2019 marked the 30th anniversary of the Great Salt Lake Truck Show in Lehi, UT. This year’s show, held on August 9-10, was both a celebration and remembrance at Electric Park at Thanksgiving point. Every show is a great show, but this one was definitely a show to remember.
Making my way to Lehi was a two-day adventure filled with beautiful scenery along the way. This was my second year attending this show and I knew I would enjoy it as much as I did in 2018. Our friend and 10-4 Magazine co-founder, Erik Sieben, would usually be found attending this event, but due to his failing health, I was sent in his absence to represent the magazine.
About two weeks prior to the show, Erik received scan results stating his time with us would be limited. I spoke with him via video chat the Monday before the show and we discussed how I would contact him Friday afternoon, August 9th, to have him help me pick the recipient of this year’s 10-4 Magazine sponsor award.
I arrived in town on Thursday, August 8th, and experienced sheets of rain, which inevitably caused some saturation on the grassy grounds. But this rain definitely didn’t prevent trucks from coming to the show! Among the early to arrive was friend and almost regular attendee to the show Clyde Green with his highly recognizable 1982 Kenworth W900A.
I met up Friday morning with my friend Debbie Setter from Fargo, ND who had brought out her 2019 KW W900L “Owe’n” to the show. Mid-morning, while Debbie finished wiping down her truck, I received a call that Erik had passed away at 6:20 a.m. that morning. With a heavy heart, I knew I had to do my job and get my show report done. This wasn’t just a show report anymore, but a memorial for a man who lived larger than life, loved this industry and never failed to leave you feeling special or important.
The remaining day brought in more trucks and spectators, all enjoying the walk around the park-like setting filled with beautiful trucks. My biggest obstacle that day was trying to find the truck that I felt would be the right choice as a memorial to Erik to receive the 10-4 Magazine sponsor award. Anyone that knew Erik knew he was more concerned about the quality of the driver, overall, than the quality of the truck itself. I knew whomever I picked had to be someone with a good heart and who would treasure the award in memory of Erik Sieben – and all the other victims of cancer.
At one point during the day, I was walking around near the far side of the grounds within sight of the registration tent, and I was stopped in my tracks as I heard an older truck coming on to the grounds. I wasn’t able to see the truck, but I could see the tops of the stacks and puffs of smoke were coming out of them as it passed the registration tent. As the rig rounded the bend, I saw it was a white 1986 Peterbilt 359 short hood day cab owned by Advanced Trucking out of Riverton, UT with Robert Campbell, Jr. behind the wheel. At that moment, I knew without a doubt Robert was the perfect candidate for our award – not only for the person he is, but the friendship he had with Erik, and his link to cancer (his father has been fighting it for several years).
As the day wore on, I was able to photograph some more of the trucks in attendance, enjoy the Dutch oven dinner (which is always a highlight of the show), listen to some good music by SouthBound and, as I had been eagerly anticipating, photograph the light show that started at dusk. The rain that came Thursday night left the grounds pretty wet, making for an unseasonably warm day with higher than normal humidity, which the residents of Utah aren’t really used to. Me, being from the Midwest, felt right at home.
Saturday, August 10th, was the last day of the show, which started out with the Kidney Walk at 8:00 a.m. Many activities occurred during the day including the availability of face painting and a bouncy house for the kids, Dunk-A-Trooper and human truck pulls. This year, for the sponsor award recipients, each one received not only a plaque but also $300 in honor of the show’s 30-year anniversary, except for the Competitor’s Choice recipient, who was to receive $3,000.
The awards ceremony started at 4:00 p.m. and concluded around 4:45 p.m. As a tribute to Erik, starting at 5:00 p.m., in true trucking fashion, all the trucks in the show participated in a ceremonial blowing of the horns that lasted for 104 seconds. It was both an emotion-filled and proud moment, to not only hear it, but to have recorded it. The horn blowing tribute ended the show, as the trucks proceeded to roll out of the grounds.
Every year the Great Salt Lake Truck Show puts on this two-day event to raise funds for the Kidney Kamp to enable children with kidney failure, who are on dialysis or waiting for a kidney transplant, to enjoy a camping experience with their families in the Utah Mountains. Of the 26 sponsor award recipients, 19 of them graciously donated their award money back, including this year’s cool Competitor’s Choice winner, Clyde Green.
It is truly an honor to witness the caring and giving hearts of those involved in the trucking industry when it comes to charities. Because of this generosity, along with everyone else who participated in the show, about $40,000 will be donated to the cause this year. That is so awesome!
Special thanks to Jeff England and Sunne Wallace for their warm welcome and hospitality. I would also like to take a moment to express my appreciation to Jonathon Boyer of Jon Boyer Photography for some of the awards ceremony photos he provided, as he had a closer vantage point to the sponsors and award recipients.
It always amazes me how quickly a show passes by. Though the event was filled with grief, the gathering of friends and acquaintances of Erik Sieben definitely made it a show to remember. As always, to all the drivers out there doing the deal, truck safe. This year’s winners were:
10-4 Magazine’s Choice: Advanced Trucking / Robert Campbell.
ALCOA Wheels’ Choice: Sevier Valley Transportation / Casey Neilsen.
CR England’s Choice: George Foskit.
Carrier Transicold of Utah’s Choice: Pride Transport / Barry Boardman.
Counteract Balancing Beads’ Choice: Standlee Hay / Stephanie Henderson.
Cummins Sales & Service’s Choice: Trinity X-press / Kelly Savage.
GCR Tires’ Choice: Ralph Smith / Terrell Lund.
Godfrey Trucking’s Choice: Advanced Trucking / Brandon Martinez.
Great Dane of Utah’s Choice: Mountain Country Transportation / Mike Murray.
Honstein Oil’s Choice: Savage Services / Jon Kelly.
Hub International’s Choice: EMH / Eric Gibbons.
Ivester’s Transportation’s Choice: Oropeza Bros. / Maximino Oropeza.
Jack’s Tire and Oil’s Choice: Pride Transport / Bob Day.
Jackson Group Peterbilt’s Choice: Bob Orton / Kamrie Brinkerhoff.
Mercer Transportation’s Choice: Oropeza Bros. / Isidro Oropeza.
North American Trailer’s Choice: STS / Josh Skidmore.
Paccar Financial’s Choice: Oropeza Bros. / Maximo Oropeza.
PDI’s Choice: Pride Transport / Jeff England.
PILOT Flying J’s Choice: Fullmer Trucking / Aaron Fullmer
Premier Truck Group’s Choice: Robinson Transport / Mike Christensen.
Pride Transport’s Choice: Mascaro Landscape / Parker Mascaro.
Savage Services’ Choice: STS / Josh Skidmore.
Smith Power Systems’ Choice: LS Wilson / Lyle Wilson.
Skidmore Transportation’s Choice: K.T. Charboneau / Troy Charboneau.
Utility Trailer Sales of Utah’s Choice: Aero Express / Mark.
Competitor’s Choice (Sponsored by Utility Trailer Sales of Utah): Equality State Transport / Clyde Green.