Happy Kampers!

There are so many ways and places to just park it and “kamp out” for the moment, a day or a weekend. Such was the case in Lehi, Utah, a 30-minute drive south of Salt Lake City, for the 28th Annual Great Salt Lake Truck Show held on August 18-19, 2017 at Thanksgiving Point. The stage was set for a fun weekend to help raise much-needed funds for the National Kidney Foundation and their Family Kidney Kamp. Richard Taylor, Director of Special Events, along with Jeff England of Pride Transport, invited the trucking community and their sponsors to “Reserve Your Spot” – and they did.

Our reservation was to “kamp out” at the nearby Springhill Suites, and all we had to do was get there. So, just like last year, we left Southern California on Thursday in the wee hours of the morning and picked up our trusty navigator, Fernando of Stay Loaded, and hit the I-15 freeway. After stopping for breakfast at the Peppermill in Las Vegas, we made a bee-line to SLC. It was beautiful weather for the almost 600-mile road trip and, upon arrival, trucks were already taking their positions on the grass (there was a covered pavilion for the vendors). As the darkness approached and the last-minute setting-up began to quiet down, we called it a night, as we had an early start for show time.

Friday morning came fast. The schedule of events for Friday included a bike & wagons race, a gas hose push, a creeper race and a tire roll competition, with the day ending on a Dutch oven dinner planned for 6:00 P.M. The cooler weather, with relatively no humidity, made for a fun and enjoyable day to mingle everywhere in the park. The silent auction table was getting a lot of eyeballs, as many donated items such as a Yeti cooler, a TV, an X-Box game console and other electronics, Ninja blenders, popcorn makers, kid’s stuff, clothing, bird houses and more, were all lined up on tables, awaiting their bids.

To help the cause, 10-4 Magazine put a shout-out to some of our advertisers and friends to obtain more goodies for the silent auction, and the stuff rolled in. Luckily, we have a local trucker friend, Mike Vano of Lehi, Utah, that allowed the packages to be sent to his residence that was only 10 minutes from the show. Thank you, Mike, and big thanks to United Pacific, Double JJ, Lifetime Nut Covers, Lincoln Chrome, Chrome Shop Mafia and 4 State Trucks, Valley Chrome Plating and Iowa Customs for all the prizes, which included a cool beach cruiser, headlight brackets, fuel caps, step plates, apparel, a complete exhaust kit, LED lights, bumpers, a full deck plate and more. Your contributions raised thousands of additional dollars for the cause, and made many happy kampers!

Back at the pavilion, the Dutch oven dinner satisfied the appetites of many after a long day, and set the tone for the light show. The glow from the lights on that nice green grass made for a pleasurable evening of walking around and visiting with the drivers and owners. We bumped into many friends along the way, including Cody and Whitney Madsen, who introduced us to Mack Madsen, their new baby, that was only six days old! Our congratulations go out to the Madsen family for the safe arrival of this new bundle of joy, which had no problem napping in a nicely-polished aluminum wheel.

Saturday came with a bright sunrise and a great time to shoot some pictures before the public crowd hit the turnstiles at 10:00 A.M. Wouldn’t be but an hour later that the Dunk-a-Trooper event would begin, and that Utah State Trooper would need swimming lessons, as he got wet and stayed wet as the youngsters, and others, for a fee, kept hitting the bullseye with a big laugh to match the fun. The officer took it all in stride, with a grin for the cause. While he was drying out, next up was the “Truck Pull” and the chance for bragging rights to show who had the muscle and stamina to pull different vehicles, over a certain distance, in the shortest amount of time. Facial expressions were from all angles, as the competitors grunted and groaned with every step forward. Well done by all participants – more happy kampers.

Back at the silent auction tables, that were closing at 3:00 P.M., the crowds began to hover over many items that maybe they had bid on to check on the offers and bump it up again, if needed. We had our sights on the cool Yeti cooler, and with the best offer in check, until the last second or two, Josh Skidmore stepped up and posted the final offer to claim his stake. We’re still friends. After all, he and his truck wash and chrome shop (STS) are part of our 10-4 family.

Our friend and volunteer Doyle Ellison won the complete 7-inch Lincoln Chrome exhaust set for his Peterbilt. He was beside himself – and a very happy kamper. He didn’t want go back to Idaho without it. All of the winners were gracious in winning their new toys. We ended up with the popcorn maker (go figure) and a few other items, but it is this auction that raises the necessary funds to support this truck show’s purpose. Congrats to all who participated in the silent auction, and to all who opened their wallets to bid and buy. More happy kampers.

