It seems like the 10-4 “Calendar of Events” is a bucket list of truck shows that we check off as they happen. And it just so happened that the 27th Annual Great Salt Lake Kidney Kamp Charity Truck Show, held August 12-13, 2016 at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah, was on our radar for the weekend. At this time of the year, there seems to be so many truck shows around the country happening at the same time, it is impossible to attend them all. We have covered this show in Utah for years, and consider it to be a reunion of sorts, so we chose to go there. With cooler temps and near picture-perfect weather in the forecast, we were excited to have yet another great weekend in Utah, where it seems like everyone is a winner.
Looking to leave Southern California in the wee hours on Thursday, we planned to visit some of our advertisers and distribution stops along the I-15 corridor into Las Vegas and through Utah. It was earlier in the week when our good friend, Fernando of Stay Loaded Apparel, called the office and inquired if we were going to the show in Wisconsin or Utah. Turns out that when he heard it was Utah, he stated that he would like to tag along and hang out for the weekend road trip. He also offered to take our stuff in his heavy-duty pickup, so we all loaded it up and headed out of town.
Arriving in the late afternoon, we were greeted by the show’s creator, promoter and producer, Jeff England, and his longtime cast of volunteers, who were running at full speed, getting the trucks registered and parked, as the vendors set up late into the evening hours. Thanksgiving Point has many venues within its complex including hotels, a petting zoo, shopping, movie theaters and restaurants, which always makes the event very easy and convenient for all in attendance to settle in and enjoy their truck show weekend.
On Friday morning, the grassy park was filling up fast, as many who had pre-registered were already wiping their rigs, dressing the tires and more. The show opened to the public at 10:00 AM, and then at noon the judging began, which took most of the afternoon. It was great to see the vast array of combos and bobtails, spread out for all to see and photograph. So, with cameras in hand, we canvassed the layout and started shooting pictures and chit-chatting with the owners and drivers.
Walking around and taking our pictures, it didn’t take long for us to find a beautiful white and blue Peterbilt 389 car carrier. And after meeting the owners, Tim & Chris Norman, and hearing their story, we liked their rig even more. Chris told us about how they took delivery of this new truck last November (2015), and then in March of this year (2016), an accident occurred when a large pickup truck made a U-turn in front of them on a two-lane road in Nevada. After a 5-month stint in the body shop, they decided to enter the show. Chris said, “We have never been to a truck show, so we are very nervous, but we appreciate the low-key atmosphere and seeing some of the coolest trucks on the planet. We’re having the time of our lives.” Little did we know then that this rig would end up winning the Best of Show trophy in the Specialty class!
Later that evening (Friday), the truckers and their families were treated to a Dutch Oven dinner with dessert – and, like last year, it was really good! With almost 20 people moving in all directions between the BBQ’s and the serving tables, it was a delight to watch how organized they were in the process of cooking and serving for the hundreds in attendance. But, as good as the dinner was, the fresh apple pie with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream was the best. Then, the entertainment kicked in as the “Echo Band” played for the dinner crowd, and while some stayed to listen after dinner, the best was yet to come out by the trucks.
With the sunset in check, the light show lit up the night with some amazing LED and neon lighting schemes. The glow in the park was easy on the eyes, as crowds, including kids in strollers, crisscrossed the perimeter to stop and stare at the beautiful display of lights. It seemed like a black and red KW cabover combo, on the far side of the park, was standing at full attention with an amazing setup of lights in all the right places. It was obvious that the owner, David Hathaway of Real Enterprises, knew what he wanted and his workmanship paid off, as he took home a 1st place in the Lights Combo class for his efforts. Other rigs that stood out at the light show presentation included Tri-H Farms, C & J Trucking of Iowa, and a couple of nice bobtails from Stauffer’s Towing. And, as they say – “Turn out the lights, the party’s over” – it was time to call it a day (or night) and get some much-needed rest.
Saturday morning came quickly, but now it was time for the games to begin. The opening ceremony at 10:00 AM got the festivities up and running. The crowd was there in full force right from the beginning, as they awaited the start of the Utah Highway Patrol Dunk Tank at 11:00 AM. Who wouldn’t want to donate a few bucks for a chance to hit the bullseye and see the friendly UHP officer hit the oversized vertical bathtub of ice water to chill him out? And after several soakings of good will, he was waterlogged and ready to dry out for the day! It was a fun and jovial time for all to witness, and a big show of charitable support from the Utah Highway Patrol. But the fun did not stop there.
