As with other types of events, there is always that time of year when the calendar is marked with several stops, in a row, out west. In the racing world, it is called “The Western Swing” and usually includes stops in Nevada, Colorado, Washington and California. With that in mind, and four back-to-back weekends of events, we in the truck show world also have a Western Swing, and The Great Salt Lake Kidney Kamp Truck Show in Lehi, Utah was the first stop this year.
Held at Electric Park within beautiful Thanksgiving Point on August 14-15, 2015, this non-profit annual event, presented by Jeff England of Pride Transport, raises much-needed funds for kids on dialysis to enjoy an outdoor camping experience while still receiving the special medical attention they need. Over the past 26 years, this show has raised over a million dollars for the cause, and has also helped to improve the public image of the trucking industry.
So, we loaded up some magazines, racks, posters, centerfolds, camera gear, and a few brand new 10-4 shirts hot off the screen press, and left SoCal to hit the I-15 corridor northbound to the greater Salt Lake City area. With stops along the way to check out some of our distribution locations and visit a few advertisers, we made good use of our time on the road traveling to the show.
The weather report called for some isolated thunderstorms in the area, and sure enough, as we were coming into Provo on Thursday, we got a little wet and could only watch for hours as the heavy rain fell and the lightning cracked to the west of the freeway, hoping that it would not impact the truck show. Luckily, the storm stayed away and, upon arrival on Friday morning to set up, it seemed like the show was already in full swing. The talk around the grassy grounds was that this was going to be a record-setting year – and as it turned out, they were right!
With a light breeze blowing on Friday, it helped to keep the hot temperatures bearable as many trucks were still arriving throughout the day to get parked. The show volunteers did an outstanding job of creating a labyrinth of beautiful big rigs of all different shapes and sizes, and the paved winding walkways made it very easy to move around throughout the park. Under the covered pavilion, a group of people began setting up rows of tables and unloading what looked like Dutch Ovens, propane tanks and other BBQ supplies. Upon further investigation, we were told that they were providing a full-on Dutch Oven dinner for all to enjoy.
Members of a Dutch Oven chapter in Utah that truly enjoy cooking outdoors in Dutch Ovens, which are cast iron cooking pots, gather at various events, like this, and keep Dutch Oven cooking alive and well, while most of the rest of the world has moved on to “non-stick” cookware. After smelling the food for a few hours, we were served an amazing meal, complete with turkey, potatoes, mac and cheese, corn and dessert. It definitely hit the spot after a full day on Friday. After dinner, the sunset set the tone for the light show in the park, which created a colorful glow for hours. Then, it was time to rest up for yet another fun-filled day.
On Saturday, the early birds were shooting pictures and downing go-go juice while the crowd got bigger by the moment. The silent auction tables offered very nice stuff for the highest bidder. These donated prizes, along with the truck registration fees, are what generate the funds to make the truck show such a huge success for the kids. Nearby, the Utah Highway Patrol had one of their 6,000-pound pickups hooked to a rope, attached to a body harness, and brave souls took turns seeing how fast they could pull the vehicle a predetermined distance. The looks on some of their faces was priceless! Even Jeff England strapped up and did a complete pull, worthy of the saying, “Old Guys Rule.”
While walking around the park, we came across a volunteer and struck up a conversation about the rewards of the event, and a lady’s name, Bettie Morris, came up. Bettie has served as the show committee secretary for the past 25 years. At the very first show, as Bettie helped someone polish their wheels, Jeff England asked if she would want to volunteer and join the committee. Mrs. Morris, at the time, was working at the local Kenworth dealer as an administrative assistant, and was more than qualified to handle the job for the fledgling non-profit event. Back then, there were four committee members – today, there are 28 – along with dozens of other helpers and volunteers.
In honor of Bettie’s 25 years of service, she received an unannounced lifetime achievement award from the Utah Idaho Kidney Foundation during this year’s Kidney Kamp. It is folks like Bettie (and Jeff England) that have made this show such a heartfelt success for well over two decades.
After everything began to settle down late on Saturday afternoon, it was time to head over to the pavilion and get a seat for the upcoming awards ceremony. With over 100 trucks in attendance, the competition was fierce, but a few of them stood out above the rest – and won the trophies to prove it.
Two names that instantly come to mind are Josh Skidmore and Phil Miller – Josh with his yellow and white 2007 Pete and Western flatbed, and Phil with his super-clean brown and cream Pete 389 and polished livestock trailer. Both were looking great, but Josh edged out Phil by a slight margin in every category, earning him first place in the combo class, engine, interior, paint and lights, while Phil took second place behind him every time. For his efforts, Josh earned the Best of Show trophy in the combo class, as well.
Another strong competitor was Travis Poulsen of Poulsen Trailer Sales. His gray and black 1998 Peterbilt 379 was awarded with three first place trophies and one third. He also took home the Best of Show trophy in the bobtail class. Robinson had several good-lookin’ entries, but their maroon and white 1974 Peterbilt wrecker turned the most heads, and earned the Best of Show trophy in the specialty class. Clyde Green and his clean white and maroon Kenworth W900A and “old school” reefer trailer won the coveted Competitor’s Choice award.
