Once again, Mother Nature tried to wreak havoc on a truck show. It was Friday, August 12, the first day of the Waupun Truck-N-Show held every year in Waupun, Wisconsin, and rain was predicted – and rain it did. I had good intentions of making the light show that evening, but with a long day at work under my belt and the rain that wouldn’t let up, I decided not to attend the “Lights of the Night” parade, thinking it would be canceled anyway. As it turned out, Mother Nature decided to hold back her retaliation and the night parade went off without a hitch – with 234 trucks! Part of me was disappointed at my decision to not attend, but the other part was thankful to get to bed early so I could get to the grounds at sunrise to start taking pictures.
Even though I did not attend this year’s night parade and light show, I know how favored it is since I’ve attended it many times in the past. The first truck show I ever attended was in 1999 in Waupun, back when it was called the Waupun Truckers Jamboree. Fast forward 17 years later, and here I was, at the Waupun Truck-N-Show’s 27th anniversary event. The show is a nonprofit organization run completely by volunteers. This is both a popular event for the community and a fund-raiser. All proceeds from the auction for the “Lights of the Night” parade go to Special Olympics, while the proceeds from the auction for the “Rides of Pride” parade, along with the motorcycle ride entries, go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. A special thanks to ALL of the Waupun Truck-N-Show sponsors and vendors for your time, donations and support.
After a good night’s sleep, I woke up at 3:00 a.m. to high humidity and a chance of rain on Saturday, August 13, which was the second (and last) day of the show. As I made my way north toward the show grounds, it started to drizzle. Normally at this time, it is starting to get light out, but this morning was a different story. The closer I was getting to the show, the harder it began to rain. In full determination, I pressed on to the show grounds, looked up at the sky, and wondered if this was even worth it. Rain, gray skies, puddles everywhere and plenty of mud. But, of course it was worth the rain dripping off my nose and my soaked shoes because once I got there, beautiful trucks were everywhere. Even though there was no sun, the rain made the green grass and trees pop with even more vibrancy.
The first of my sightings of beautiful rigs was my friend and metal polisher, Evan Steger of Evan’s Detailing and Polishing, and his 1984 Peterbilt 362 cabover, which was next to Keith Smart, Jr’s “Talk of the Town” white and orange 2016 Peterbilt 389. Further through the grounds, front and center on the main drag, I spotted Sean McEndree’s patriotic-wrapped 2006 Peterbilt 379 “Band of Brothers” truck, lovingly referred to as “The Purple Heart Truck” (10-4’s July 2016 cover feature).
Aaron Spiniolas of Ridge Crest Trucking LLC from Harvard, IL showcased two trucks at the show. The first one was his “Familiar Tune” 2003 Peterbilt 379, which started the next line of trucks, and the second one, which was called “Farmed Out” (which was making its debut in Waupun). This truck is a classy two-toned silver and Radiant Red Effect 2016 Peterbilt 389 glider pulling a 2016 Wilson Patriot belt trailer. Some trucks get sent out for the custom work, but this Pete came in to Ridge Crest Trucking’s shop straight from the Denton plant as a chassis only. The custom build was done all in-house. Lift the hood and you’ll find a 800-hp C15 6NZ CAT with a Bully Dog exhaust manifold, and then open the driver’s door and you’ll see a custom hardwood floor and Bostrom Wide Ride seats. After a couple of hours, I departed the show for my day job for a few hours, determined and excited to get back later that afternoon for the “Rides of Pride” parade.
Arriving back at the show at about 12:15 that afternoon, the rain had finally stopped and some blue skies even began to show. The sun was bouncing off of the trucks, show-goers were everywhere, golf carts were hauling judges around, and the smell of food on the grill was wafting in the air. I was grinning from ear to ear as I proceeded into the show, surrounded by beautiful rigs, as this is my element. No sooner did I get on the grounds to make my initial hellos to friends, I met up with the aforementioned Evan Steger on a golf cart with Rami Aryan of Renegade Products, who were both judges at the show. I was offered a walk-free tour of the grounds while they were searching out the last of the trucks on their list to judge, which I promptly accepted.
