It’s called the GREAT American Trucking Show for a reason.
The show opens at noon tomorrow at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, and before it closes at 4 p.m. on Saturday the 20th anniversary of GATS will deliver an oversized load of all things trucking.
Here are 15 things that put the GREAT in the Great American Trucking Show:
The latest models from several truck manufacturers will be on display at the show’s New Truck Pavilion. Added to show this year, the pavilion includes a dozen 2020 models from Peterbilt, Kenworth, International, Mack, and Volvo.
- Ray Martinez, head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be at the show to hear from truckers about what they think of his agency’s proposed hours of service changes. That listening session will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 23, in the lower “C” meeting rooms, room number C146.
- Four cast members from the successful cable TV reality show “Ice Road Truckers” will be at the show. Lisa Kelly, one of the most popular truckers from the ice roads will meet fans at the Chevron booth. Other Ice Road Truckers at the show are Reno Ward, Carey Hall, and Maya Sieber.
- Truckers News will announce the winner of the 2019 Mike O’Connell Trucking’s Top Rookie Award Friday at 2 p.m. on the Truckers News Stage in Hall “A”. The winner takes home $10,000 and a slew of prizes from the RoadPro Family of Brands and Rand McNally.
- It just wouldn’t be a truck show without some hot custom trucks. GATS delivers the hottest of the hot with Overdrive’s Pride & Polish
competition. Awards will be handed out Saturday morning.
- There are no truck parking problems at GATS. The free TA Petro Truck Parking Community not only gives you a space for your rig, it provides a variety of services, programs, food, music, and entertainment. There’s even a dunking booth … no really! There are frequent shuttles to and from the show.
Australian country star and singer/songwriter Jayne Denham will rock GATS with the release of her new single, “Black Coffee and White Lines.” Denham, who grew up among the truckies Downunder, unveils the new tune at the Red Eye Radio Booth Friday at 5:30 p.m. You can also meet Denham at the Truckers News booth Thursday at 2:30 p.m. and Friday at 1:30 p.m. and the Overdrive booth Thursday at 1:30 p.m. and Friday at 12:30 p.m.
- Women truckers get their due Saturday. That’s when the Real Women in Trucking group recognizes five women truckers for their contributions to the industry. The presentation will be Saturday, Aug. 24, at 2:30 p.m. on the stage in Hall “A”.
- If you’re in the market for a new job or are interested in getting into the profession, GATS can give you a leg up. Recruiters from numerous major carriers will be on hand in the Jobs Pavilion and when you register for GATS online, you can fill out a form to match you with carriers in search of your specific job skills.
- While you may already have a job, you may be thinking about going on your own and becoming an owner-operator. If so, you may wish to attend Overdrive’s Partners In Business seminars during GATS. In addition, the Owner Operators Independent Drivers Association also holds its Shift To Success program for potential owner-operators at GATS.
- There are a lot of talented truckers on the road today, and we don’t just mean being great drivers. GATS features the finals
of the Overdrive and Red Eye Radio Trucker Talent Search singing contest. The three finalists compete on Friday at 3:30 p.m. on the Truckers News Stage in Hall “A”
- There’s a reason GATS bills itself as “Where Trucking Takes Care of Business”. This year’s show includes panel discussions on three of the hottest of the industry’s hot topics. Overdrive Senior Editor Todd Dills will moderate a discussion of truck parking issues. Commercial Carrier Journal Editor Jason Cannon will lead the panel “The Driver’s Role With Driverless Trucks” and Commercial Carrier Journal Senior Editor Aaron Huff and experts take on getting the most out of electronic logging devices. See the GATS schedule for times and locations.
- GATS also takes on another of the leading issues in trucking today: driver health. The Landstar Health and Wellness Pavilion offers a combination of exhibitors doing free or reduced-price health screenings and informational
programming on its stage. Highlights include a blood drive, reduced cost CDL physicals, and a mobile mammography bus.
- FMCSA also takes on some hot topics at GATS. Joe DeLorenzo and Bill Mahorney from the agency will discuss electronic logging device implementation and transition, the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, and other regulations.
- Red Eye Radio will provide the backbeat for this year’s GATS. There will be numerous performers and celebrities at their booth in the lobby and a performance by Jayne Denham Friday at 5:30 p.m. See the complete schedule.
Show hours are:
Thursday, Noon to 5 p.m.
Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There’s still time to register for free online.
To get the most out of GATS, be sure to get the app for your smartphone.