DALLAS — The exhibit floor at the Dallas Convention Center was a flurry of activity Wednesday afternoon as contract workers and exhibitors prepared for the opening of the Great American Trucking Show Thursday at noon.
The hall was abuzz with the “beep-beeps” of forklifts moving carpet and other objects into place, workmen were putting the final polish on trucks, wheels and tires and exhibitors loaded candy dishes.
Show times are noon-5 p.m. on Thursday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.
Several companies made preparation for news conference to introduce new products on offer information on enhancements of other products.
Even the weatherman has cooperated.
High temperatures during the show are forecast to be in the upper 80s and lower 90s, a far cry from some years when the temperatures reached triple digits.
With the completion of the Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel adjacent to the convention center, surface parking has been greatly reduced, so show visitors are encouraged to give themselves plenty of time to find a place to park.
Trucking parking is free adjacent to the convention center.
Promoters bill GATS as an all-encompassing convention of trucking professionals with something for everyone.
There will be more than 400 exhibitors representing truck, trailer, engine, component and parts manufactures, as well as services catering to the heavy- and medium-duty truck industry.
Some of the events held in conjunction with GATS are the Pride and Polish Truck Beauty Competition, educational seminars sponsored by the Texas Motor Transportation Association (TMTA) and a free concert.
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The Red Eye Radio Network (formerly Midnight Trucking Radio Network) will have its traditional lobby booth.
In addition to providing live entertainment, Red Eye Radio will offer truckers the opportunity to win cash and daily prizes.
Multi-award winning singer John Anderson will take the stage for the show’s annual free concert at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Dallas Convention Center.
Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning Aug. 24 at 9 a.m. under the Mobil Delvac tent in the GATS main registration lobby.
Anderson helped bring country music back to its roots in the early 1980s with hits such as “Swingin’,” which was named the Country Music Association’s 1983 Song of the Year.
Other hits from that era included “Wild and Blue,” “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal,” “1959,” “I Just Came Home to Count the Memories” and “Black Sheep.”
Anderson returned to prominence in the 1990s with the release of his platinum-plus album, “Seminole Wind.” The lead single from that album, “Straight Tequila Night,” went to No. 1 across the board on every country chart.
Once again this year, the Ol’ Blue Safety Center will offer free hourly vehicle inspections and logbook demonstrations by Sr. Trooper Monty Dial (Ret.) of the Texas Highway Patrol.
TMTA seminars will be held at various times and locations all three days of the show.
Topics include Managing CSA, How to Prepare for a Safety Audit, Hours of Service Regulations, Driver Recruiting Solutions That Are Bringing Great Results, The Challenges With Data Qs, Technologies for Improved Performance, CSA—What Drivers Must Do to Succeed, Owner-Operator Taxes 101, Successful Owner-Operators: Are You One? and Fuel Management for Fleets and Owner-Operators.
Free truck parking is available at the old Reunion Arena lot, which is located at Hotel Street and Memorial Drive at the southwest corner of the Dallas Convention Center.
For additional information, including seminar times and directions to the free parking area, visit www.gatsonline.com. 8
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