The boys in Utah really know how to put pride into their ride.  This year’s 21st annual “Great Salt Lake Truck Show” was, as usual, put on by Jeff and Pat England of Pride Transportation.  Held August 13-14 at beautiful Thanksgiving Point, about 20 miles south of Salt Lake City, the fun started early Friday morning at sunrise – and I mean sunrise – because it was the first time in several years where the sky was clear and the weather was perfect!

Like every other year, this event had plenty of things to do for the whole family.  There was an inflatable carnival for the kids, a show-n-shine competition (which featured about 60 of the finest trucks I had ever seen), fun games, and plenty of vendors throughout.  Companies such as Marmon Highway Industries, Utility Trailer, Pilot, Carrier, Thermo King and many of the local truck dealerships set up nice displays for the attendees to visit and learn more about their companies and the products or services they sell.  And the food!  It is fair to say that I might have had the best Philly Cheese Steak sandwich of my life – right there – in Utah!

Doyle Eliason and his crew did a primo job of parking, staging, and judging all of our trucks (yes, I even brought out my Kenworth T800 work truck and entered the competition).  On Friday afternoon, with a little help from retired firefighter Michael Moore and his 1974 American LaFrance fire engine, I was raised 150 feet above the action in the old fire truck’s bucket to get a birds-eye view of the entire event – and snap a few cool photos.  As the sun started to set Friday night, the trucks came to life as the light show began.  Bruce and Wes Malmgren made a heck of a statement with they’re two sweet Peterbilts, Brandon Scott and his friends lit up their beautiful dark blue W900L rods from Crest, and then Hendrickson fired up their clean 1999 Peterbilt 379 wrecker.  Next thing we know, the whole place was glowing amber, red, blue and green.  Now that’s what I call a block party!

Saturday morning started with a bang when I caught up with Brent Greer and his wife – owners of a cool copper and cream 1996 Pete 379 from Canada.  Then, I finally got to take a closer look at Jade Transport’s stunning green and black Peterbilt 389 tanker, as well as a bunch of other awesome rigs.  The field of trucks was full of nice iron to admire, so the morning flew by.  Later in the day, there was a special “truck pull” event, only this one was a little bit different.  At this show, the truck, which was a police pickup, was pulled by attendees wearing a special harness with a rope.  We had a lot of fun watching the participants grunt, groan and even crawl, pulling the pickup a predetermined length, competing for the fastest time.  The winner pulled the truck about 50 feet in 16.9 seconds!

The awards ceremony kicked off around 4:00 pm on Saturday and it was not surprising that the big winners were Boots Chivington and his 2000 black and orange Kenworth (Best of Show Bobtail), Jeff England and his flawless 1982 grey and black Kenworth W900A and matching polished stainless steel spread-axle reefer (Best of Show Combo), and Robinson’s unique orange and black Harley Davidson-themed 1956 Kenworth 925 (Best of Show Specialty).  Jade Transport’s Peterbilt 389 and polished tanker took home the coveted People’s Choice award, while Crest’s dark blue 2002 KW W900L and polished stainless steel dry van earned top honors in the Small Fleet Combo class.  Elden Easterday brought out Gary Amoth’s flagship red A-Model KW but he arrived too late to be judged (although he was somehow able to slip into the light show Friday night and win a 2nd place trophy).

Over the last 21 years, this event has raised half a million dollars for the National Kidney Foundation of Idaho and Utah.  Although much of the credit can go to Jeff England, he will be the first one to pass on that credit to people like Richard Taylor and his entire truck show committee.  At the beginning of the awards ceremony, a young 15 year old girl spoke to the crowd, along with her family, about how her dad had donated one of his kidneys in order to save her life.  It was very moving.  This young lady was so excited because her whole family was getting ready to have the ultimate camping trip of their lives at “Kidney Kamp” because of this wonderful event.  Thank you Jeff, Doyle, and everybody else who made the 21st annual “Great Salt Lake Truck Show” so great!  I left this event feeling very thankful for all of the good people out here who call the road their home.

OPEN CLASS BOBTAIL: 1st Boots Chivington; 2nd Bruce Malmgren

SMALL FLEET BOBTAIL: 1st Wes Malmgren; 2nd Skip Dunn; 3rd Utah Food Bank

LARGE FLEET BOBTAIL: 1st Robinson; 2nd Phil Dunn; 3rd Farwest Steel

OWNER OPERATOR BOBTAIL: 1st Brent Greer; 2nd Aero; 3rd Terrell Lund

WORKING ANTIQUE BOBTAIL: 1st Robinson; 2nd Carrier

OPEN CLASS COMBO: 1st Jade Transport

SMALL FLEET COMBO: 1st Crest; 2nd Metro

LARGE FLEET COMBO: 1st Pride Transport; 2nd Wal-Mart; 3rd DATS


NEW COMBO: 1st C.R. England


ANTIQUE: 1st Robinson; 2nd Ralph Smith; 3rd Ralph Smith

WRECKER/VOCATIONAL: 1st Hendrickson; 2nd Michael Moore

TANKER: 1st Babcock; 2nd Crest; 3rd Rhinehardt

LIGHT/MED. DUTY: 1st Robinson; 2nd Randy Mellon; 3rd Delyle Billings

LONG COMBO VEHICLE: 1st Kellerstrass; 2nd Joe Benson

ENGINE: 1st Jeff England; 2nd Wes Malmgren; 3rd Boots Chivington

INTERIOR (CAB ONLY): 1st Robinson; 2nd Ralph Smith; 3rd Ralph Smith

INTERIOR: 1st Bruce Malmgren; 2nd Boots Chivington; 3rd Wes Malmgren


PAINT BOBTAIL: 1st Wes Malmgren; 2nd Bruce Malmgren; 3rd Robinson

PAINT COMBO: 1st Randy Melon; 2nd Wal-Mart

PAINT MURAL: 1st Aero; 2nd Skip Dunn; 3rd Hendrickson

LIGHTS BOBTAIL: 1st Kellerstrass; 2nd Bruce Malmgren; 3rd Boots Chivington

LIGHTS COMBO: 1st Kellerstrass; 2nd Gary Amoth; 3rd Jeff England

BEST OF SHOW SPECIALITY: Robinson - 1956 Kenworth 925

BEST OF SHOW BOBTAIL: Boots Chivington - 2000 Kenworth W900L

BEST OF SHOW COMBO: Jeff England - 1982 Kenworth W900A

PEOPLE’S CHOICE: Jade Transport - 2008 Peterbilt 389