2017 Great American Trucking Show Brings Out the Best in Trucking
by Cole Lanier
September 12, 2017, 2:31pm
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – For the 19th consecutive year, the Great American Trucking Show (GATS), Randall-Reilly’s award-winning trade show, took over the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. Nearly 55,000 members of the trucking industry registered to help improve trucking, a boost of nearly 5 percent from last year.
On the new-look show floor, GATS provided attendees with over 500,000 square feet of exhibitor space, featuring nearly 500 exhibitors and more than 100 trucks. Attendees looking for new opportunities were able to do so right on the show floor, with nearly 100 recruiting companies exhibiting in our Recruiting Pavilion. In the Discovery Pavilion, attendees interacted with new products from manufacturers and suppliers.
The Landstar Health and Wellness Pavilion played host to numerous health screenings, including digital mammograms, DOT physicals and eye acuity tests, among dozens of others. Baylor Scott and White Health brought a mammogram bus, which screened 49 patients. A blood drive from OnRamp to Health gathered 43 pints of blood that could save more than 129 lives. In the spirit of improving the health of truckers, 46 runners took part in the Progressive Commercial Roadhouse Run 5K and one-mile walk, with proceeds going to the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund.
GATS added two stages this year, featuring over 26 hours of useful and entertaining content for attendees. From healthy cooking demos on the Health and Wellness Pavilion Stage to the Trucker Talent Search Finals on the Truckers News Stage, there was truly something for everyone. GATS hosted the Partners in Business seminar series, which brought in over 500 total attendees. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also hosted two sessions discussing the implementation of Electronic Data Logs, where the stage areas were overflowing with people desiring to learn more about the upcoming mandate.
Also on the show floor, Overdrive’s Pride & Polish show truck competition filled up Hall E with over 50 of the most beautiful show trucks in the country. On Saturday morning, at the Overdrive Stage, the champions were crowned in over 20 categories, including Best of Show and People’s Choice.
Out at the TA | Petro Truck Parking community, over 1,500 trucks parked for free throughout the weekend. But there was so much more than that. Showers and truck services, including tire and engine maintenance, DOT inspections and other tests and repairs, provided by TA | Petro, pet grooming services from All Paws and Claws and live entertainment every night gave the Fair Park parking lot the feel of a real community.
And what show would be complete without a little music? At the Take a Load Off party with GATS and Uber Freight, Tony Justice, Jayne Denham, Bill Weaver and others played to a packed-out Eddie Deen’s Ranch. GATS attendees enjoyed free food and drinks in addition to the music, not to mention spending time off the road with family and friends.
GATS will be back next year! Mark your calendars for the 2018 Great American Trucking Show, August 23-25, 2018, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, TX. For more information, visit TruckShow.com, or call our events line at 888-349-4287.