Some other trucks that may or may not have earned any trophies but were looking top-notch, for sure, included Tim Ludwig’s “Paddy Wagon” Peterbilt 359 (our December 2005 cover truck), Cody Madsen’s new black Peterbilt 389, Jay Transport’s 2016 rust and cream Peterbilt 389 and matching Western flatbed, and Chad Betland’s white and blue Kenworth W900. Some other rides worth mentioning were all of the McAllister trucks (including their white and yellow Peterbilt cabover featured in our December 2014 edition), Rounds Trucking’s sharp white and blue 2016 Peterbilt 389, and Gary Amoth’s always-amazing bright red 1980 A-model Kenworth. Of course, as host of the show, Jeff England brought out some of his Pride Transport working rigs, as well as a few of his “pet trucks” – and they were tight!
And, just like that, the first stop on our “Western Swing” was over. And, after a few congratulatory handshakes, farewell hugs and last-minute pictures, it was time to pack up and head home. With beautiful weather, a record-turnout of trucks, and some of the nicest people you will ever meet, the 26th annual Great Salt Lake Kidney Kamp Truck Show was another rousing success – and a whole lot of fun. If you missed it this year, we hope to see you in 2016. Here are all of the winners:
OPEN TRACTOR: 1st Poulsen Trailer Sales/Travis Poulsen – gray and black 1998 Peterbilt; 2nd Robinson/Matt Long – orange and black 1956 Kenworth; 3rd Skidmore Transportation Services/Josh Skidmore – yellow and white 2016 Peterbilt.
SMALL FLEET TRACTOR: 1st EMH/Eric & Valorie Gibbons – red and blue 1999 Kenworth; 2nd Oropeza Bros./Oscar Borrega – gray 2015 Peterbilt; 3rd Skidmore Transportation Services/Devin Gardner – yellow and white 2014 Peterbilt.
LARGE FLEET TRACTOR: 1st C.R. England/Gregg H. – red 2015 Western Star; 2nd ShipEx Inc./Clint Coley – black and gold 2015 Volvo; 3rd Halbersleben Trucking/Brett Johnston – red and gold 2015 Peterbilt.
OWNER OPERATOR TRACTOR: 1st Aero Express/Mark – white and green 1995 Volvo; 2nd Tri-H Farms/Glen Hansen – red and white 1996 Kenworth; 3rd Todd’s Diesel Service/Todd – white 2011 Kenworth.
NEW TRACTOR: 1st Robinson/Mike Christensen – white and green 2015 Freightliner; 2nd ShipEx Inc./Cynthia Binkerd – white and black Freightliner Cascadia; 3rd ShipEx Inc./Donald Jaworowicz – white and black Peterbilt 579.
OLD WORKING TRACTOR: 1st Wasatch Abrasive/J.R. – blue and white 1976 Kenworth; 2nd McAllister Enterprises/Matt McAllister – yellow and white 1995 Peterbilt; 3rd Poulsen Trailer Sales/Jared Tibbetts – grey 1997 Peterbilt.
OPEN COMBO: 1st Skidmore Transportation Services/Todd, Jim and Josh Skidmore – yellow and white 2007 Peterbilt; 2nd Phil Miller Livestock/Phil Miller – cream and brown 2010 Peterbilt; 3rd Jay Transport/Jordan Jay – rust and cream 2016 Peterbilt.
SMALL FLEET COMBO: 1st Jay Transport/Justin and Jason – rust 2014 Peterbilt; 2nd Wanship/Chad Burningham – patriotic 2015 Peterbilt; 3rd Standlee Hay/Matthew Schilz – brown 1985 Peterbilt.
LARGE FLEET COMBO: 1st Gary Amoth Trucking/Elden Easterday – red 1980 Kenworth; 2nd Pride Transport/Miera – gray and pink 2016 Peterbilt; 3rd Godfrey Trucking/Steve Beatie – white and purple 2007 Kenworth.
OWNER OPERATOR COMBO: 1st Prizm Express/Mike Miller – copper 2006 Peterbilt; 2nd Phil Miller Livestock/Cody Madsen – black 2015 Peterbilt; 3rd Dale Kelley – metallic brown 2015 Kenworth.
NEW COMBO: 1st Pride Transport/Darin Manta – black 2016 Peterbilt; 2nd Advantage Transportation/Carey Bess – yellow 2015 Kenworth; 3rd Rounds Trucking/Steve Shoff – blue and white 2016 Peterbilt.
OLD WORKING COMBO: 1st Pride Transport/Jeff England – gray and black 1982 Kenworth; 2nd Equality State Transport/Clyde Green – maroon and white 1982 Kenworth; 3rd McAllister Enterprises/Weston McAllister – yellow 1999 Peterbilt dump truck.