Next on the schedule of events was the truck pull, sponsored by Stokes Trucking. Brave attendees slipped on a full-size body harness, connected to a three-inch-thick rope, and then attempted to pull a 4,000-pound highway patrol pickup truck, a given distance, as quickly as possible. They signed up in all sizes – from men and ladies, to teenagers, and even a few strong-willed young children. The latter had the help of pulling a lighter-weighted quad with a forward push to get them rolling, but their facial expressions and contorted body parts told the real story. This was a fun competition, as well as a chance to share a personal achievement, with everyone there cheering them on.
The silent auction was about to close at 3:00 PM after the truck pull, and many were watching the auction sheets to see where they stood (or were making another bid to get back to the top of the leader board) to win themselves some coveted prizes. With pens in hand and the closing bell about to ring, the interested parties involved were in a bumper pool mood to get in the last written bid. “Ding ding” and it was over – the final bid was honored and then everyone reached for their wallets to donate to this worthy cause (and get great stuff).
A lot of nice people stepped up to the plate to make this annual Great Salt Lake Kidney Kamp Truck Show a success – but the real winners are the kids. Over at the silent auction tables, there were tons of great donated items including big screen TVs, all sorts of truck accessories, and so much more. Our good friends at Dynaflex, upon hearing of our trip to Utah, offered a complete pre-emission exhaust kit for either a Peterbilt or a Kenworth, worth around $4,000, to be entered into the auction. Kevin Muir of Utah ended up with the winning bid of $2,304 for the prize. A big round of applause to all who helped make this show a success for the Kidney Kamp. After that, everyone settled in to the seating area in the pavilion to await the awards ceremony, as the vendor exhibits began closing down.
This truck show has gained momentum each and every year, as the number of trucks and folks in attendance seem to set a new record every year. And with all the current and new sponsors involved, everyone enjoys the great, family-friendly atmosphere this event always offers, while raising money for a good cause. As stated in print on their brochure, this “non-profit organization, benefiting the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho, also promotes the public image and safety of the trucking industry.” All of the money raised by the raffles and silent auction items help to allow hundreds of kids on dialysis, or waiting for a kidney transplant, to attend a fun outdoor camping experience weekend in the beautiful Utah mountains with their entire family.
With the winners getting their hard-earned and well-deserved trophies (and some cash, too), the show came to a close. And, just like that, many participants were already marking their calendars for the second weekend of August in 2017 for next year’s event. We had a great time and hope that you can make plans to attend next year and join in on the fun so many other kids in need can do the same.
We would like to thank Jeff England and his devoted crew for helping to keep things in perspective as to the more important things in life – our kids – young or old. And whether it be the kids in need, the folks who got a trophy, the ones that made the highest bid in the auction, the raffle prize recipients, or just the lucky folks who were treated to a wonderful weekend, it seems that everyone is a winner at the Great Salt Lake Kidney Kamp Truck Show!
OPEN TRACTOR: 1st Travis Poulsen of Poulsen Trailer Sales; 2nd Matt Long of Robinson Transport; 3rd Josh Skidmore of Skidmore Transportation.
SMALL FLEET TRACTOR: 1st Devin Gardner of Skidmore Transportation; 2nd Jake Levin of United Hauling; 3rd Kourtney Peterson of Sevier Valley Transportation.
LARGE FLEET TRACTOR: 1st Brett Stauffer of Whitaker Construction; 2nd Terry Hansen of Francis Trucking; 3rd Ryan Dorius of Francis Trucking.
OWNER OPERATOR TRACTOR: 1st Mark of Aero Express; 2nd Kathy McInelly of McInelly Trucking; 3rd Vern McInelly of McInelly Trucking.
NEW TRACTOR: 1st Candice of Patrone Livestock; 2nd Lester Logue of ShipEx; 3rd Stephen Bess of ShipEx.
OLD WORKING TRACTOR: 1st Ayden Goodfellow of Wasatch Abrasive; 2nd Matt McAllister of McAllister Enterprises; 3rd Casey Allen of Milk Money Trucking.
OPEN COMBO: 1st Carey Bess of Advantage; 2nd Shane Andrus of Gila Express; 3rd James Klinginsmith of J.M. Mascaro.