Looking to try something new, the show changed gears and went to a non-judged format, this year. It was determined that with no judges holding you up at the truck all day, there would be a lot less stress on everyone involved, and that the dozens of sponsors who were there could walk the grassy lot and pick their own favorites to receive an award, along with a $200 cash prize. It was a nice change of pace, as over 30 sponsors chose their own winners. But the Competitor’s Choice award was still up for grabs, along with a $2,500 cash payout and a special commemorative trophy, made by Rockwood Products, for the lucky winner.

As we all know, when your fellow truck show competitors and neighbors have a voice in the winner, the level of respect, appreciation and recognition goes up a notch (or two). Such was the case here at the 2017 Great Salt Lake Truck Show, as the Competitor’s Choice award, presented by 10-4 Magazine, along with the $2,500, went to JM Mascaro Trucking, with his beautiful red and white cabover and cattle trailer. The applause was loud and well-deserved. But, when Justin came up to receive his award and the money, he said, “I’ll keep the trophy, but give that $2,500 back to the kids.” Wow! When the crowd heard this, he and his family got a standing ovation, and an even louder round of applause. This gave Jeff England goose bumps, as he was standing nearby, and prompted him to make the comment that this was the best way to close the event – and it made all of us happy kampers.

With the show over and the truckers in retreat, we had the pleasure to go over to Mike Vano’s home to enjoy a delicious home-away-from-home cooked dinner that was off the chain. Before you knew it, a crowd of 20 or more trucker friends were in the confines, eating smoked pulled pork, sausages, various salads, beans and all the fixings. An outdoor fire pit was lit, and everyone there settled down around it,
winding down from an exciting and busy past few days. More happy kampers.

This show has always been a favorite, so check for next year’s dates, and we will hope to see you there. The show coordinators reported that at the close of the event that it had raised about $40,000 for the Family Kidney Kamp in Aspen Grove, Utah. This money will pay for kids with kidney problems to attend this special kamp, along with their entire family. It is here where they can truly enjoy the great outdoors and get together to experience a camping environment, with all the medical attention they might need. From start to finish, everybody at this fun event, including us, were happy kampers! And this year’s winners were:

COMPETITOR’S CHOICE: JM Mascaro Livestock

SPONSOR’S PICKS

ALCOA’s Choice: Tri H Farms
CR England’s Choice: Advantage Transportation
Carrier’s Choice: McAllister Enterprises
Cummins’ Choice: Poulsen Trailer Sales
Driver Tech’s Choice: Best Deal Spring
GCR’s Choice: Skidmore Transportation
Godfrey’s Choice: Pride Transport – Jeff England
Great Dane’s Choice: Cousins Leasing – Fleenor Bros.
Hub International’s Choice: McAllister Enterprises
Ivestor’s Choice: Godfrey Trucking
Jack’s Tire and Oil’s Choice: Hugoe Trucking
Peterbilt’s Choice: Hendrickson
James H. Clark’s Choice: Elberta Farms
Kenworth’s Choice: JM Mascaro Livestock
Les Schwab’s Choice: Hugoe Trucking
Mercer’s Choice: Ralph Smith Co.
Mountain West’s Choice: Tri H Farms
People Net’s Choice: Standlee Hay Trucking Company
PDI’s Choice: Milk Money Trucking
PILOT Flying J’s Choice: Sevier Valley Transportation
Savage Industries’ Choice: Burningham Enterprises
Smith Power’s Choice: Sevier Valley Transportation
Staker/Parsons’ Choice: Brady Trucking
Swift Charities’ Choice: Get Tuff Trucking
Thermo King’s Choice: Advantage Transportation
Utility Trailer’s Choice: Godfrey Trucking
Warner’s Choice: EMH Transportation
Wheeler’s Choice: LaBarge Service
Detroit Diesel’s Choice: Ryan Dorius
Daimler’s Choice: JM Mascaro Livestock

GAME WINNERS

Wheelchair Wagon: Standlee Hay Trucking Company
Creeper Race: JM Mascaro Livestock
Gas Hose Push: Standlee Hay Trucking Company
Questionnaire: Standlee Hay Trucking Company
Pre-Trip: Standlee Hay Trucking Company

About Erik Sieben