Truck shows should be, above all else, fun. If the need to clean, the need to polish, buff, shine, and wipe down your ride surpasses the amount of fun you’re having at a show, it might be time to consider some new venues. The Great Salt Lake “Kidney Kamp” Truck Show, held in Electric Park at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah is, above all else, fun. But, its much more than just a great truck show – it’s a great truck show for a great cause.
For nearly a quarter of a century, Jeff England of Pride Transport out of Salt Lake City, Utah has been putting this show on to benefit the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho. The money raised at this event helps send kids (and their families) suffering from various kidney problems to a special camp in the mountains at no cost to them. Its time away from the stress of hospitals, providing a great time outdoors, with help always close by should any problems arise. Having raised over $700,000 for the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho over the years, the Great Salt Lake “Kidney Kamp” Truck Show is one of the best – and probably the most important – shows you can attend all year.
The event’s convenient location, Electric Park at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah (just south of Salt Lake City), is a great venue. With shopping centers, food, and hotels all within a short drive of the show, where all of the trucks are parked on groomed, grassy hills, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place for a show. Some other benefits this location has to offer includes a large covered central hall for most of the vendors, beautiful surrounding scenery, and the fact that the entire park is completely fenced and gated, ensuring safety and security for the drivers who leave their trucks parked there all weekend. Overall, it gives this show a very relaxed, weekend party kind of atmosphere. But, don’t be mistaken – the competition in Utah is nothing to take lightly.
Having grown since last year, we saw many old favorites, as well as new trucks, at the show this year. The show started Friday morning with cool, overcast weather, which was perfect, considering all of the heat we’ve had this year! With the “rags down” call at noon, much of the morning was spent on the final details of cleaning up the trucks – the last polish of the bumper and visor, a final wipe-down of the paint, or maybe getting the last of the dirt and dust out of the interior – all in anticipation of the judges. With a collective sigh of relief after the judging, the competitors at the show were treated to a tasty dinner featuring pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, corn-on-the-cob, and coleslaw. We all ate like kings! But, there was still one more category to be judged after dinner – the lights. Friday night, after everyone ate, they returned to their trucks and proceeded to fire them up and then light-up all of Electric Park for the light show and competition. And what a sight it was!
The Salt Lake truck show is also a great time to catch up with old friends. We were happy to see previous competitors with several new additions to their rides, or new rides altogether. Notable defenders this year included young Cody Madsen and his bright yellow flattop Peterbilt with many new improvements, and a few others, too. Featuring a new bumper with a custom flip kit, an air-ride front axle, new rear fenders, and a new drop visor, Cody’s big-bird Peterbilt was stiff competition for many of the trucks at the show this year. Always working in the dirt, we were impressed with how clean his truck was, even though he drives in and out of the pits all day. Christensen/CREST returned again with “Muffin’s” well-kept white and blue Kenworth straight tanker and pull trailer, as well as Terrell Lund of Ralph Smith Co. from West Bountiful, Utah in his new ride, a red and white W900 Kenworth scrap truck and trailer combination.
The new faces (and trucks) at the show were well-represented, too. Idaho showed up in force for the truck show, notably including B-D Oil from Idaho Falls. Brandon Beckstead brought his ultra-clean dark blue and white Kenworth W900 flattop with a matching spread-axle reefer, and Mike Stoneman (also from Idaho) showed up with his beautifully-rebuilt and patriotic-themed 1951 GMC 900 tractor hooked to a matching step-deck trailer that had an enormous John Deere tractor sitting on top. Immaculately restored, the truck features an 8V92 Detroit Diesel and a 13-speed transmission. Painted a unique root beer brown color, Mike’s “Let’s Roll” rig proved to be difficult competition in any class he entered, taking home numerous awards (including People’s Choice).
For me, one of the best parts of the show was seeing some of the company rides cleaned up. People often think of the truck shows as the domain of the high-dollar, ultra-custom tractors. But, with Large Fleet classes, you can see the pride drivers take in their company rides, too. No deep-drop fiberglass fenders, no 10-inch exhaust stacks, and no wild paint jobs, yet these drivers take as much pride in their rides as the biggest trucks out there, and it’s great to see that sort of commitment, even for just a simple but clean fleet truck. At this show, there were several “plain” fleet trucks that were cleaned and polished as good (or better) as any of the trucks parked around them, and that is always nice to see. Trucking needs all the help it can with its image, and these sorts of drivers and fleets do a great part in helping support that image.
Come Saturday, the sun came out and the heat came with it. Many drivers spent most of the day seeking shade, whether it was under a tent or under a trailer, as the temperatures certainly picked up – but that did not make the day any less fun. Saturday is simply a day to show off your ride, talk with other drivers, and enjoy a day off from working your truck. And that is part of what is so fantastic about the Great Salt Lake Truck Show – knowing that, come Monday morning, most of these trucks will be back out on the roads, earning their keep, hauling a load of potatoes or oil, or just running in the dirt. The Great Salt Lake Truck Show truly is (for the most part) a “working” truck show.
