On February 5, 1852, Lehi was the 6th city to be incorporated in Utah, named after a prophet from the Book of Mormon. 166 years later, on August 17-18, 2018, Lehi was the home of the 29th annual Great Salt Lake Truck Show. This 2-day show brings in donations to help fund a Kidney Kamp for kids with kidney failure, on dialysis or waiting for a transplant, to enjoy a camping experience in the mountains with their families. The Great Salt Lake Truck Show not only raises money for the Kidney Kamp, but also strives to bring a positive image and some pride to the trucking industry.
On Tuesday, August 14, after attending a family reunion in Wisconsin, I started out on what would be my longest car drive to date. After winding my way from Wisconsin to Iowa City, Iowa, I got onto I-80 westbound, equipped with good music and my camera, ready to capture rolling shots of big trucks. I stopped for the evening on the west side of Nebraska. That day was no preparation for the last leg of the trip, with the amazing wide-open spaces and beautiful landscapes from Wyoming, to arriving in Lehi on Wednesday, August 15.
On Thursday, I made my way to where the show was held – Electric Park at Thanksgiving Point. Although there was the appearance of a small area, once I reached the entrance of the park, I saw a vast amount of space secured by a fence. Vendor tents were already up, and several trucks were already parked, including Erich Olschewski’s W900 of Custom Construction & Design, Inc. of West Jordan, Utah, along with his painted-to-match Chevy dually and his dad’s painted-to-match Dodge dually. Also parked was three of the McCallister Enterprises’ trucks, WM Trucking’s Pete 389, two of Pride Transport’s finest and two of Jade Transport’s trucks, which consisted of my friend Dennis Durand with his 2017 Kenworth W900 and Terry Sapurgia with his newly-unveiled 2018 Kenworth W900.
I was also able to meet and spend some time with a few of the faces behind the show, including Jeff England, owner of Pride Transport and the producer of this event, along with his wife Pat and their daughter Sunne Wallace – what a great and giving family! And even though I had never been to this show before, everyone was kind, welcoming and receptive to my job covering this event. There is always a new look of trucks in different regions of the country, and Utah was certainly no different. The weather was beautiful, with low humidity – a definite change from back home in Missouri!
On Friday, the last of the trucks moved in and everyone was wrapping up the last of their cleaning of the trucks. Others in attendance were Michael Fitzgerald from Switchblade Turbo (one of our newest advertisers), Jeff Anderson of Anderson Construction and Christopher Fiffie of Big Rig Videos, who provided live video content of the show and did various features on trucks and drivers in attendance. At 6:00 pm, the show put on a Dutch Oven Dinner that was delicious!! After dinner, everyone, including myself, waited in anticipation for the sun to go down and the truck lights to come on. The trucks all put on a great show, then came the thunder and high winds. I quickly made my rounds to take truck photos, and then left just as quick, to get back to my hotel, just as it started to rain.
After the rain on Friday night, Saturday morning brought a beautiful day. The annual Kidney Walk took place first thing in the morning, followed closely by the “Dunk-a-Trooper” (a dunk tank with local State Troopers inside), which was funny in itself. One quick-talking trooper was full of sass towards the adults as they couldn’t hit the target, then a kid came up and BAM – down went the trooper. I heard talks of a “truck pull” and those who know me know how I love truck pulls, but as it approached 1:00 pm, I was both amused and shocked to find that it was actually people pulling a truck using nothing but their own body power. There was one women’s class, two men’s classes and one class for children. Kudos to all who participated in this fun, unique and challenging event.
The awards ceremony was held at 4:00 pm, with money prizes being handed out at various times throughout the ceremony. The Competitor’s Choice went to Poulsen Trailer Sales, and numerous Sponsor’s Choice awards were handed out (see below), including my first-time experience in choosing, on behalf of 10-4 Magazine, who would receive our Sponsor’s Choice award, which went to Erich Olschewski’s white and turquoise 2008 Kenworth W900. It was really hard to choose with all those beautiful trucks in attendance, but when I first entered the grounds, this rig, with its beautiful bright colors, was the first to catch my eye, so I made it my (our) choice.
Wanna know what the coolest part of this show was? Of the $10,000 in cash prizes that were handed out, probably $8,000 of it was handed right back to the staff to go toward the Kidney Kamp! I am pretty sure the most giving organizations and groups of people out there are truckers, farmers and motorcycle riders.
What did I learn about this area? There are some great people living there, beautiful trucks, amazing mountain scenery and DO NOT try to drive around town (Salt Lake City) between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. during the week!
By far, my favorite truck shows to attend are the charity shows. It is an awesome way to bring the trucking industry and communities together AND help others. If that doesn’t give you pride for the industry, then I don’t know what will. This was definitely a great experience and I am already looking forward to my next opportunity to attend the Great Salt Lake Truck Show. As always, to all the drivers out there doing the deal, truck safe.
THE SPONSOR’S CHOICE AWARDS WENT TO:
Quality Carriers’ Choice: Ryan Dorius
Wheeler Power Systems’ Choice: Landon Durrant/Consolidated Freightways
Smith Power Products’ Choice: J.M. Mascaro Livestock
LW Miller Companies’ Choice: Sevier Valley Transport
North American Trailers’ Choice: Robinson Transport
GCR Tires & Service’s Choice: Poulsen Trailer Sales
Jack’s Tire & Oil’s Choice: Skidmore Transportation Services
Ivester’s Transportation’s Choice: Oropeza Brothers Trucking
Jackson Group Peterbilt’s Choice: EMH Transportation
Mercer Transportation’s Choice: Scott Martini Trucking
Great Dane of Utah’s Choice: Parke Cox Trucking
Cummins Intermountain’s Choice: Faber Construction
10-4 Magazine’s Choice: Custom Construction & Design
Godfrey Trucking’s Choice: Francis Transport
Alcoa Wheels’ Choice: McCune Trucking
Les Schwab Tires’ Choice: WM Trucking
Hub International’s Choice: Simon Bros. Trucking
Performance Diesel’s (PDI) Choice: Savage Services
Daimler Truck Financial’s Choice: Brent Wanner
DriverTech’s Choice: J.M. Mascaro Livestock
C.R. England’s Choice: McAllister Enterprises
Swift Charities’ Choice: Trinity X-press
Utah Trucking Association’s Choice: Robinson Transport
Thermo King’s Choice: Francis Transport
Detroit Diesel’s Choice: C.R. England
Carrier Transicold’s Choice: Jade Transport
Pride Transport’s Choice: Gary Amoth Trucking
Savage Services’ Choice: Robinson Transport
Pilot Flying J’s Choice: J.M. Mascaro Livestock
Utility Trailer Sales of Utah’s Choice: Pride Transport