For some of us, not only do we look forward to Labor Day Weekend to round out our summers, we look forward to that following weekend for the annual Big Iron Classic Truck Show, held at the Dodge County Fairgrounds in Kasson, MN. As with everyone who attends, this show is a chance for everyone to get together and have the time to visit with each other in a laid-back atmosphere filled with plenty of vendors, food, fun and, of course, trucks of every kind.
I attended for the first time in 2016 and have marked my calendar yearly to attend this show ever since. As most know, it is a non-judged show, with proceeds going not only to Toys For Tots, but also to families stricken with cancer. Each quarter, the show puts out $500 towards scholarships related to the trucking industry for Riverland Community College. As always, this show is free to attend, but donations are always highly appreciated. During the truck and tractor pulls, attendees raised $7,739 for a local 4-year-old little boy named Miles Nelson who is battling cancer. I have said this before, but I truly believe the biggest groups of givers in this world for good causes are truckers, bikers and farmers.
I arrived Friday, September 7th, into Rochester to get checked into my hotel. I had fully intended to get to the grounds Friday night, but I had prior work that needed to be finished. Although I was unable to personally go, a special thanks goes out to Mike Hennum of Coast’n Transport, Inc. for capturing some light show shots for me. Mike also had his truck at the show – a 2017 Kenworth T660 with his 2002 Reitnouer “Big Bubba” trailer dragging behind.
I started Saturday by getting early morning photos, grabbing breakfast with a few friends, and then heading back through the grounds, taking pictures of all the beautiful trucks participating in the event. The parade, as it is every year, was capped-off at 85 trucks. As with attending this annual truck show, parade spectators are out in droves to see this highlight of the show, as well as rummage sale hosts taking full advantage of all the people coming into town.
Even though the parade is a highlight, the real fun begins at 6:00 p.m. with the truck pulls. As with every year, the truck pulls are an exciting event for everyone to enjoy. Even though I have heard of a few of the names of the pulling participants, the only one I actually knew was Kenny Kreier of Double K Trucking and his 2007 Peterbilt 379.
I left the pulls a little before they ended because I wanted to do one more lap around the grounds to make sure I was able to take all the pictures that I wanted. I ran into my friends Chris and Sarah Dreyer, who brought out their 2007 Peterbilt 379 to the show, as they were talking with Adam Nordgaard who, to my surprise, brought out his 2007 Pete 379 Legacy hooked to a 2016 Wilson livestock trailer.
Sunday was bittersweet, as I watched many of the trucks get onto Hwy. 14 and head to wherever they were off to next. I managed to get a few shots, but the highlight was meeting up with Jeremy Gouge, along with his wife Gail and son Brockway, of IMT Transport out of Garner, IA with four of their trucks, along with JR Schleuger and Doug Fairburn of Lifetime Nut Covers out of Britt, IA. I ended up getting some great pictures of them, rolling down the road, as they were heading back home to Iowa.
The weather was beautiful all weekend, and there ended up being a total of 562 trucks in attendance this year. For some, this is the only truck show they attend all year, the last show they attend, or still some might have a few more to attend, but whatever the reason for attending, it is always a great time. My only regret is that I didn’t have more time to be able to visit with friends.
Thanks to Jim and Brenda Finn, along with all the volunteers and sponsors, who not only make this show a success during the show, but all year long. If you haven’t had a chance to attend this show, mark your calendars for next year’s event, being held on Friday, September 6, and Saturday, September 7, 2019. Next year will be the event’s 20th anniversary, and I’m sure, like every year, it won’t disappoint. But, being a special anniversary year, I’m sure it will be even more eventful and fun. As a reminder, it is always held the weekend after Labor Day.
The winners of the 2018 truck pulls at The Big Iron Classic were:
MODIFIEDS (WITH MECHANICAL ENGINE): 1st Tom Brown, Jr (1980 Mack Superliner); 2nd Dale Abts (1991 Ford Aeromax); 3rd Lee Pravechek (1980 Peterbilt 359).
MODIFIEDS (WITH ELECTRONIC ENGINE): 1st Brent Hamilton (1995 Freightliner); 2nd Mark Scott (1992 Freightliner COE); 3rd Lee Pravechek (1995 Peterbilt 379).
OPEN CLASS: 1st Pat Eilen (2005 Peterbilt 379); 2nd Dean Holicky (2006 Peterbilt 379); 3rd Luke Cornelius (1957 Peterbilt).
ANTIQUE CLASS: 1st David Nisbit (1983 Peterbilt 359); 2nd Unknown (1987 International); 3rd Cory Obrien (1989 Mack R Model).
ROAD TRUCK CLASS: 1st Scott Cornelius (1971 Peterbilt 359); 2nd Nick Lano (2006 Peterbilt 379); 3rd Eric Gostomczik (1985 Pete 359).