Pride In Your Ride

By Chad Violet

There is a saying that goes, “Things are better the second time around.” The same can be said for the “Take Pride in Your Ride” truck show, which was held in Brookeville, Ohio on June 10, 2017.

Initially, last year, the 2016 show was created for local owner operators and company drivers to come together as a brotherhood and display their trucks and trailers. But, more importantly, to enjoy the day telling stories, laughing, looking at trucks, listening to some local bands and spending time with the guys you typically wave at driving by on the road or chat with in an online group.

As with all first-year shows, there were some glitches and oversights that became evident as the event progressed. Nonetheless, everyone had a great time and the team was pleasantly surprised at the support the locals showed by visiting and spending the day at the show.

With only a few weeks gone by since the last truck pulled away from that initial event in 2016, ideas for a second “Take Pride in Your Ride” show were already being discussed. Taking what they learned from the first show, the one question that continued to come up was, “How do we make this great and build it?” Knowing that growing pains were inevitable, the group got serious, divided all of the responsibilities, and prepared for any of those pains that might stand in their way for 2017.

This year, the group wanted the show to be more meaningful and to have a purpose. Fun shows are nice, but if they were going to put in this much time and work, they might as well put their efforts towards something that meant a little more to them than just fun. It was decided that the “Trucker’s Final Mile” charity would be the center of attention and the purpose of the show.

The first order of business was to ensure a venue was in place, and the 2016 host, Midwest Truck and Equipment Sales, was more than happy to provide its facility once again for the 2017 show. Seemingly, with the biggest hurdle being conquered, the team moved forward. Shuman Specialized Transport supported much of the advertising expenses, along with volunteers, and supplied flatbed trailers to act as the band’s stage. Other generous sponsors included Evans Cattle Company, Wright Patt Credit Union, Brands Insurance, West Chester Permits, Tough Tested and Truck It Smart.

The “Take Pride in Your Ride” show got an impressive and surprising boost when a few other sponsors stepped up to be leading contributors. Lincoln Chrome made and donated the amazing trophies out of pipes and billet aluminum for the winners, while Cobra Electronics and the folks at the Chrome Shop Mafia put together gift bags for all the drivers who displayed their trucks.

By this point, nothing was going to stop the “Take Pride” team from putting on a fantastic show. But, how do you elevate a show that has so much promise and an established support system in place? Easy – you bring in Tony Justice as the concert headliner! Performing an array of his songs, from past hits to his latest releases, Tony played to the crowd well into the late night, singing many of his well-known trucker songs, that have made him an industry favorite.

This year, the turnout of trucks was better than expected, up from last year’s count of 27, to an impressive 55 this year. Although 55 actually signed up to enter and compete in the show, the parking lot set aside for the spectators with big trucks was deep with cool rides that had grabbed the exit ramp to stop and check out the show.

The quality of trucks was exactly what you’d expect at a top-notch show. Trucks of all years and models pulled in to show-off their shine. Big hoods, stretched wheelbases, tall stacks, custom gliders, cabovers, tow trucks and even a custom vintage Autocar from the Jerry Howard museum collection, were all polished to a mirrored-finish and on display for all to enjoy. Trucks from many states made the trip to Brookeville, Ohio, and they were all glad to do so.

The incredibly cool (and heavy) trophies made by Lincoln Chrome were on display for all to see in the registration tent – and, not surprisingly, highly sought after by all the truck show contestants. The judging was fun and interactive for the competitors and spectators, alike. Awards were given out in two categories – “People’s Choice” and “Kid’s Choice” – which was really fun. Lori Franklin and her gorgeous red big bunk Pete took top honors for the “People’s Choice” award, while the “Kid’s Choice” went to Rob Hallahan’s long, low and way-cool cream and orange W9 Kenworth with a stainless-steel spread-axle van in tow.

The “Take Pride” show is not just for the big kids. The crew wanted their show to be family oriented. Food trucks lined both sides of a walk-through entrance, which lead to a grassy area filled with bounce houses and such, in a Kid’s Zone. Parts vendors, t-shirt people, the Ohio D.O.T and a few other public awareness booths were also selling and passing out trinkets the entire day.

What a difference a year makes. It’s safe to say, the “Take Pride in Your Ride” show is showing signs of being here to stay. With impressive growth, family environment, good entertainment, show-quality iron, wonderful sponsors, and a team of family-minded truck lovers putting it all together, this event was a success for everyone involved.

With the “Trucker’s Final Mile” charity being the focus and much of the discussion throughout the day, the 2017 event raised and donated $6,500, making it the second highest single donation that the organization has ever received. Just another example of the incredible and generous hearts that support this industry (and each other). Everyone who was involved should be proud to have been a part of something really wonderful.

Make sure to keep an eye out for the “Take Pride in Your Ride” website and Facebook page for all the details coming up for 2018. If you’re in the area, it’s a worthy show to check out, for sure. There’s no doubt – this show and its energized staff are already planning a bigger and better show coming next summer, with plenty of big changes and big ideas, so stay tuned!

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