The haps at MATS: Rounding up driver-led efforts

user-gravatar Headshot

I’ll make an attempt, at least. So much is going on at next week’s trucking show in Louisville it will be next to impossible to catch it all in this space today, but here are a few of the highlights folks have reached out to me about these last few months:

Health walk-and-talk, blood drive
HealthwalkAs at the last two year’s events, the owner-operators behind the Trucking Solutions Group have organized the third annual MATS Health Awareness Walk, set for Friday morning, March 23, 2012, at 9 a.m. this year, organizers say, emphasizing the “walk and talk” nature of the fitness and networking opportunity — expect discussion of driver issues along the way. There is no cost, but registration is required via the TSG website. Walkers will meet in room number WH2, West Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center at 8:00 a.m. for refreshments and the walk will begin at 9:00 a.m.

The TSG’s blood drive enters its second year at Louisville this year, too, in conjunction with the American Red Cross. It will take place 11 a.m. to 5 p.m on Friday, March 23, and again on Saturday, March 24, during the show. No appointment is needed to give blood.

“Whenever there is a crisis or a need within a community, truck drivers and others within the trucking industry are some of the first to step up and respond,” says Linda Caffee, chair of the Trucking Solutions Group Driver Health Council and expediting partner with her husband, Bob. “We’re all in this together! This blood drive provides the needed supplies to ensure that the American Red Cross can respond when they are needed.”

(FUEL UPDATE: You’ll recall my post a couple weeks back about the Caffees and TSG member Henry Albert’s friendly speed/fuel-mileage challenge of sorts. Results have been forthcoming since; check out not-quite-but-close-to-final words on the Caffees’ blog here and Albert’s blog here. And thanks to Albert for the photo from the health walk last year.)

Truth About Trucking broadcasting on location
Fuel hauler Allen Smith and his cohost wife, Donna, will for the first time take their online radio show Truth About Trucking Live on the road to broadcast on-site at the show from the Dynasys APU booth No. 16052. Two shows on Thursday (on the profusion of anti-idling laws and devices) and Friday (on social media as a tool in trucking advocacy, business) will both be broadcast between 2 and 4:30 p.m. EDT. Stop in and say hi! Or listen live via

Other driver/owner-operator radio
The people behind the VideoDashCam dash-mount cameras have been at work hosting a live call-in program for drivers every Wednesday for a good while now. This past Wednesday, they discussed their own efforts upcoming at MATS. Give a listen to that program via the page for the Center Lane show here — Keys Trucker Jan McCarter says they’re partnering with Truckers Against Trafficking for some unique outreach efforts. 

Entertainment, outreach In the Papa John’s parking lot
The goings-on in the parking lot are just too numerous to name, so I’ll use the graphic below to catch most of them.

In addition, some notable happenings, says Susan Durstine of the Jacob Russell Boulanger Memorial Fund and All Drivers Together series of conference calls, include the fact that “Operation Roger will be holding their annual auction and pet games and has graciously opened an invitation to all the charities to participate.” She also mentions the TSG blood drive and health walk and that “Truckers United for Charity will be having some pretty neat events.”

Cornhole tournaments, hot dog eating contests, karaoke and live music are among the broad list of festivities (see below).

The Ohio-based JRB Memorial Fund charity, says Durstine, is a memorial tribute to radio personality Bubba Bo’s son, who passed unexpectedly of a heart condition at the age of 22. It’s dedicated broadly toward helping truckers in need. Download and print a copy of the following flyer (click through the image to download) if you’re eating at any of the listed area Applebee’s locations May 21 or 22 in and around Louisville. A portion of your meal’s proceeds, says Durstine, will go toward the JRB fund.

Dine To Donate At Applebees1

Lineup of parking lot events:

Papajohns LotLayout of the lot and shuttles sponsored by Detroit (essentially it’s the parking lot for the old football stadium)

Papajohns Lot Detroit

Showcase your workhorse
Add a photo of your rig to our Reader Rigs collection to share it with your peers and the world. Tell us the story behind the truck and your business to help build its story.
Submit Your Rig
Reader Rig Submission