They say that yearly events become a tradition, and that was definitely the case for everyone who came to the 23rd annual Richard Crane Memorial Truck Show in St. Ignace, MI on September 14-16, 2018. This event has grown plenty over the years, and I have been told many times that I needed to attend and experience what it is all about. So, this year I did!
As some may know, Richard “Dick” Kirby Crane pioneered truck driving schools as a way to promote the industry he loved, and to help others to learn how to drive. The industry lost this man on March 1, 1996, and from there, his daughter Fran and son Rick co-founded the Richard Crane Memorial Foundation in an effort to raise money for the fight against cancer, also donating a portion of the proceeds to the Helen Moss Cancer Research Foundation. The driving force behind the foundation was to carry on Dick’s dream of helping individuals get properly schooled in the industry and to achieve their goals in trucking.
Thursday, September 13, the day before the show officially began, was when the fun started for me when I had the opportunity to run with the trucks in the 6th annual Street Petes Convoy to the show. Started from an idea between Steve Mitchell, Dennis Mitchell and Cody Jenks back in 2013, the idea was to have those who were planning to go to the show meet up at Charlie’s Truck Stop in Grayling, MI so everyone could roll into St. Ignace together. Since then, it has become an annual deal, and I was lucky enough to witness it this year, along with a change of route.
This year, the convoy started in Saginaw, MI at about 10:00 AM. I had stayed the night in Gaylord, MI and the ride to Saginaw that morning was a foggy one. Thankfully, the fog lifted by the time we left Saginaw.
About ten trucks departed from this location to go and bring smiles to the faces of some adults and children along the way. Roscommon, MI is home to “ROOC” – a workshop for adults with disabilities, and “COOR” – a school for children and young adults with special needs. The convoy was routed by these facilities, and it was amazing at how many of the people from them came out to cheer the trucks on as they passed.
This is what it’s all about – both groups and individuals from the trucking industry coming together, as a united front, to bring positivity to the industry we love. I was so proud of these drivers and the manner in which they conducted themselves.
The convoy continued north on I-75 to Charlie’s Truck Stop in Grayling, where the group picked up about seven more trucks. From there, they continued the normal travel route up I-75 to Little Bear East Arena, where the show is held, to park and prep for the event.
If you’ve seen me at a truck show, you know I’m usually buzzing around taking pictures with little to no time for socializing. But on Friday, September 14, for the first time in I can’t tell you how long, I allowed myself the day to just soak up the show and take my time walking around, talking with people and, of course, my favorite… looking at trucks. Trucks were being moved around throughout the course of the day, as the main drag through town was shut down for truck parking. I got a chance to visit with my friend Dennis Durand of Jade Transport out of Manitoba, who was in attendance with his 2017 KW W900 and a 2016 Model 407 Tremcar tanker.
Saturday, September 15, brought the highlight everyone was waiting for – the light parade with the trucks crossing the Mackinac Bridge. A total of 156 trucks were registered for the show, while 172 participated in the Parade of Lights. Prior to the light show, I did manage to sneak away for a little bit to check out Mackinaw City, to get a good look at the town, and see why people enjoy visiting this area for a weekend getaway so much. With all the little shops down the main drag (which is much the same in downtown St. Ignace), it was easy to see the appeal of this neat old town.
Sunday, September 16, I took the opportunity to get to the grounds at sunrise and get some clean shots of the trucks. Taking early morning photos quickly went right into the start of the awards ceremony. I managed to get inside the building and see the tail end of the presentation, with Tom Betten of V-Max Transportation winning Best of Show in the Non-Working Class with their 1995 Kenworth W900 with a matching 2016 Utility dry van.
Sunday afternoon I started my trek back home towards Missouri, with a stop for the evening in Wisconsin. Reflecting on the weekend, I concluded that this show definitely didn’t disappoint. For the regular show-goer, this is the perfect setup, with all the needed amenities within walking distance of the grounds. None of us who attended could have asked for better weather. Mother Nature was good to us, for once, with temps in the 70s and clear skies.
