51st annual MATS opens Thursday, includes full schedule of activities

Updated Mar 30, 2023
Custom show trucks outside Kentucky Exposition Center

This year's truck show season gets off to a serious start beginning Thursday, as the 51st annual Mid-America Trucking Show opens at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

As usual, the show that runs through Saturday offers a variety of industry exhibits, educational programs, new product introductions, free musical entertainment, and a major custom truck show. The expected crowd of some 58,000 attendees will have the opportunity to visit the booths of some 850 exhibitors spread out over the 1 million square feet of the expo center. 

MATS show floorSome 850 exhibitors are expected at MATS this weekA true highlight throughout the three days of the show is the PKY Truck Beauty Championship, which features many of the top custom show trucks in the country. The trucks are located in the "J" Lot behind the expo center's West Wing and will put on a light show Thursday evening. Awards in a variety of classes including best of show and people's choice will be handed out Saturday at 10 a.m. in the expo center's South Wing conference room. There will be a parade of show participants Sunday beginning at 9 a.m. in the parking lot adjacent to Circle of Champions.

Here's a day-by-day look at what's happening at MATS.


The show is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the highlights include:

  • Noon staff members from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration deliver updates on the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, the driver compensation study, and the driver detention time study
  • 2 p.m. NACFE presents Three Drivers Achieving 10+ MPG
  • 2:45 p.m. Truckstop's Brent Hutto and Mercer's Tyler Johnston discuss How To Negotiate With A Broker
  • 5 p.m. Randall Reilly's Seth Becker discusses Moving Beyond Crisis Recruiting

Trailers on display at MATSMATS attendees will have the opportunity to see the latest trucking equipment.MATSA special highlight of the day is the opening reception beginning at 6 p.m. in the South Lobby. Sponsored by Triumph and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the reception includes:

  • Music by J.D. Shelburne
  • Bourbon tasting (free tickets are required and available at the OOIDA and Triumph booths)
  • Craft beer tasting (free tickets are required and available at the OOIDA and Triumph booths)
  • 2023 MATS Wall of Fame induction
  • St. Christopher Trucker Relief Fund silent auction
  • Recognition of OOIDA's 50th anniversary


The show is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the highlights include:

  • 7:30 p.m. free concert in Freedom Hall featuring opening act Tony Justice and headliner Elvie Shae (free tickets are required and available at the DAT Fright and Analytics booth)
  • 10 a.m. FMCSA Broker Listening Session
  • 11:45 a.m. Truckload Market Update with DAT's Dean Croke
  • 1:45 p.m. Partners in Business: Owner-operator Business Performance Benchmarking and Q&A with Overdrive and ATBS


The show is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the highlights include:

  • 9 a.m. Learn How YOU Can Take Control of Your Obesity, Diabetes, and Depression with CDL: Drivers Unlimited's Ken Berry and driver Scott Reed
  • 9 a.m. Hope Zvara presents Fitness on the Go: 4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Health Living Over The Road Without Complicated Exercises
  • 9:45 a.m. OOIDA's Gary Wright presents Dealing With Brokers
  • 11:45 a.m. How To Protect Your Business from Hackers with John Bohreer of The Secure Trucker
  • 2:15 p.m. Kathy Tuccaro presents Pothols Pitfalls; Rising Above the Challenges

A special highlight of the day is the MAC Trailer Winter Nationals Championship Pulling Event at 5 p.m. in Freedom Hall of the Expo Center. A separate ticket must be purchased.

Throughout the show, 30 acres of free truck parking are available at the Truck Parking Community. A free shuttle runs from the lot entered at Gate D and the show. TA/Petro offers shower facilities. The free parking is sponsored by CAT and TA Petro.