ANTIQUE: 1st Savage Services/Jeff Johnson – green 1958 Mack; 2nd Ralph Smith Co./Terrell Lund – white and yellow 1971 Kenworth; 3rd Cardwell Distributing/Steve Sharp – yellow and white 1988 GMC BBQ grill.
WRECKER/VOCATIONAL: 1st Robinson/Chris Horne – maroon and white 1974 Peterbilt wrecker; 2nd Stauffer’s Towing/Kody Stauffer – white 2016 Kenworth rotator; 3rd Auto Transport Group (ATG)/Mark Lay – yellow and black 2016 Peterbilt car hauler.
TANKER: 1st KB Oil/Scott Johnson – blue and white 2015 Kenworth; 2nd KB Oil/Cody Bettridge – blue and white 2000 Kenworth.
LIGHT/MEDIUM DUTY: 1st Rocky Mountain Truck/Mike Munsee – green 1992 Peterbilt; 2nd Robinson/Jerry Lopshire – green 1993 Manse; 3rd Skeen Construction/David & Linda – blue and red 1990 GMC.
LARGE COMBINATION VEHICLE: 1st Francis Trucking/Ryan Dorius – maroon and white 2016 Peterbilt with belly dumps; 2nd SWIFT/Brian Voros – black 2015 Peterbilt with double van trailers; 3rd Whitaker Construction/Brett Stauffer – silver 2005 Kenworth with Trail King.
DRY BULK: 1st Stone Cliff/Kason Traveller – red and black 2003 Peterbilt with dump trailer; 2nd United Metals/Rod & Debby Ekart – white and pink 2002 Peterbilt with scrap hauler; 3rd Dan Bailey Trucking/Chris Oman – red 2016 Kenworth with double side dumps.
ENGINE: 1st Skidmore Transportation Services/Todd, Jim and Josh Skidmore – yellow and white 2007 Peterbilt; 2nd Phil Miller Livestock/Phil Miller – cream and brown 2010 Peterbilt; 3rd Skidmore Transportation Services/Josh Skidmore – yellow and white 2016 Peterbilt.
INTERIOR (DAYCAB): 1st United Metals/Rod & Debby Ekart – white and pink 2002 Peterbilt; 2nd Robinson/Matt Long – orange and black 1956 Kenworth; 3rd Stone Cliff/Kason Traveller – red and black 2003 Peterbilt.
INTERIOR (OEM SLEEPER): 1st Skidmore Transportation Services/Todd, Jim and Josh Skidmore – yellow and white 2007 Peterbilt; 2nd Phil Miller Livestock/Phil Miller – cream and brown 2010 Peterbilt; 3rd Poulsen Trailer Sales/Travis Poulsen – gray and black 1998 Peterbilt.
INTERIOR (CUSTOM SLEEPER): 1st Robinson/Jerry Lopshire – green 1993 Manse; 2nd Skeen Construction/David & Linda – blue and red 1990 GMC.
PAINT/GRAPHICS (TRACTOR): 1st Poulsen Trailer Sales/Travis Poulsen – gray and black 1998 Peterbilt; 2nd Robinson/Matt Long – orange and black 1956 Kenworth; 3rd Dale Kelley – metallic brown 2015 Kenworth.
PAINT/GRAPHICS (COMBO): 1st Skidmore Transportation Services/Todd, Jim and Josh Skidmore – yellow and white 2007 Peterbilt; 2nd Phil Miller Livestock/Phil Miller – cream and brown 2010 Peterbilt; 3rd Jay Transport/Jordan Jay – rust and cream 2016 Peterbilt.
MURAL (TRACTOR): 1st Aero Express/Mark – white and green 1995 Volvo; 2nd Holst Truck Parts/Clint Barry – white 2014 Kenworth.
MURAL (COMBO): 1st SWIFT/Brian Voros – black 2015 Peterbilt; 2nd Walmart/Timothy Rader – 2016 Freightliner.
LIGHTS (TRACTOR): 1st Poulsen Trailer Sales/Travis Poulsen – gray and black 1998 Peterbilt; 2nd Tri-H Farms/Glen Hansen – red and white 1996 Kenworth; 3rd Robinson/Matt Long – orange and black 1956 Kenworth.
LIGHTS (COMBO): 1st Skidmore Transportation Services/Todd, Jim and Josh Skidmore – yellow and white 2007 Peterbilt; 2nd Phil Miller Livestock/Phil Miller – cream and brown 2010 Peterbilt; 3rd Advantage Transportation/Carey Bess – yellow 2015 Kenworth.
BEST OF SHOW SPECIALTY: Robinson/Chris Horne – maroon and white 1974 Peterbilt wrecker.
BEST OF SHOW TRACTOR: Poulsen Trailer Sales/Travis Poulsen – gray and black 1998 Peterbilt.
BEST OF SHOW COMBO: Skidmore Transportation Services/Todd, Jim and Josh Skidmore – yellow and white 2007 Peterbilt.
COMPETITOR’S CHOICE: Equality State Transport/Clyde Green – maroon and white 1982 Kenworth.