Labor Day Weekend once again brought the “Field of Dreams” to Iowa, but not for baseball – for trucks! For those that don’t know, the “Field of Dreams” from the movie, starring Kevin Costner, was located in northeast Iowa, but the “Field of Dreams” for trucks on this particular holiday weekend was located in the endless corn and soybean fields at the opposite end of the state in northwest Iowa. The No Coast Large Cars Truck Show, held September 5-6, 2020 at Hancock County Fairgrounds just south of Britt, IA, is an annual event of like-minded trucking folks getting together for some fun (there is no club). The planners, organizers and hosts for this event were JR Schlueger, Nicky Erdahl, the staff of Lifetime Nut Covers, and the fine community of Britt, IA.
Arriving at the fairgrounds late Friday afternoon, I had a chance to see the layout of the show and check out the trucks that had arrived early. Many were already there, and the owners/drivers were working hard to prepare them for the show. After checking the trucks out, I was invited to a cookout being held at the Lifetime Nut Covers facility nearby. Before partaking in all the good food that was available, a few of us got to take a fascinating tour of the facility, which included the production, shipping, and storage areas of the business. After the tour, we all over-indulged on some awesome smoked brisket, ribs, sloppy joes, several side dishes, dessert, and an excellent selection of whatever anyone wanted to drink. There were about a dozen sharp rigs parked on the property, being buffed and shined for the show, that turned on their lights when it got dark for a great mini-light show and preview of what was to come.
Getting to the fairgrounds early on Saturday morning, I began setting up our booth, along with many other vendors. With plenty of sunshine, temperatures in the mid-80s, and relatively tolerable humidity, registration for the show took place from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM. Throughout the day, many bobtails and combos arrived at the fairgrounds, and each registered participant received a nice goodie bag. Several food vendors were in attendance to satisfy the hungry appetites of participants and attendees for the weekend. I sampled the fare from several of these vendors, including Johnny Rocket BBQ, Gran D’s Popcorn, and the hot dog stand, and was not disappointed with any of it. I especially liked the pulled pork loaded french fries and pulled pork on mac-n-cheese offered at Johnny Rocket BBQ!
Traffic at the 10-4 booth in the morning was light, but by mid-afternoon the traffic picked up and I was handing out posters and magazines and selling a few t-shirts and hats along the way. DJ services, provided by MoJo Productions, played a broad selection of country, southern rock, and classic rock music throughout the weekend. The judged light show began at 8:30 PM and was spectacular! Partnering with John Testa of 10-4 Magazine, we did a livestream broadcast on the 10-4 Facebook page during the light show and, in my opinion, it was the best light show of all the truck shows I attended this year. Farm Rock provided the evening entertainment with live music on stage from 9:00 PM until 1:00 AM. Talk in the evening was that a storm was going to hit the area later that night and Sunday morning, so I made the decision to take down our booth and store it in my SUV, just to be safe.
As predicted, the weatherman proved to be right. Saturday night and early Sunday morning a thunderstorm passed through the area with strong winds, heavy rain, and hail which caused havoc on the truck show grounds. The winds were so strong, several of the canopies near the food vendors were blown completely down. My decision to take the booth down Saturday night proved to be a good one. By late Sunday morning and into the afternoon, it cleared and was cooler, but with strong winds from the northwest and 20-30 mph gusts, the stiff winds still proved to be a challenge – especially for the vendors with pop-ups and canopies. But, in spite of the inclement weather and wet show field, many people still came to the truck show to admire all the beautiful trucks. Truck registration continued on Sunday morning from 8:00 AM until 11:00 AM. Several more trucks rolled in that morning, nearly filling the entire show field. In all, about 125 trucks registered and participated in the event.
Walking the show field, several trucks grabbed my attention. Some of those trucks included Jimmy Ganski and his red and white 2014 Peterbilt 389 and matching reefer, Joe Baehr and his red and black 1993 Ford LTL9000, and Johnny Maddaleno and his metallic green 389 Peterbilt with thin white stripes and polished hopper. A few other standouts were Wade Riffey and his two-tone blue 386 Peterbilt and polished hopper, Matt Strottman and his black and green 2020 W900L, Albert Guilfoil and his brown 2019 Peterbilt 389 (a simple truck but I really liked the color), and Clint Schutjer and his 4-axle maroon and white 2006 Peterbilt 379 and hopper. A nice fleet that caught my eye was IMT Transport – all their classic Kenworths and Petes were amazing! Our neighbors from the north, Jade Transport out of Canada, also had two really clean green Kenworth combos, hooked to polished tankers, at the show (driven by Devon Johnson and Dennis Durand).
Rags down for cleaning the trucks was called at 12 noon (an extra hour was provided for detailing because of the effects of the severe weather the night before). A team of judges made their rounds from 12:00 PM to 4:30 PM, and then the results were tallied. While this was taking place, a raffle and silent auction took place, and many nice items were raffled off and given away before the awards. Some of the companies that donated products for the raffles, made cash donations, or sponsored certain awards included Valley Chrome Plating, Interstate PowerSystems, RoadWorks, IMT Transport, Bells & Whistles Chrome Shop, Giza Contracting, Hogebuilt, Lincoln Chrome, Commercial Services, LargeCar Mag, Lifetime Nut Covers and 10-4 Magazine. The awards ceremony took place after the raffles and silent auction from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM.
