With record-breaking heat baking the trucks, the competitors and all the attendees, there was plenty of “sizzling shine” – literally – at the 8th annual Central Valley Commercial Truck Show. Held in central California on Labor Day weekend (September 2-3) at the Fresno Fairgrounds, this show, which is hosted and produced by the folks from A & L Truck Supply, had an awesome turnout, considering the “challenging” weather conditions. The fairgrounds feature an all-paved parking lot, which helped keep the trucks nice and clean, but proved to not help much with relief from the blistering-hot temperatures. In fact, we are pretty sure the bottom of a few pairs of tennis shoes got melted, too.
About 140 trucks and their owners from all over the state, along with several vendors, braved the 110-degree heat to come out to the show. Some of those vendors included Valley Chrome, Trux, Dynaflex, Borrachos Apparel, Grand General, Roll On Customs, the CHP and a few others. After the relentless sun finally set on Saturday, about 40 of the trucks in the show got to participate in a cruise through Fresno. With a police escort and closed-down streets, the rigs cruised on some main thoroughfares, like Blackstone Avenue, before heading back to the fairgrounds in a spectacle of blazing lights and blaring horns.
Lots of locals were on-hand from the Central Valley including Maggini, Rodriguez Express, Chavira & Sons, M&R Transport, Lil’ Rays, Hettinga, Lopez Trucking, H&M Trucking and more. Some other cool rides included Kenny Mendonca’s blue and white T660 Kenworth, CG Souza’s slick red W900 Kenworth with blue scallops, and Jet Speed’s clean fuel hauler, brought out by driver Walter Gonzalez. But, the rig that was getting the most attention was the latest from Joe Gomes & Sons – a polished fuel tanker hooked to a Pete 389 daycab with a fresh new black, orange and red paint scheme. Brought out by Jeff York, this rig earned the coveted Best of Show title.
A lot of other awards were given out on Sunday, with specific classes for Peterbilts, Kenworths and Freightliners, along with the usual lights, cabovers and specialty classes. During the awards ceremony, several products were raffled off and given away, but, to the surprise of the show’s producers, many of the winners donated the products they won back for a live auction that raised money for a handicapped child in Tulare who had outgrown his motorized wheelchair. Proceeds from the auction raised enough money to buy this kid a new chair! Thanks to Lil’ Rays, Hettinga, M&R, Macedo Hay and Maggini & Son for donating their prizes back to be sold, and to everyone else who contributed to the cause in one way or another.
The high temperatures may have kept some people away from the Fresno Fairgrounds that weekend, but those that came out and braved the heat were awarded with another fun truck show. This event is always a good time, and with the addition of the truck cruise on Saturday night, it will only get better (assuming they do it again next year). Next year’s show is slated for Labor Day weekend, again, on September 1-2, 2018. Forget the crowded highways and airports, and just head on over to Fresno for a sizzling good time! This year’s winners were:
NON-WORKING ANTIQUE: 1st Jerry Salinas; 2nd Roger Ghidelli of Maggini & Son; 3rd Todd Lemke of
Lemke Speed & Marine.
PETERBILT (1993-2003): 1st Eduardo Lopez of Premier Transport; 2nd Ramon of Lil’ Rays Transport; 3rd Josh Carballo of Carballo Transport.
PETERBILT (2004-2009): 1st Everardo Lopez of Lopez Trucking; 2nd David Torres of EDT Transport; 3rd Jose Montejano of H&M Trucking.
PETERBILT (2010-2015): 1st Jose Vargas of R&E Trucking; 2nd Freddy Macias of MC Transport; 3rd Ben Martinez of H&M Trucking.
PETERBILT (2016 & NEWER): 1st Julio Millan of Millan Trucking; 2nd Rolando Maravilla of Maravilla Transport; 3rd JR Hernandez of Hernandez Trucking.
FREIGHTLINER (1993-2003): 1st Joe Avila of Avila Trucking.
FREIGHTLINER (2004-2014): 1st Daniel De La Fuente of Chavira & Sons; 2nd Antonio Gonzalez of Antonio & Sons; 3rd Christian Silva of Silva Trucking.
FREIGHTLINER (2015 & NEWER): 1st Jorge of Machado Custom Hay; 2nd Wyatt Dye of Machado Custom Hay.
KENWORTH (1993-2006): 1st Udo Klein of Klein’s Express.
KENWORTH (2007 & NEWER): 1st Robert Rodriguez of Rodriguez Express; 2nd Rick Zuniga of Rodriguez Express; 3rd CG Souza of Souza Trucking.
CABOVER: 1st Hector Lopez of Chavira & Sons; 2nd Alex Rodrigues of M&R Transport.
SPECIALTY: 1st Pete Lora of Pete’s Auto Transport; 2nd Todd Lemke; 3rd Walter Gonzalez of Jet Speed.
CONSTRUCTION: 1st Clayton Schelber of R.W. Burkett; 2nd Dan Gilbert of Lagomarsino Transport; 3rd Johnathan Laster of R.W. Burkett.
MEDIUM DUTY/LOCAL DELIVERY: 1st Jose Ramos of R&B Produce; 2nd Anthony Garcia; 3rd Derrek Ellis of Joe Gomes & Sons.
COMBO (2012 & NEWER): 1st Jessie of M&R Transport; 2nd Ronnie Garcia of Vandenburg Trucking; 3rd Nestor Gonzalez of Rollin R Enterprises.
COMBO (2011 & OLDER): 1st Ray Rodriquez of Lil’ Rays Transport; 2nd Carlos Mendoza of CM Transport; 3rd Ryan Golson of Valley Bulk.
BEST LIGHTS (BOBTAIL): Ray Rodriquez of Lil’ Rays Transport.
BEST LIGHTS (COMBO): Ray Rodriquez of Lil’ Rays Transport.
PRO. SHOW TRUCK (BOBTAIL): Melvin Maggini of Maggini & Son.
PRO. SHOW TRUCK (COMBO): Ray Rodriquez of Lil’ Rays Transport.
BEST FLEET: Chavira & Sons.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE: CG Souza of Souza Trucking.
PARTICIPANT’S CHOICE: Everardo Lopez of Lopez Trucking.
BEST OF SHOW: Jeff York of Joe Gomes & Sons.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This report was put together as a collaborative effort between Dan Linss, Jared Fagundes, Chris Nowell and Robert Wityczak. Thanks to everyone that helped – we’re glad nobody got heat stroke!!