Call it a show, call it a get-together, call it a party, but whatever you call the Wilkins Oklahoma Truck Supply Busted Knuckle Truck Show and Customer Appreciation event, it is one of the best times you can have! Held at Wilkins Oklahoma Truck Supply’s shop in Tonkawa, Oklahoma, this show does away with the notion of trophies and awards, and focuses more on fun, friends and customer appreciation. At this Busted Knuckle event, you don’t show up for bragging rights or to win – you show up for a great time, to see old friends, and to look at some great trucks.
Held the weekend of September 20th to the 22nd at the Wilkins’ shop on I-35 at Exit 211 in Tonkawa, Oklahoma, the show began with cool weather on Friday. As the trucks began to arrive and park on the grass, there was a little moisture in the air and overcast skies, but by the time the afternoon rolled around, the weather began to clear up and make way for rising temperatures, hinting at the perfect weather to come.
Friday afternoon also saw the best looking convoy that has ever rolled up I-35. Anyone who wanted to take their rig out on the highway in a special police-escorted convoy was welcome to, and many jumped at the chance. Rolling coal as they powered up the on-ramp, truck after truck poured onto the highway. After looping through central Tonkawa, the trucks headed back to the Wilkins Oklahoma Truck Supply shop. The convoy, aside from being a big success with the truckers themselves, also proved to be a crowd favorite, and why not – it was too cool!
With the trucks rolling back into the lot and the sun beginning to set, the light show was ready to get going – and going it did, as truck after truck lit up the side of the highway. Jerry Mies of Mies & Sons had his new “Lactose Limousine” 389 Peterbilt lit up end to end with hundreds of LEDs. Alongside this cool combination sat Jerry’s other big ride – the “Calcium Cadillac” – which just happens to be the last regular 379 Peterbilt ever produced – and it was just as impressive. Accord Transport also made a good showing in the light show with numerous trucks entered, all featuring various light schemes.
As the sun came up on Saturday morning, it was clear to everyone that this would be a perfect day, thanks in part to the great weather. Warm, sunny, and not a cloud in the sky, Saturday’s weather was awesome. Some might expect that because there are no awards or trophies that it might keep some people from showing up, but walking the lot, that proved wholly untrue. In fact, the truck show, over the past several years, has continuously increased in size, and this year over 100 trucks were on the grounds.
In addition to the other notable combos already mentioned, a few other tall rides included Chad Betland’s stretched-out white and blue W900 Kenworth, multiple rides from Accord Transport, and Patrick Lund’s 359 Peterbilt extended-hood with a long wheelbase. But, let’s not forget the bobtails, because they were looking good, too. Nate Hoskinson’s unique Western Star LowMax, JR Schleuger’s “Blue Baron” Kenworth (a past 10-4 cover truck from November 2010), and Mike Solko’s bright yellow 379 Pete flattop all represented the bobtails well. I’d also like to give a special mention to Ben Folk. At just 21 years old, Ben has already acquired his second truck – a 2013 Peterbilt 389 glider. Featuring a turned-up Cat and numerous custom touches, his blue and white flattop is a testament to hard work. Keep up the good work, Ben!
As you walk the lot at the Busted Knuckle truck show, you start to get an idea of why this is such a great event. Doing away with trophies gives a truck show a whole new feeling and flavor. Most of the cool rigs at this show are working machines, and some of them may not have been white-glove clean, but who cares! More importantly, the show is fun from start to finish. Walking amongst the trucks, everyone was talking and sharing stories, and everyone seemed to be having a great time together, and that’s what matters the most. And that’s what this show is really about – old friends getting together, and a great place to make new ones, too. You can find bigger shows and you can find shows with nothing but big rides, but you’d be hard-pressed to find many other truck shows that are as relaxing and enjoyable as the Busted Knuckle show.
Saturday also featured the prize giveaways. Each participant was given raffle tickets, and if you’re number was called, you were going home with something great. Generously donated by the Wilkins family, as well as their sponsors at the show, thousands of dollars worth of chrome, seats, and other accessories were given away to the show participants. From train horns to mud-flap hangers (and some “10-4 Bucks” too), plenty of trucks and truckers went home with something new. As the show continued into the afternoon, the smoker started warming up, and thanks to a generous donation by participant Patrick Lund, who donated 100 pounds of beef, everyone was treated to some great hamburgers and cheeseburgers with all the fixings.
With nightfall came another light show and some loud music from Chad Stevens, who played some great country and rock n’ roll tunes. The Saturday night light show and concert created a nice atmosphere for the last full day of the show. With everyone relaxing and having a good time, the show went late into the night – even the local police were joining in the fun! With things coming to a close on Sunday morning, the Wilkins family finished with style, providing free coffee and donuts as a farewell and “thank you” to all those who participated in the 2013 event.
Shows come in all sizes, locations and types. Some shows are in the middle of a city, and some shows are held out in the sticks. Some shows are massive, and some are small. Some shows are all about the rides, and some shows are all about the people. But, at the end of the day, a show must be fun to survive. The Wilkins family went off the beaten path and decided, in the name of fun, that awards and trophies weren’t a necessary part of a show – and they nailed it. So, if you want to experience a different kind of trucking event, put the Wilkins Oklahoma Truck Supply Busted Knuckle Truck Show on your calendar – you won’t be disappointed!