Much of the American trucking industry is about to gather at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville later this week for the 45th Annual Mid-America Trucking Show, known to its friends as MATS.
This Woodstock for 18-wheelers will attract about 70,000 people who will visit the booths of some 1,000 exhibitors in over 1 million square feet of space. The show opens Thursday, March 31, and closes Saturday, April 2. During that time there will be seminars, musical entertainment, appearances by reality show celebrities, prize giveaways, show trucks and the opportunity to see any number of goods and services aimed at trucks, truckers and trucking. See the complete schedule.
Be sure to follow “Truckers News” on social media throughout the show.
Let’s get started with the essentials (To make life easier, download the show app for your Android device or iOs gear):
The doors of MATS wing open to the public at 1 p.m. Thursday and close at 6 p.m. Friday hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Kentucky Expo Center, 937 Phillips Lane, Louisville
Parking is $8 passenger vehicles and $30 for tractor/trailers
The Paul K. Young Truck Beauty Contest is a highlight of MATS. Trucks are on display during regular show hours in Lot J behind the West Wing. Awards will be handed out Saturday starting at 10 a.m. in the South Wing lobby, room B104.
MATS features plenty of musical entertainment, and all of it’s free. Performing are:
- Craig Morton performs in concert Friday, April 1 at 7 p.m. The show is sponsored by Mobil Delvac and is held in Freedom Hall. Get free tickets at the Mobil Delvac booth #18160 in the North Wing.
- Kentucky Headhunters
- Terri Clark
- Tony Justice
- Brad James
If you are a fan of “Ice Road Truckers” and/or “Shipping Wars”, then you will have another reason to attend MATS. Scheduled to be at the show are:
- Alex Debogorski of “Ice Road Truckers“
- Darrell Ward of “Ice Road Truckers”
- Marc Springer of “Shipping Wars“
- Edgar Hansen from “Deadliest Catch“
- Mike Morgan, ChampTruck driver
Aside from having a good time, MATS is a place top learn. The show features a list of some 18 seminars on topics as diverse as parking to trucker health to electronic logging devices.
- Goodyear announces its Highway Hero Thursday at 3 p.m.
- TA Petro hands out its annual Citizen Driver Awards Friday at 11:30 a.m. (Invitation only.)
If You’re Driving Your Truck:
There is free tractor/trailer parking available at Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium. There will also be a free shuttle service to and from the Kentucky Expo Center. The lot will be accessible from Wednesday beginning at 7:30 a.m. through Saturday at 6 p.m. There are 3,000 passenger vehicle sized spots available on a first come, first serve basis. Trucks must enter through Gate. D at 4146 Park Boulevard, Louisville, KY 40209
TA Petro is hosting a shower trailer at the show. Drivers can get a shower at the TA-Petro Shower Trailer located at Papa John’s Parking Lot.
- Schedule a shower powered by The Dream Team of Clean at the TA and Petro Stopping Center booth #19156 or at the TA-Petro shower tent in the truck parking area.
- TA will provide a free souvenir towel and soap included with each shower appointment, while supplies last.
- Shower Trailer Hours of Operations: Thursday, March 31 from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.* Friday, April 1 from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.* Saturday, April 2 from 8:00 a.m. – Noon* (*Last showers will be scheduled 30 minutes before closing time each day.)
- Prices: Platinum UltraONE Members = free. Standard UltraONE Members = $3 (cash only). Non-Members = $8 ($5 if you sign up for an UltraONE card at the TA and Petro Stopping Centers Booth #19156. Must have a valid CDL. Cash only.)