The Wilkins family may tell you their annual “Busted Knuckle” event is not a truck show, but if it isn’t, it’s about the best weekend get-together and barbecue party you could ever hope for on the Prairie. It is so much fun, trucks come to Oklahoma from near and far to attend the party. Held September 19-21 at the Wilkins Oklahoma Truck Supply shop right off of I-35 in Tonkawa, Oklahoma, the Busted Knuckle Truck Show is a good time – and then some. It’s not about how much you can polish your truck or how much money you can dump into the chrome, paint and fabrication, it’s about fun, customer appreciation, and relaxing a bit from the hectic life of running up and down the highway. There’s no judging and no trophies – it’s just a good time – and that’s the way it should be.
Local and long-haul truckers alike make the trip to the show, and rigs of all sorts can be found on the lot. From cattle-haulers to belly-dumps, fuel-haulers to flatbeds, and reefers to wreckers, just about anything can be found at this show. And the style of trucks run the gamut, too – from simple, less-is-more trucks to over-the-top rolling light shows, all of these and more find their way each year to the Busted Knuckle Truck Show. And this year, there were about 225 trucks at the show – that’s way more than ever before!
Wanting to keep the party loose and fun, the Wilkins family, along with help from many of the drivers and families that show up, make sure there’s always a good time to be had. If being able to buy more chrome in their store isn’t good enough, there are also giveaways, live music, food, drinks and the best convoy to hit I-35 since the one they had last year! Oh, I almost forgot to mention the perfect weather – with nothing but sunny skies and warm temps, you couldn’t ask for a better weekend to have a show outside.
Part of what makes the Wilkins’ show and their shop so great is that you always feel like family when there. If you just came out of the fields or off the highway and your rig still has a few bugs on it, that’s no big deal here – it’s about meeting new friends and seeing old ones. For me, it was great to see, among others, Nate Hoskinson, Ben Folk and Mike Solko (all of these guys were at the show and they all represented Kansas well), along with Amos Miller and his clean copper-colored T800 KW. Jerry Mies brought out his Calcium Cadillac, as well as their Lactose Limousine (our April 2014 cover), showing off how milk moves in style, and some cattle-haulers were on-hand, too. Patrick Lund and his 4-axle 359 heavy-haul rig proved that Texas knows how to move the big loads with class, as well.
A new face at the show (and my ride to the event) was Jason Hatch, showing his unique and clean ’07 Mack for the first time since 2009 – and show well it did, making a statement for Colorado and how to do things a little different from red ovals and KWs. Of course, the Wilkins had their rigs on display, as well, including the past cover feature (April 2005) Low-Commotion Peterbilt, their wild, over-the-top, 3408 Cat-powered show rig, along with numerous wreckers.
Friday evening featured the convoy, and what a convoy it was. Strolling out of the lot onto I-35 north towards Ponca City, countless rigs covered in chrome and lights, pouring clouds of stack-music along the highway, made for one memorable display. Following the convoy was the light show, along with plenty of train horns and Jake brakes. And what fun would a light show be without some great eats? Specially provided and prepared by the Lund family was well over 100-pounds of beef for all who were hungry. And that’s the sort of camaraderie and good time that makes the Busted Knuckle Truck Show a little different. It’s not about the revenue, it’s about the friends and the good times.
With the convoy and light show now over, Saturday morning was a bit more relaxed, and a good time to sit under a tent or in the shade of your rig and talk trucks (or stitches) with your friends. Saturday afternoon, however, started the real fun, as the raffle prizes began being called out. Bumpers, seats, stacks, lights, mud-flap weights, train horns, you name it, it was on the tables as part of the fun. With various donations from the Wilkins family, along with sponsors such as Lifetime Nut Covers, Dynaflex and 10-4 Magazine, of course, plenty of competitors and raffle-entrants took home some new chrome or custom touches for their trucks.
Thank you’s are typically an aspect of our feature articles, and such a fun weekend wouldn’t be complete without sending some thank you’s to those who make this weekend show possible. 10-4 Magazine, as well as just about anyone who had a truck on the lot that weekend, would like to send a thank you to the entire Wilkins family and their crew at Wilkins Oklahoma Truck Supply. Without them, there wouldn’t be a show or a chrome shop that makes you feel like a member of the family – not just another customer. We at 10-4 are proud to call Wilkins Oklahoma Truck Supply not only a faithful advertiser, but great friends, as well. We’d also like to extend a special thank you to the Lund family for the dinner they provided for everyone at the show.
There’s plenty of reasons to go to a truck show – networking, getting your name out there, showing a new ride, getting a trophy, or giving your competitors a run for their money – but when it’s all said and done, if the show isn’t fun, why go? When the money, the trophies and the notoriety outweigh having a good time, maybe it’s time to find a new show to put on your calendar. Wilkins Oklahoma Truck Supply’s Busted Knuckle Truck Show is an event that leaves all of the truck show politics at the door – it’s all held in the name of fun. And what could be better than that? Put it on your calendar and get yourself to Tonkawa, Oklahoma next September. You may not go home with a trophy, but you will go home with some great memories and a smile on your face!