‘Amazing backer upper’ honored by GBATS organizers

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Updated Sep 26, 2015
FMX Motorcross riders at sunset

Bryan Martin, one of the men behind 4 States Trucks and this weekend’s Guilty By Association Truck Show in Joplin, Mo. read off a long list of attributes of the man of the hour. He said Eddie Hartsell:

  • is an incredible role model
  • a member of Cat’s million mile club
  • hauled more that 250 million gallons of gasoline in his career as a tanker driver
  • was “an amazing backer upper”
  • dressed up the frog hood ornament on his trucks
  • and was easily startled if you tossed a broken fan belt in front of him as if it were a snake.
Eddie Hartsell (second from right) with 4 State Trucks operators Brice (left) and Bryan (right) Martin and their mother.

Hartsell, who lives in Joplin, is this year’s recipient of the Larry H. Martin Memorial Award, given by the folks at 4 States in memory of its founder, the late father of today’s operators Brice and Bryan Martin. Hartsell was originally hired by Martin Oil Company, which was operated by Brice and Bryan’s grandfather.

The award recognizes someone who:

  • Spent their career promoting trucking in a positive way
  • Was hard working
  • Has a compassionate heart
  • Lived a life of family values
The Larry H. Miller Memorial Award

The award was presented during the extensive evening portion of the first full day of GBATS. The ceremony was followed by FMX Motorcross thrill show, the Lucas Motor Sports Truck and Tractor Pull and a massive fireworks display.

Jessica Martin, director of marketing for 4 States, continues to be pleased with the response of guests at this year’s customer appreciation gathering.

“People are astonished by the number of trucks that are here,” she said. And, the quality. “People are bringing their best trucks.”

Saturday is GBATS biggest day. The schedule includes;

  • 7:30 a.m. pancake breakfast for participants in the Special Olympics convoy
  • 11 a.m., and 3 p.m. big rig burnouts
  • 3:45 p.m. Special Olympics Convoy auction
  • 6 p.m. Convoy departs for Downtown Joplin
  • 7:30 p.m. Tony Justice in concert
  • 8:30 p.m. Live Wire Concert

Old Glory over GBATSOld Glory over GBATS

Eric Landry readies his 2008 Kenworth for the showEric Landry readies his 2008 Kenworth for the show

GBATS guests rode in styleGBATS guests rode in style

One of the many trucks at GBATSOne of the many trucks at GBATS

Zach Wolf's 1999 Peterbilt 379 from Deerfield, Mo.Zach Wolf's 1999 Peterbilt 379 from Deerfield, Mo.

Alfred Spino from Texas adds a few final touches to the tires of his 2001 Peterblit 379Alfred Spino from Texas adds a few final touches to the tires of his 2001 Peterblit 379

Al Mecey's 1995 Peterbilt 379Al Mecey's 1995 Peterbilt 379

Some of the more than 400 trucks at GBATSSome of the more than 400 trucks at GBATS

FMX Motorcross riders Friday nightFMX Motorcross riders Friday night

Bryan and Brice Martin, owners of 4 State TrucksBryan and Brice Martin, owners of 4 State Trucks

The Larry H. Miller Award that was presented Friday nightThe Larry H. Miller Award that was presented Friday night