2018 Great American Trucking Show Brings Out the Best in Trucking
by Cole Lanier
September 26, 2018, 4:39pm
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. 19,699 members of the trucking industry showed up in Dallas to help improve trucking from 58,033 total registrants, increases in both categories from the last two years, and five of the last six years. Since 2013, GATS has seen an attendance increase of 25 percent.
“We were very energized to again improve our attendance numbers from last year,” said Stacy McCants, vice president of events for Randall-Reilly. “We rolled out some new features for this year’s show and were thrilled to be able to share it with so many dedicated members of the trucking industry. From packed-out show floor theaters to new products, entertainment and, of course, trucks, you could feel the excitement all around.”
On the show floor, GATS provided attendees with over 500,000 square feet of exhibit space, featuring 520 exhibitors and 107 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.
GATS added VIP Meeting Setting to the show this year to great reception. We had more than 100 owner-operators and company drivers meet with fleets matched by experience and qualifications. Another new addition to GATS was the New Product Display Area in the Lower Lobby. Here, attendees had the opportunity to see and interact with new products from 27 exhibiting companies. GATS also showed its dedication to improving trucking by adding a Pre-Trip Inspection Challenge, supported by TA|Petro. Truckers could compete to win great prizes and learn other tips and tricks for pre-trip inspections.
The Landstar Health and Wellness Pavilion played host to over 145 health screenings, including prostate exams, DOT physicals and eye acuity tests, among dozens of others. Methodist Dallas brought a mammogram bus, which screened 48 patients. A blood drive from OnRamp to Health gathered 38 pints of blood that could save 114 lives.
GATS brought back three theater areas on the show floor, 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 America Strong 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 enforcement of ELDs, where the theater areas were overflowing with people desiring to learn more.
Also on the show floor, Overdrive’s Pride & Polish show truck competition filled up Hall E with 54 of the most beautiful show trucks in the country. On Saturday morning, at the Trucker’s Armor Stage, the champions were crowned in 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 Rewarding Your Drive with Uber Freight Plus and GATS, Tony Justice and Jesse Raub, Jr., 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 and bigger than ever next year! Mark your calendars for the 20th anniversary of GATS, the 2019 Great American Trucking Show, August 22-24, 2019, 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.
GATS, Randall-Reilly’s award-winning trade show, is held each year at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. With over 500,000 square feet of exhibit space and a full calendar of events designed to improve the trucking industry, GATS is one of the foremost trucking conventions in the country. For more information or to register, visit www.TruckShow.com.
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