Rig Redo was sponsored by Freightliner. The six finalists chosen to receive interior makeovers submitted entry forms online.


    Chef Puts Sizzle in Truckers’ Recipes

    Combining a pinch of this and a dash of that, chef John Englehorn brought the recipes contained in Truckers News “Cookin’ in the Cab” booklet to life for attendees at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.

    Englehorn, the assistant manager of cooperative education at Johnson and Wales University, Providence, R.I., campus, was at the three-day event preparing some of the dishes contained in the recipe book.

    Published by Truckers News, the booklet contains easy-to-prepare recipes submitted by readers of Truckers News and visitors to eTrucker.com.

    To be considered for publicatin in upcoming issues, send your recipes to Truckers News c/o Jeff Mercurio, 3200 Rice Mine Road N.E., Tuscaloosa, AL 35406, or via e-mail to jmercurio@randallpub.com.


    Tim Thornhill’s 1986 Peterbilt 359 took Best of Show Bobtail honors.

    Pride & Polish Winners

    Winners in the main categories of the 2003 Pride & Polish Truck Beauty Show at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas were:

    Antique
    1. 1953 Peterbilt 350-A, Western Distributing
    2. 1976 Kenworth W900, Russell Perillo
    3. 1966 Peterbilt 351, 4 State Trucks Inc

    Bobtail 1980-91
    1. 1988 Peterbilt 379, Neal & Barbara Holsomback
    2. 1986 Peterbilt 359, Tim Thornhill
    3. 1988 Kenworth W9, Smith Specialized Heavy Hauling

    Bobtail 1992-99
    1. 1997 Peterbilt 379, Garza Brothers Inc
    2. 1994 Peterbilt 379, Ken Wood
    3. 1998 Peterbilt 379, Mike & Ruth Knezevich

    Bobtail 2000+
    1. 2002 Kenworth W900L, Todd Stockman
    2. 2000 Kenworth W900, Rick Sladek
    3. 2000 Peterbilt 379, Jerry Melton

    Combo 1977-83
    1. 1978 Kenworth W900L, Tri State Commodities

    Combo 1992-99
    1. 1997 Kenworth W900L, Studio Mike McLane
    2. 1998 Peterbilt 379, Calvin & Ellen Long
    3. 1997 Volvo, Condo Kats Transportation Inc

    Combo 2000 – Newer
    1. 2000 Freightliner Century, Conwell Corp
    2. 2003 Peterbilt 379, Muirhead Trucking
    2. 2000 Peterbilt 387, All-Pro Moving & Transfer
    3. 2002 Peterbilt 379, Muirhead Trucking

    Custom Paint Mural
    1. 2003 International 9900ix, Harvey & Karen Zander
    2. 2003 Peterbilt 379, Eilen Sons/Brad Caton
    3. 2002 Peterbilt 378, ABC Wrecker Service

    Custom Paint Non-Mural
    1. 2003 Peterbilt 379, Jake Eilen Trucking
    2. 2000 Kenworth WL900, Frankie & Renee Story
    3. 1992 Peterbilt 379, Joel Brantley

    Fleet Owned Bobtail
    1. 1996 Peterbilt 379, David Kosar
    2. 2001 Peterbilt 379, Billy Hopkins
    3. 1986 Peterbilt 359, J&C Investments

    Fleet Owned Combo
    1. 2000 Peterbilt 379, Billy Hopkins
    2. 2002 Kenworth WT900, Muirhead Trucking
    3. 2003 Kenworth WT900, Muirhead Trucking

    Specialty
    1. 2004 Tow Truck, Goode Towing & Recovery
    2. 2001 Peterbilt 379, Steve Vidrine
    3. 1990 Peterbilt 379, Bill Culver

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