The Great American Trucking Show will kick off Thursday at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas and will feature thousands of exhibitors, live music, show trucks, educational sessions and more.
Attendees will have the opportunity to check out some of the nation’s hottest custom rigs competing in Pride & Polish throughout the show, which will be staged in Hall E. Best of Show winners will be named in five categories: working bobtail, working combo, limited-mileage bobtail, limited-mileage combo and builders class. Winners will also be named in categories related to paint, engine work, interior and more.
Those interested in hearing live trucking music will have several options: the Red Eye Radio Rendezvous Booth, Overdrive‘s Trucker Talent Search, the Take a Load Off with Uber Freight party and more.
Red Eye Radio will host live performances, meet and greets, prizes and more with country artists Tyler Farr, Jerrod Niemann, Janie Fricke, trucker and recording artist Tony Justice, Australian singer-songwriter Jayne Denham and trucker Bill Weaver.
The Trucker Talent Search competition will culminate Friday at 3 p.m. with the finale, a sing-off style competition between finalists Michael Lochmiller, Terrance Mathis and Richard Woods. Justice will emcee the event, which will be held on the Truckers News stage.
Justice, Denham and Weaver will perform Friday night at the Take a Load Off with Uber Freight party at Eddie Deen’s Ranch near the convention center. Attendees must have a ticket to get into the party, but tickets are free and can be picked up at the Uber Freight booth in Lobby B near the show entrance. The party begins at 5 p.m. and goes until 8 p.m.
Attendees looking for some extra exercise during the show can also participate in the Progressive Commercial Roadhouse Run 5K, which will be held at Trinity Groves Park at 7 p.m. Thursday. Registration and check-in begins at 6:30 p.m. All proceeds from the race will go to the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund. An after party will be held at LUCK, a restaurant in Trinity Groves, that will offer the Roadhouse Happy Hour with $5 craft beers and $8 club sandwiches. Shuttles will be available to the park and back to hotels. A map from the convention center to the park can be seen below:
Also, GATS will offer owner-operators and would-be owner-operators the chance to learn more about the business in four separate free Partners in Business seminars scheduled for Friday and Saturday. The seminars will inform owner-operators on how to improve their bottom line by reducing costs and making better business decisions.
Two seminars are set for Friday, Aug. 25 and two for Saturday, Aug. 26. The Friday sessions, presented by Todd and Jeff Amen of ATBS, will be held from 12-1 p.m. and 2-3 p.m. on the Overdrive Stage in Hall D of the convention center. Saturday sessions will be held from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on the Truckers News Stage in Hall A and 2:30-3:30 p.m. on the Overdrive Stage in Hall D.
Overdrive‘s Todd Dills will be moderating a panel with Texas law enforcement about ELD enforcement and the state’s delaying of the rule’s implementation for intrastate haulers. Sgt. Dana Moore, who’s based in the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Austin headquarters doing a lot of work on electronic logging devices and training, and Dallas-area-based Lt. Monty Kea.
Finally, for truckers planning to drive to the show, the TA-Petro Truck Parking Community will be available once again, offering a bevy of services and events for drivers. Located at the Cotton Bowl’s Fair Park, there will be free shuttles to and from the convention center, food vendors, showers, restrooms and more. Some new features for the truck parking area this year include truck service and repairs from TA-Petro, pet grooming sponsored by All Claws and Paws, a pet parade and an auction to benefit truckersfinalmile.org.
Registration for GATS is available for free before the show begins.