Come Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the Great American Trucking Show throws open its doors to more than 54,000 people, and here’s why there’s going to be such a crowd: The show offers a huge schedule of free events, attractions and opportunities. Here’s an even dozen great ways to spend your time at GATS.
While you’re at GATS, be sure to stop by the Truckers News & She Drives Trucks booth. You can once again tell us who it is when you say, iLuv My Trucker!
And, be sure to lend a hand to efforts to help those in need after the flooding in Louisiana. See details.
Find a New Job
More than 100 fleets will have representatives at the GATS Recruiting Pavilion with information and applications. If you have a question about finding a new job, they’re likely to have the answers. You can even do a bit of study before the show to see which fleets might have the job you have in mind.
Listen to A Lot of Free Music
With the amount of free music at GATS this week, you could not be blamed for thinking of the show as “Woodstock on 18 Wheels.” John Michael Montgomery headlines the free Friday night concert. Longtime driver and singer/songwriter Tony Justice opens for Montgomery. Things get under way at 5:30 p.m. in Ballroom “D”. Performing at the Red Eye Radio booth (see the full schedule) are Nate Moran, Tony Justice, Jayne Denham, Scott Dean and Lindsay Lawler. And, you can hear the three finalists in the Overdrive/Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search and see who wins Friday afternoon, and you can hear them again along with two former finalists on Saturday afternoon.
Get Some New Recipes for On-Board Cooking
Think of Tom Kyrk as the Alton Brown of America’s interstates. The over-the-road driver for Stevens has published a collection of recipes that are perfect for making with appliances you can carry in your cab. As he did a year ago, Kyrk will be delivering several cooking demonstrations on the Landstar Health Pavilion Stage all three days of GATS.
See the Hottest Trucks in the U.S.A.
You will be hard-pressed to find a bigger collection of hot-looking show trucks under one roof than at GATS. That’s because GATS is home Overdrive’s Pride & Polish. More than 80 custom trucks are expected to be on hand, as well as trucks from a variety of fleets and custom builders.
Lace Up Your Shoes and Run or Walk
A growing highlight of GATS is the Progressive Fit for the Road 5K Charity Run/Walk, sponsored by Right Weigh Load Scales and Trucking Solutions Group, to help promote a healthy lifestyle for truckers and a healthy cause, the St. Christopher fund. Check-in will begin at the GATS Community Tailgate at Fair Park at 6:30 a.m., with a 7 a.m. start. Free round-trip shuttle service will be provided from the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center at 6 a.m.
Park Your Truck and Take a Shower
The TA|Petro Truck Parking Community has plenty offer those who are driving their truck to GATS, not the least of which is 35 acres of free parking and free showers. The community also has a full schedule of activities that range from free music to free barbecue.
See Who is Named Trucking’s Top Rookie
One lucky rookie truck driver will leave GATS with more than $10,000 in their pocket. Truckers News and the Truckload Carriers Association present the award for Trucking’s Top Rookie at 2 p.m. Friday of GATS on the Discovery Pavilion Stage. The winner will be named from nine finalists, who also go home with cash and a slew of prizes.
Who knew that going to one of the biggest trucks shows around could mean going home with insights into your own health and ideas for improving your overall wellness. The Landstar Health Pavilion offers a number of free health screenings as well as information about and samples of products that can improve your well-being.
Meet Some Celebrities
You never know who you might run into at GATS. We do know for certain that there will be a number of celebrities at the show this year including Marc Spring, the Snortin’ Boar himself from the hit TV show Shipping Wars. He’ll be among the celebs at the Red Eye Radio booth. Also at the show from Shipping Wars will be Todd and Tamera Sturgis; they’ll be at the Cummins booth. Lisa Kelly from Ice Road Truckers to be at the show at the Chevron Delo booth.
Get You Hands on Newest Products
New at GATS this year is the Discovery Pavilion where you can get your hands on and learn about new products for the trucking industry.
Meet Two of the Best Drivers Around
Be sure to stop by the Truckload Carriers Association’s booth #23121 and meet Danny Smith, TCA/Truckers News’ 2015 Company Driver of the Year, and Edward “Mark” Tricco, 2015 TCA/Overdrive’s Owner Operator of the Year. They will provide information and answer questions about the Driver of the Year contests, which are sponsored by Love’s Travel Stops and Cummins Inc.
Have a Beer
All this fun and excitement may very well leave you thirsty. That’s why GATS hosts a beer garden hosted by ONE20. Download their app at the show and get one on the house.
Here are the GATS basics:
Where: Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center (Dallas Convention Center)
- Thursday, Aug. 25: Noon to 5 p.m.
- Friday, Aug. 26: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Saturday, Aug. 27: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Register: Free online at GATSonline.com
Lodging: Hotel information at truckshow.com
Parking: Free truck parking will be available at the Cotton Bowl’s Fair Park