GATS, aside from the fun, gets down to business of trucking

When The Great American Truck Show opens in Dallas late next month, the 20th edition of the show will be loaded with show trucks, music, job opportunities, more than 500 exhibitors, and no small amount of family fun. But, to be certain, the show will also live up to how it bills itself as “Where Trucking Takes Care of Business.”

GATS will be held Aug. 22-24 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas, and for those three days may be one of the biggest classrooms in the country. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend numerous programs, including educational sessions, awards ceremonies, a singing contest, and an entire stage dedicated to trucker health and wellness.

Todd Amen, president and CEO of owner-operator financial services firm ATBS at GATS last yearTodd Amen, president and CEO of owner-operator financial services firm ATBS at GATS last year

A popular fixture at GATS is Overdrive’s Partners In Business Workshops. Presented in conjunction with owner-operator business service provider ATBS, the free seminars Friday and Saturday are meant to help you polish your business skills and give you some insights into what it takes to be successful as an owner-operator.

One session each day will focus on a panel of leading owner-operators sharing their best practices. In the other, ATBS representatives will present owner-operator benchmark data on revenue, net income and miles, based on their thousands of clients. ATBS also will share the firm’s analysis of the 2019-2020 market for owner-operators.

Attendees at the free one-hour seminars will receive a free copy of the 2020 Partners in Business manual. Seminars will be held at noon and 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, and at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24.

Also at GATS, the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association will showcase its Shift Into Success class. It focuses on determining the cost of operations for owner-operators and small fleet owners, and company drivers may attend to see what to expect if they are considering becoming an owner-operator.

OOIDA’s business class will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22, in room C-147. The class is free to the public, and drivers do not need to be a member of OOIDA to attend. Participants are not required to register in advance.

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Andrew King, of the OOIDA Foundation, and OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh will lead the Shift Into Success class, which includes a segment of the information featured in the association’ three-day Truck to Success course.

In all, there will be three stages hosting events at GATS: the Hall A Stage, Hall D Stage and the Landstar Health and Wellness Pavilion Stage. Sessions and events for the Health and Wellness Pavilion Stage have not yet been finalized.

Event schedules for the Hall A and Hall D stages include:

Hall A Stage

  • Thursday, Aug. 22, 1:30 p.m.: Chevron
  • 3 p.m.: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration “Hot Topics” session on ELD implementation, the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and more
  • Friday, Aug. 23, 11 a.m.: Trucker Tools
  • 2 p.m.: Trucking’s Top Rookie award presentation
  • 3:30 p.m.: Overdrive-Red Eye Radio’s Trucker Talent Search sing-off
  • Saturday, Aug. 24, 10:30 a.m.: Samsara
  • 11:30 a.m.: Overdrive’s Partners in Business workshop
  • 1 p.m.: FMCSA Hot Topics
  • 2:30 p.m.: Real Women in Trucking Queen of the Road presentation

Hall D Stage

  • Thursday, Aug. 22, 1 p.m.: Taxation Solutions “Rules of the Road” seminar on trucker taxes and bookkeeping
  • 2:30 p.m.: Trucker Tools
  • Friday, Aug. 23, 11:30 a.m.: Overdrive’s Partners in Business workshop
  • 1 p.m.: Keep Truckin’
  • 2 p.m.: Overdrive’s Partners in Business workshop
  • 3:30 p.m.: Taxation Solutions
  • Saturday, Aug. 24, 10 a.m.: Overdrive’s Pride & Polish awards ceremony
  • 12 p.m.: Truck Parking Problems – hear some early results of a driver survey highlighting Texas’ particularly parking needs, and share your own expertise on corridors within the state with TXDOT.
  • 2:30 p.m.: Overdrive’s Partners in Business workshop

In addition to its two one-hour stage sessions, FMCSA will also be hosting a two-hour listening session with an update from Administrator Ray Martinez from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Aug. 23 in meeting room C146 in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

You can register for GATS for free online here.