The 2nd time around for the new California Trucking Show at the Ontario Convention Center, was held on October 14-15, 2017 in Ontario, CA. And with over twice as many rigs as last year and a sold-out show floor, this new indoor trucking trade show really grew.
The show organizers had Southern California in their sights for some time, wanting to hold a business-to-business type of event, and last year (2016) they produced a successful inaugural show. So, with that momentum, our contact, Oscar Medina, attended several other shows to learn and see what it would take to elevate their event to the next level – which they accomplished.
One way the show “raised the bar” was to get 10-4 Magazine more involved. We met up with Oscar while on display at GATS in Dallas, TX last August where he inquired if we would want to sponsor a few People’s Choice (1st, 2nd and 3rd) awards and help get more local truckers to enter their trucks into the competition. We agreed to help, and then contacted Carl Carstens at Rockwood Products to create the trophies and, somehow, he found the time to get them done. Thank you, Carl. The trophies turned out real nice. We also reached out to several of our trucker friends and past cover truck owners to personally invite them to come out to the event – and bring their truck. Last year there were only about eight trucks in the competition, filling holes here and there on the show floor, but this year there were about 20, which had to be parked outside, because there was no available space inside.
As usual, the California weather didn’t disappoint, being hot and sunny all week. Setup on Friday was a busy but well-coordinated effort by all the exhibitors. Last year, there were some open spaces on the floor, but this year the show was packed with booths from end to end. With long lines out front, the registration counters were a bit swamped, causing a few slight delays, but once you were inside, the vendor booths were like magnets, as many in attendance were truck drivers looking for ways to make their workload more efficient and to meet face-to-face with the companies wanting to accommodate their business needs.
At last year’s show, most of the vendors were local – from California and nearby states – but this year had them coming from several other states, including Canada. We walked the floor and met up with several of our business partners but was a bit surprised to see Howes Lubricator come all the way from Rhode Island. Our friend Jeff said that after reading our report from last year, he requested that they put this event on their calendar and exhibit in 2017. Also, our longtime advertiser and great friend Jim Ebert with Axle Surgeons came from Ohio to set up a booth. Some of our friends from Minimizer, based out of Minnesota, were there in a booth, too, in addition to a few folks from PDI out of St. George, Utah. All of them said they were very happy with the two-day event, getting to meet real truckers, who are at the core of their businesses.
We at 10-4 got the chance to meet many of our readers and to mingle with several existing and potential customers, proving that this was the place to be. Our booth was filled with current and various past months of magazines, centerfolds, posters and other offerings. Based on the previous year, when we ran out of everything on the first day and had to restock for the second, we brought more this year, only to realized that, once again, we would need more – a lot more. Anything and everything we put on our tables were gone as fast as we could put them out, which was awesome. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and had nice things to say about the magazine.
Competing for fun, trophies and bragging rights, the trucks were parked outside, and the crowds of people were snapping plenty of pictures and really seemed to enjoy talking with the owners. With several of our past cover trucks in attendance, the competition, which was voted on by the show attendees, was tough. The voting ended at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday and, after all of the tabulations were made, the competitors assembled inside for the awards ceremony.
Taking the 1st place trophy home was Isidro Oropeza and his orange Pete 389, which was fresh from being built by Clint Moore at Kansas City Peterbilt (and even featured in his article in our November 2017 edition); 2nd place was awarded to Tom Graham from Idaho and his custom red Peterbilt pickup; and 3rd went to Ruben Vargas for his slick and aerodynamic bright red Peterbilt 386.
We would like to thank our friend and contributor Frank Strohmyer from Ohio, who was on vacation in California during the show, for helping out in our booth and taking some of the pictures. And, with a lot still going on, the show came to a close, ending the 2nd annual California Trucking Show. Based on this successful 2nd time around, we can only think that this show will be even bigger and better next year – after all, 3rd time’s a charm. Next year’s dates are scheduled for October 20-21, 2018. Stay tuned to 10-4 Magazine for more updates and details as they