Dallas, the eyes of trucking are upon you … or they will be August 23- 25, when the Great American Trucking Show rolls into town.
The floorplan is much as it was last year for the annual trucking industry trade show, produced by Randall-Reilly. It will once again fill up 500,000 square feet of convention floor space at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas and will include over 500 vendors; the Pride and Polish truck beauty championship series; and live presentations on not one, not two, but three stages.
Last year’s show set an attendance record, according to a press release from Randall-Reilly Events. But there’s always room for improvement, and while this year’s show will continue to go with what works, it will also include some enhancements.
An example of an existing feature getting a new twist will be in the center of the convention floor, where the Recruiting Pavilion with its searchable database where job-seekers can ?nd carriers that are hiring drivers with their particular skills. A new feature at this year’s show is meeting-setting between drivers and recruiters looking for speci?c quali?cations.
“We’re changing the game with our meeting-setting process,” said Emily Larson, director of events services at Randall-Reilly. “No other industry show brings together recruiters and drivers in such an exact, strategic format, starting at the registration process and following through to meetings on-site.”
Meanwhile, the Landstar Health and Wellness Pavilion, supported by Pilot Flying J, is back again this year to provide drivers with health assessments, services and products in ne convenient setting.
Drivers will be able to get diabetes education, eye screenings, medical consultations, nutrition evaluations. There will be a mammogram bus, with ?nancial assistance for those without health insurance.
CDL holders can get DOT physicals at discount prices and get their licenses renewed right there on the floor. The Health Pavilion Stage will also feature cooking demonstrations, the Landstar Health Challenge and other educational sessions designed to help drivers stay healthy while on the road.
But a show like GATS is as much about fun and celebrating trucking as it is about serious business, and this year’s show has plenty of entertainment in store.
Westwood One’s Red Eye Radio Network will, as always, be on-site throughout the show, broadcasting directly from their booth, where they will welcome a parade of celebrity guests, opening the event with a meet-and-greet with the Grammy-nominated country duo, the Bellamy Brothers.
Other performers scheduled to stop by Red Eye Radio’s lobby booth to sign autographs, take photos, and talk with drivers include Curtis Grimes, David Adam Byrnes, Tyler Jordan, Bill Weaver, Taylor Barker, Cowboy Matt, and Tony Justice. For a schedule of guests, visit redeyeradioshow.com.
For drivers who come to the show in their rig, the some new and improved amenities have been added to the TA|Petro Truck Parking Community. One new feature will be the Uber Freight Community Tent, with upgraded seating, lights and misting fans.
This year, truck parking will have nightly entertainment from Heni? Transportation and Godspeed Expediters, with acts including Bill Weaver, Jordan Rainer, Brad James and Taylor Barker.
There will also be free shuttles to and from the convention center, food provided by Flaming Grill Barbecue Food Truck and shower trailers and truck maintenance provided by TA|Petro.
All Paws and Claws will be returning to the TA|Petro Truck Parking Community this year with pet-grooming service and pet booster shots. And a pet parade is set for 5 p.m. Saturday, August 25.
Overdrive’s Pride & Polish truck beauty competition, a perennial favorite at GATS, will be back for its 19th year, with prizes up for grabs for both bobtails and combos in the following entry classes: Working, First Show, Non-Working Antique, Limited Mileage and Builder’s Class.
The trucks will be on display throughout the show, with the awards announced at 10 a.m. Saturday, August 25.
For more information, including a schedule of presentations, visit www.TruckShow.com.