At every show I have attended this year, I met some unique, interesting, and unforgettable characters. When I think of them, they make me smile or laugh (or both). At these past events, I had the pleasure of meeting guys like Dave “Beerman” Brewer, Barry “Gi-Tarman” Myers, and Arlyn Workman. At this show, I again was able to meet another memorable character – Bear LaFrance from Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Bear owns a 1998 Freightliner FLB cabover, and it was a kick to talk to this guy! He was hilarious, and he told me a few almost unbelievable stories of his past that had me laughing. And I’ll never forget when he “popped his top” during the awards – a tradition most notably found at Mardi Gras. It got quite a response from the crowd with laughs, cheering, and clapping. Needless to say, Bear left quite an impression on me.
And with that, the 2020 No Coast Large Cars Truck Show was over, but what a great weekend it was. With no baseballs or bats (or political protests) in sight, this “Field of Dreams” was filled with nothing but amazing iron and plenty of top-notch drivers, who work hard to keep this nation rolling. Thank you to everyone who helped put this show together, participated, attended, and came by our booth. It was a Labor Day Weekend I won’t soon forget!
BOBTAIL (1994 & OLDER): 1st Dave Gulich/Gulich Trucking (1987 Pete 359); 2nd Pete Gouge/IMT (1976 Kenworth W900A); 3rd Joe Westhoff/Westhoff Trucking (1975 KW W900A).
BOBTAIL (2002-1995): 1st Tanner Lambrecht/Lambrecht Trucking (2004 Kenworth W900); 2nd Bear & Tracy LaFrance/Keystone Western (1998 Freightliner FLB); 3rd Alex Schlueger/Schlueger’s Trucking (2005 Kenworth W900L).
BOBTAIL (2014-2006): 1st T.J. Hill/Giza Contracting (2014 Peterbilt 389); 2nd Steve Schutjer/Schutjer Trucking (2012 Kenworth W900B); 3rd Rick Schutjer/Schutjer Trucking (2011 Kenworth W900).
BOBTAIL (2015 & NEWER): 1st Matt Strottman/Figanbaum Trucking (2020 Kenworth W900); 2nd Aaron Walters/Walters Transport (2019 Peterbilt 389); 3rd Keaton Giza/Giza Contracting (2020 Peterbilt 389).
COMBO (1994 & OLDER): 1st Austin Jamvold-Banks/Jamvold-Banks Trucking (1994 Peterbilt 379); 2nd Joey Bleckwenn/Bleckwenn Trucking (1988 Peterbilt 362); 3rd Casey Goddard/KC Haulers (1985 Peterbilt 359).
COMBO (2002-1995): 1st Evan Beshey/E&E Beshey Trucking (2004 Peterbilt 379); 2nd Jerry Schisler/Elite Transport (2001 Peterbilt 379); 3rd Jesse Lambrecht/Lambrecht Livestock (1999 Kenworth W900L).
COMBO (2014-2006): 1st Jimmy Ganski/JC Ganski, Inc. (2014 Peterbilt 389); 2nd Clinton Schutjer/Schutjer Trucking (2006 Pete 379); 3rd Wade Riffey/Riffey Transport (2014 Pete 386).
COMBO (2015 & NEWER): 1st Colin Rodgers/TraLo, Inc. (2015 Peterbilt 389); 2nd Devon Johnson/Jade Transport (2020 Kenworth W900B); 3rd Dennis Durand/Jade Transport (2018 Kenworth W900L).
LOCAL BOYS: 1st Pete Gouge/IMT Transport (1976 Kenworth W900A); 2nd Jimmy Ganski/JC Ganski, Inc. (2014 Peterbilt 389); 3rd Steve Schutjer/Schutjer Trucking (2017 Peterbilt 389).
LIGHTS AT NIGHT (BOBTAIL): 1st Doug Scholten/Rabbit River (2019 Peterbilt 389); 2nd Aaron Walters/Walters Transport (2019 Peterbilt 389); 3rd Alex Schleuger/Schleuger’s Trucking (2005 Kenworth W900L).
LIGHTS AT NIGHT (COMBO): 1st Danny Kimball/Kimball Transport, (2007 Kenworth W900); 2nd Mike Davidson/Shimon Trucking, (2019 Peterbilt 389); 3rd Shannon Lique/7 Aces Trucking (2006 Peterbilt 379).
FARTHEST TRAVELED: Tylor Rogers/Smoke’N Transport, Mayfair, SK, Canada (2007 KW W900L).
PEOPLE’S CHOICE: Jimmy Ganski/JC Ganski, Inc. (2014 Peterbilt 389).
BUTCH SCHLEUGER MEMORIAL TROPHY: Pete Gouge/IMT Transport (1976 Kenworth W900A).
MR. CLEAN AWARD: Devon Johnson/Jade Transport (2020 Kenworth W900B).
LIFETIME’S CHOICE: Devon Johnson/Jade Transport (2020 Kenworth W900B).
BEST OF SHOW BOBTAIL: Matt Strottman/Figanbaum Trucking (2020 Kenworth W900).
BEST OF SHOW COMBO: Jimmy Ganski/JC Ganski, Inc. (2014 Peterbilt 389 & matching reefer).