Simply put, the Great Salt Lake “Kidney Kamp” Truck Show is one of the best events you can attend. It’s a great time with great trucks, but, more importantly, it’s for a great cause. We at 10-4 Magazine would like to encourage everyone to attend this show next year. The Great Salt Lake Truck Show is a tried and true tradition of the trucking scene in Utah and Idaho, but knowing that the proceeds from the show go directly to giving some kids a great time in the mountains, away from the issues and problems of various forms of kidney diseases, gives the show a broader purpose that anyone can get behind. We hope to see all our old friends and many new faces there next year. This year’s winners were:
OPEN TRACTOR: 1st Matt Long/Robinson; 2nd Blake Rinker; 3rd Brady Jensen/PDI.
SMALL FLEET TRACTOR: 1st Jim Henry/Skidmore Transportation; 2nd Dan Duston/Tuf Transport; 3rd Jack Hepner/Harper Precast.
LARGE FLEET TRACTOR: 1st Sean Webb/Pride; 2nd Kevin Williams/Robinson; 3rd Phil Dunn.
OWNER OPERATOR TRACTOR: 1st Ben Campbell; 2nd Glen Hansen; 3rd Aero Express.
NEW TRACTOR: 1st Scott Robinson; 2nd Larry Olson/Walmart; 3rd Quinton VanWeerd/Deseret Transportation.
OLD WORKING TRACTOR: 1st Jeff England/ Pride; 2nd Al Warriner/Carrier Transicold; 3rd Scott Robinson.
OPEN COMBO: 1st Don Pascuzzo/Guzman Express; 2nd Chad Petersen/Walmart; 3rd Toni Reed/Utah Food Bank.
SMALL FLEET COMBO: 1st Marshall Co; 2nd Cody Madsen/McAllister; 3rd Sinclair Trucking.
LARGE FLEET COMBO: 1st CR England; 2nd Pride Transport; 3rd Steve Beatie/Godfrey Trkg.
OWNER OPERATOR COMBO: 1st Dean Jay; 2nd Brandon Beckstead; 3rd Doug Nelson.
NEW COMBO: 1st Carey Bess/Advantage; 2nd CR England; 3rd Gary Flaherty/L.W. Miller.
OLD WORKING COMBO: 1st Mike Stoneman; 2nd Jay England/Pride; 3rd Jeff Christensen.
ANTIQUE: 1st Jeff England/Pride; 2nd Ralph Smith Co; 3rd Scott Robinson.
WRECKER/VOCATIONAL: 1st Bodi Mitchell/K-N-A; 2nd Devin Deleeuw/K-N-A; 3rd Rillon Harper/Harper Precast.
LIGHT/MEDIUM DUTY: 1st Jerry Lopshire/Robinson; 2nd Michael Munsee/Rocky Mountain Truck Parts; 3rd Mike Harding.
TANKER: 1st Jason Morton/B-D Oil; 2nd Rand Williams/Ken Bettridge Dist; 3rd Rhinehart Oil.
LARGE COMBINATION: 1st “Muffin”/CREST Dist; 2nd Jason Johnson/Mitchell X.
DRY BULK: 1st Terrell Lund/Ralph Smith Co; 2nd Corey Carnoll/K-N-A; 3rd Mike Wiley/Metro.
ENGINE: 1st Mike Stoneman; 2nd Ben Campbell; 3rd Jeff England/Pride.
INTERIOR (DAY CAB): 1st Matt Long/Robinson; 2nd Bodi Mitchell/K-N-A; 3rd Terrell Lund/Ralph Smith Co.
INTERIOR (CAB & SLEEPER): 1st Blake Rinker; 2nd Ben Campbell; 3rd Dean Jay.
PAINT/GRAPHICS (COMBO): 1st Steve Beatie/Godfrey Trucking; 2nd Carey Bess/Advantage; 3rd CREST Dist.
PAINT/GRAPHICS (TRACTOR): 1st Matt Long/Robinson; 2nd Terrell Lund/Ralph Smith Co; 3rd Terrell Lund/Ralph Smith Co.
PAINT/MURAL (COMBO): 1st CR England; 2nd Marshall Co; 3rd Bodi Mitchell/K-N-A.
PAINT/MURAL (TRACTOR): 1st Aero Express; 2nd Mike Stoneman; 3rd Scott Robinson.
LIGHTS (COMBO): 1st Rand Williams/Ken Bettridge Dist; 2nd Jason Morton/B-D Oil; 3rd Jeff Christensen.
LIGHTS (TRACTOR): 1st Kelsey Fritz; 2nd Phil Dunn; 3rd Sean Webb/Pride.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE: Mike Stoneman (1951 GMC).
BEST OF SHOW (SPECIALTY): Jason Morton/B-D Oil (2007 Peterbilt & 2010 Heil Tanker).
BEST OF SHOW (TRACTOR): Jeff England/Pride Transport (1982 Kenworth).
BEST OF SHOW (COMBO): Mike Stoneman (1951 GMC 900 & Matching Step-Deck).