Plenty of beautiful trucks were in attendance, and I was able to meet a lot of great people. Chuck Kemner, who is the Executive Director on the NAST (National Association of Show Trucks) Board of Directors, played a formidable role in assisting me during and after the show, providing me with information, winners, the schedule and such. For that, I thank him. I can see why this show has become a tradition to attend by so many drivers and their families. Mark your calendars for next year’s show, which will be held on September 13-15, 2019. And the 2018 winners were:
WORKING BOBTAIL CLASSES
WITH SLEEPER (NEW – UNDER 100K MILES): 1st C&H Bark Haulers/Chad Smith; 2nd MBH Trucking/Rich Hitchcock; 3rd Motorcity Hot Shot/Gary Pittman.
WITH SLEEPER (NEW – 5 YEARS OLD): 1st Christopher Marks; 2nd MBH Trucking/Cody Jenks; 3rd Christey Crawford and Bryan Zube.
WITH SLEEPER (11-24 YEARS OLD): 1st Teddy’s Transport/Mike Zeerip; 2nd Jeremy Meekhof; 3rd Tyler Meekhof.
INTENSE CUSTOM: 1st Mickeys Express/Mike Davis.
COE (1984 OR NEWER): 1st G.L. Wasko & Sons; 2nd Brookwater Farms/Tylor Kipfmiller; 3rd Craig Wamser.
COE (1983 OR OLDER): 1st Tanis Trucking/Luke Tanis; 2nd Two Barrel Trucking/Randy Sutter; 3rd Peter Northrop Enterprises/Justin.
DAYCAB: 1st Metro Transport/Greg Lafave; 2nd VanBoven Dairy/Jim VanBoven; 3rd Joe Baller Towing, Inc./Doug Parsons.
SPECIALIZED: 1st Steve Siemen III.
WASH & SHOW BOBTAIL: 1st Performance Diesel, Inc./Lance Brown; 2nd (tie) Dean Bugg AND Bob Tubbs; 3rd Freeport/Ted Williams.
WORKING COMBINATION CLASSES
WORKING (25 YEARS AND OLDER): 1st Rick Zeerip & Sons/Matt Zeerip; 2nd JLS Trucking/Jake Skriba; 3rd Grant Valley.
INTENSE CUSTOM: 1st Phil Knowlan; 2nd Gregory Gipe & Vickie Turczi.
CAR HAULER: 1st Scott Trans; 2nd Scott Trans/Cory Koernke; 3rd Scott Trans/Scott.
TANKER OR DUMP: 1st Jade Transport/Dennis Durand; 2nd Flat Top Transport/Justin Van Den Beldt; 3rd Flat Top Transport/Jason Mayrand.
FLATBED: 1st Rybicki Trucking.
MULTI AXLE: 1st Cutting Edge Excavating/Bob Martell; 2nd Wave Express/Dave Clark; 3rd Jeff Jacobson Trucking/Ron Kovala.
WRECKER: 1st MTW Trucking LLC/Mark Kruithoff; 2nd Bill MacLanahan; 3rd Reliable Road Service/Jeremy Hassevoort.
NEW (UNDER 100K MILES): 1st J&H Oil Co./Jon VanSpyker; 2nd Dean Bugg; 3rd KNB Custom Farming Solutions/Bryan Stehouwer.
COMPANY COMBO: 1st Koleaseco/Jim Bennitt; 2nd Tulgesta Transport/Dallas Musselman; 3rd Tanis Trucking/Scooter Koopman.
WASH & SHOW COMBO: 1st Tulgesta Transport/Dallas Musselman; 2nd Nathan Hubbard Timber Transport LLC/Nathan Torsch; 3rd Longshot/Luke Jenkins.
BOBTAIL (1970 OR NEWER): 1st McVan Kamp/Ron Deaidurff; 2nd Jerry Rozum; 3rd Tom Junge.
BOBTAIL (1969 OR OLDER): 1st Samuel Brown; 2nd Cody Wacker; 3rd Ennis Trucking.
COMBO (1970 OR NEWER): 1st Zeeland Freight Services/Steve Kamysiak; 2nd Kevin Carty; 3rd Jim Sercombe.
COMBO (1969 OR OLDER): 1st George Wacker; 2nd Richard Ehlert.
INTENSE CUSTOM: 1st V-Max Transportation/Tom Betten; 2nd Dean Bugg; 3rd Rabbit River Transport/Tyler Hassevoort.
SPECIAL INTEREST: 1st Keith Knierim; 2nd Carl Reakikow; 3rd Hardy Farms/Al Hardy.