Someone had the bright idea of taking the golf cart through the Culver’s drive-thru, which was within earshot of Joel Dawes of Dawes Contract Carriage out of Waterford, WI and his son AJ. Joel brought his 1988 Peterbilt 379 “Family Tradition” and his 2014 Kenworth T660 “Thrills, Chills and Dollar Bills” to Waupun. Kenny Kreier, who brought out his 2007 Pete 379, was also in earshot of the drive-thru shenanigans, so with two golf carts and six people, a fun food-run was set in motion. After a great lunch and even better conversation, we all made our way back to the grounds. Alas, a dark rain cloud moved in quickly, and as the rain came down, we took cover under the trees until it passed. By now it was about 2:30 p.m. – and time to start getting ready for the 3 p.m. start of the truck parade.
Finding my perfect spot for the parade proved time-consuming, as I wanted to insure I was able to get the best angle for my pictures. I walked up and down the road and from one side to the other several times before deciding on just the right spot. Big white puffy clouds and welcomed sunshine were my backdrop, as the sound of train horns signaled the start of the parade. Jim Woodstock of Woodstock Trucking out of Footville, WI and his dark red and white Peterbilt 379 pulling the trophy trailer, started the parade procession, followed by the parade marshal, Vinnie Diorio of Rollin Transport in Richfield, WI. Diorio, in his 2013 Peterbilt 389, was followed by some of his company-owned trucks and lease trucks, which included S&E Trucking’s 2014 Kenworth W900L, Shuput Transport’s 2004 Peterbilt 379, JN Transport’s 2008 Peterbilt 389, KDK Transport’s 2003 Peterbilt 379, and Hartman Trucking, Inc.’s 2015 Peterbilt.
Blue Leasing out of West Bend, WI brought in visions of beauty that were undeniably classy with their blue 1982 Peterbilt 362 cabover, red 1985 Peterbilt 359, blue 1987 Peterbilt 359 and their blue 2016 Peterbilt 389. Richard Howard, driver for Spoerl Trucking out of Ixonia, WI, brought his 2007 Peterbilt 379 with a 475 CAT motor (with 1.2 million original miles), Mountain Tarp of Chicago out of Woodstock, IL definitely impressed the parade crowd with their classy black 1989 Peterbilt 379 extended hood, and Jason Ryan and his 1998 Peterbilt 379, pulling a 2015 East frameless end-dump, were all looking large, as well.
Serna Trucking from Whitewater, WI, leased to Cook Logistics, brought out four attention-getters with their blue 1998 Peterbilt 379, red 2000 Peterbilt 379, blue 2005 Peterbilt 379 and yellow 2009 Peterbilt 386. Brian and Shonda Pete of Pete Transfer came out to the show with several slick rides, too, including Brian’s green with blue stripes 2015 Peterbilt 389 glider, driver Justin Nodorft’s white with single light blue stripe 2016 Peterbilt 389 glider, and driver Jon Yohn’s two-tone yellow and gray Peterbilt 389 glider. Pete Transfer LLC runs an all-Peterbilt fleet, pulling belt trailers and tankers to haul by-products from ethanol plants and fertilizer. Dale TerBeest, driver for Hull Trucking out of Waupun, WI and his 2004 white Peterbilt 379, had the honor of pulling the memorial trailer, in memory of the drivers who are no longer with us.
As the last truck made the curve in front of me, I was happy to have been able to attend the show again – and also pleased I was able to capture some great pictures. What started out as never-ending rain, with a few rain clouds following, ended with some much-appreciated sun and beautiful temperatures. The Waupun Truck-N-Show was yet another success, with 277 trucks overall registered to compete. This “little” local show has always had a terrific small town atmosphere, great people, and a little something for everyone. If you’ve never attended this charity event, mark your calendar for next year, as it is always held on the second weekend in August. As always, to all the drivers out there doing the deal, truck safe!
EDITOR’S NOTE: For a complete list of all the winners, and there were a lot of them, visit www.waupuntrucknshow.com.