SMALL FLEET COMBO: 1st Derek Streets of Savage Sweets; 2nd Casey Nielson of Sevier Valley Transportation; 3rd J.D. Hawthorne of C & J Trucking of Iowa.
LARGE FLEET COMBO: 1st Dusty Rhodes of Pride Transport; 2nd Chad Petersen of Walmart Transportation; 3rd Steve Beatie of Godfrey Trucking.
OWNER OPERATOR COMBO: 1st David Hathaway of Real Enterprises; 2nd Glenn Hansen of Tri-H Farms; 3rd Cody Madsen.
NEW COMBO: 1st Darin Mantas of Pride Transport; 2nd Allen Rooks of V-Max Transportation; 3rd Rick Rasmussen of Godfrey Trucking.
OLD WORKING COMBO: 1st Jeff England of Pride Transport; 2nd Darrell McCune of McCune Trucking; 3rd Clyde Green of Equality State.
ANTIQUE: 1st Glenn Hansen of Tri-H Farms; 2nd Terrell Lund of Ralph Smith Co.; 3rd Terrell Lund of Ralph Smith Co.
WRECKER/VOCATIONAL: 1st Tim & Chris Norman of Spider Transport; 2nd Braden Harper of Harper Ready Mix; 3rd Jesse Stauffer of Stauffer’s Towing.
TANKER: 1st Brandon Scott of Christiansen Oil; 2nd Cody Bettridge of KB Oil; 3rd David Sorter of Utah LP Gas.
LIGHT/MEDIUM DUTY: 1st Jerry Lopshire of Robinson Transport; 2nd Alex Brown of Utah Truck Dynasty; 3rd Dave & Linda Skeen of Skeen Construction.
LONG COMBO VEHICLE (LCV): 1st Weston McAllister of McAllister Enterprises; 2nd Mark Droubay of Double D Distribution; 3rd Craig Hreinson of Rhinehart Oil.
DRY BULK: 1st Kason Traveller of Stone Cliff; 2nd Mike Christensen of Robinson Transport; 3rd J.J. Jimenez of United Metals.
ENGINE: 1st Josh Skidmore of Skidmore Transportation; 2nd Kason Traveller of Stone Cliff; 3rd Josh Skidmore of Skidmore Transportation.
INTERIOR (DAY CAB): 1st Kason Traveller of Stone Cliff; 2nd J.J. Jimenez of United Metals; 3rd Matt Long of Robinson Transport.
INTERIOR (OEM SLEEPER): 1st Candice of Patrone Livestock; 2nd Josh Skidmore of Skidmore Transportation; 3rd Travis Poulsen of Poulsen Trailer Sales.
INTERIOR (CUSTOM SLEEPER): 1st Jerry Lopshire of Robinson Transport; 2nd Dave & Linda Skeen of Skeen Construction.
CUSTOM PAINT/GRAPHICS TRACTOR: 1st Candice of Patrone Livestock; 2nd Travis Poulsen of Poulsen Trailer Sales; 3rd Glenn Hansen of Tri-H Farms.
CUSTOM PAINT/GRAPHICS COMBO: 1st Shane Andrus of Gila Express; 2nd J.J. Jimenez of United Metals; 3rd Carey Bess of Advantage Transportation.
CUSTOM PAINT/MURAL: 1st Mark of Aero Express; 2nd Steve Dailey of Godfrey Trucking; 3rd Kathy McInelly of McInelly Trucking.
LIGHTS TRACTOR: 1st Kody Stauffer of Stauffer’s Towing; 2nd Jesse Stauffer of Stauffer’s Towing; 3rd Tim & Chris Norman of Spider Transport.
LIGHTS COMBO: 1st David Hathaway of Real Enterprises; 2nd Glenn Hansen of Tri-H Farms; 3rd J.D. Hawthorne of C & J Trucking of Iowa.
BEST OF SHOW TRACTOR: Travis Poulsen of Poulsen Trailer Sales – Black and Gray 1998 Peterbilt 379.
BEST OF SHOW COMBO: Dusty Rhodes of Pride Transport – Black 2016 Peterbilt 389 & 2013 Utility Reefer.
BEST OF SHOW SPECIALTY: Tim & Chris Norman of Spider Transport – White and Blue 2016 Peterbilt 389 & Boydstun Car Carrier.