FACTORY INTERIOR (DAYCAB): 1st Cutting Edge Excavating/Bob Martell; 2nd Jeff Jacobson Trucking/Ron Kovala; 3rd Dean Bugg.
FACTORY INTERIOR (CAB & SLEEPER): 1st Mickey’s Express/Mike Davis; 2nd (tie) Motorcity Hot Shot/Gary Pittman AND Rybicki Trucking; 3rd (tie) McVan Kampen Trucking/Cindy and Denny AND Koleaseco/Jim Bennitt.
CUSTOM INTERIOR: 1st (tie) Scott Trans AND Keith Knierim; 2nd (tie) Dean Bugg AND C&J Bark Haulers/Chad Smith AND MBH Trucking/Rich Hitchcock; 3rd (tie) Flat Top Transport/Jason Mayrand AND Phil Knowlan AND Jade Transport/Dennis Durand AND V-Max Transportation/Tom Betten AND Teddy’s Transport/Mike Zeerip AND Gregory Gipe and Vickie Turczi.
PAINT BOBTAIL (WITHOUT GRAPHICS OR MURALS): 1st (tie) MBH Trucking/Rich Hitchcock AND Mickey’s Express/Mike Davis; 2nd (tie) Motorcity Hot Shot/Gary Pittman AND Dean Bugg; 3rd (tie) Christopher Marks AND Metro Transport/Greg Lafave.
PAINT COMBO (WITHOUT GRAPHICS OR MURALS): 1st V-Max Transportation/Tom Betten; 2nd Jade Transport/Dennis Durand; 3rd Flat Top Transport/Justin Van Den Beldt.
PAINT BOBTAIL (WITH MURALS): 1st Northrop Enterprises/David Macha.
PAINT COMBO (WITH MURALS): 1st Rybicki Trucking; 2nd Gregory Gipe & Vickie Turczi.
PAINT BOBTAIL (WITH GRAPHICS): 1st C&J Bark Haulers/Chad Smith; 2nd (tie) McVan Kampen Trucking/Cindy and Denny AND McVan Kampen Trucking/Ron Deaidurff; 3rd Pete Northrop Enterprises/Duane.
PAINT COMBO (WITH GRAPHICS): 1st Koleaseco/Jim Bennitt; 2nd Tanis Trucking/Scooter Koopman; 3rd Phil Knowlan.
DOT-APPROVED LIGHTS (BOBTAIL): 1st Motorcity Hot shot/Gary Pittman; 2nd Mickey’s Express/Mike Davis; 3rd Phillip Miarer.
DOT-APPROVED LIGHTS (COMBO): 1st MTW Trucking LLC/Mark Kruithoff; 2nd Dean Bugg; 3rd Phil Knowlan.
UNLIMITED LIGHTS (BOBTAIL): 1st Dean Bugg; 2nd Keith Knierim; 3rd (tie) MBH Trucking/Rich Hitchcock AND McVan Kampen Trucking/Cindy and Denny AND South Eastern Mulch & Recycling/Chris Lafave.
UNLIMITED LIGHTS (COMBO): 1st Joey’s Towing/Mat Wright; 2nd Scott Trans; 3rd Scott Trans/Scott.
FACTORY ENGINE: 1st Mickey’s Express/Mike Davis; 2nd Rybicki Trucking; 3rd (tie) Cutting Edge Excavating/Bob Martell AND Flat Top Transport/Jason Mayrand AND McVan Kampen Trucking/Cindy and Denny AND Christopher Marks.
CUSTOM ENGINE: 1st Phil Knowlan; 2nd (tie) MBH Trucking/Rich Hitchcock AND C&J Bark Haulers/Chad Smith; 3rd (tie) Rabbit River Transport/Tyler Hassevoort AND V-Max Transportation/Tom Betten.
MAYOR’S CHOICE (BOBTAIL): Dean Bugg.
MAYOR’S CHOICE (COMBO): Dave Clark.
BEST OF SHOW (NON-WORKING): V-Max Transportation/Tom Betten.
BEST OF SHOW (WORKING BOBTAIL): Mickey’s Express/Mike Davis.
BEST OF SHOW (WORKING COMBO): Phil Knowlan.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE: Brenda Becker’s Rat Rod/Carl Reakikow.