Wisconsin is universally known and loved for good beer, cheese, brats, and the Green Bay Packers. Judging from the past two AMCAN Truck Fest shows that I have had the pleasure of attending, show quality working trucks fit nicely onto that list, as well. The 4th Annual AMCAN Truck Fest was again held at the Racine County Fairgrounds in Union Grove, WI the weekend of Friday June 11 and Saturday June 12, 2021. This event was organized and hosted by AMCAN Truck Parts located in Pewaukee, WI. Nick Kimball and Julia Mors worked tirelessly for nearly a year organizing this great event.
The Fairgrounds is a large facility that provides sufficient space to handle many events, including this truck show. The Fairgrounds is very well maintained and groomed, with sufficient buildings and trees to provide a reprieve from the hot Wisconsin summer sun. Within the Fairgrounds is a dirt track and large spectator area to accommodate truck and tractor pulls. The display area for the trucks was in the center of the grounds near the dirt track and grandstands.
I arrived at the location on Thursday afternoon and some trucks had already arrived. A sporadic flow of trucks began arriving at the show throughout the day on Thursday and Friday. By Friday night and Saturday morning, a steady flow of trucks was showing up. This is typical in that a vast majority of them are working trucks finishing out their work week. By noon on Saturday, all trucks participating in the event had arrived and were parked. In addition to the many Wisconsin trucks at this event, several other states were well represented too, with participants coming from several different states, to showcase their impressive rides.
This being a post-COVID year, the anticipation and participation of truck shows in 2021 is very evident. There were over 75 trucks participating in the event, and I could feel the excitement in the air from the people attending. There was a sense of happiness and relief for the attendees and participants because they did not have to wear masks and were able to move freely around the truck show field, to admire all the very nice trucks and trailers, at a leisurely and stress-free pace.
This year, one of the highlights of the AMCAN Truck Fest weekend was the Southeast Wisconsin Showdown Truck & Tractor Pull on Friday evening. This is a big event that drew a large and boisterous crowd. On the walk to the truck and tractor pull event, many of the truck pull attendees took the opportunity to check out all the big, beautiful rides at the AMCAN Truck Fest. This was great exposure for the event. Besides the truck and tractor pulls on Friday night, the band “Breaking Cadence” provided live music on Saturday night inside one of the buildings on the grounds.
Although it was a great weekend, the weather was not fully cooperative. It was hot and humid over the course of the show. When the sun was not out, there were intermittent rain showers on both Friday and Saturday. This kept the truck participants busy, having to dry off their trucks, several times. Friday evening brought some intense thunderstorms and heavy rain. But by Saturday the sun was back out shining brightly, bringing along with it hot weather and humidity.
The major sponsors for the AMCAN Truck Fest were 1st Choice Realty, Big Strappers Apparel, Iowa Customs, Jack Moss Trucking, Jones Performance, Kimball Transport, Lifetime Nut Covers, Richard Pagels Trucking, Rockwood, RMJR Services, Total Appearance Truck Painting, TTI, Valley Chrome, WTI Fenders, and Zephyr Polish Products. Thanks to all the committed sponsors, as they are an important part to the success of this (and any) event.
Many companies had vendor booths at the AMCAN Truck Fest. Offering a variety of products and services to the attendees at the event, these vendors included 10-4 Magazine, Amston Trailer, Aussie Rimshine, Big Rig Tees, Hot Rig Apparel, Dynaflex Products, Hogebuilt, I-29 Custom Truck Parts, Performance Diesel Inc, Large Car Magazine, Time 2 Shine Detailing Products, Medallion Transport Services, Spare Time Fab, United Axle, and Vidalina Enterprises. Thanks to all these vendors who are also a very important part of making this year’s show a big success.
A truck show could not be a truck show (or at least a good one) without having some good food vendors on-site to provide food and drinks for all the participants, attendees and spectators. The vendors who stepped up to provide food and drinks for the weekend were Jacob’s Smokehouse, Danny’s Meats, and Yorkville PTO. I sampled items from all the food vendors, and it was all good. However, I’m partial to BBQ, so I made more than one trip to the Jacob’s Smokehouse food trailer!
On Saturday morning, awards were presented for the Top 10 trucks, along with a few specialty trophies. Prior to awards, raffle items were handed out by Julia that were donated by several of the truck event sponsors and vendors. Some of the raffle items handed out included Hogebuilt fenders, a stainless rear center panel from Iowa Customs, Time 2 Shine detail kits, button tuck interior panels from Spare Time Fab, cool front oil cap covers provided by Lifetime Nut Covers, Valley Chrome gift certificates, along with many other items.
Following is a list of the AMCAN Top Ten award winners: Rob Sund (2021 red 389 Peterbilt combo); Don Wood (2003 blue and yellow 379 Pete combo); Adam Johnson (1984 cream and red W9 Kenworth combo); Matt Strottman (2020 black and green W9 Kenworth combo); Mason Schwake (2021 red and maroon 389 Peterbilt combo); Tarik Al-Amin (1992 grey and yellow COE Freightliner combo); Oz Serna (2004 grey 379 Pete combo); Vance Holper (2018 brown and orange W9 Kenworth bobtail); Barry Myers (1967 black and white K100 KW combo); and Chase Kimball (1993 brown W9 Kenworth bobtail).
Although this is a non-judged event, there were a few awards handed out. The People’s Choice trophy went to Don Wood and his 2003 blue and yellow 379 Peterbilt combination, while the coveted John Kimball Award was given to Kevin Pfeffer and his 2018 grey W9 Kenworth combo. 10-4 Magazine’s “Best of the Best” pick went to Rob Sund and his 2021 red 389 Peterbilt combo. By being selected for this award, Rob, with RMJ Transport, also earned the opportunity to be featured in a future edition of 10-4 Magazine! I had the pleasure of taking several photos of his matching combo after the event and to meet his lovely family. He has a beautiful combo and was up against stiff competition for this award. Congratulations Rob!
Carl Carstens at Rockwood is well known for marketing high quality truck interior products and trophies for truck shows. He’s also known for showing up at shows with a barrel of Wisconsin’s own Sprecher root beer and vanilla ice cream for awesome root beer floats! They were free to everyone while the supplies lasted. A special thanks to Carl for providing a great summer treat at the event and for creating the 10-4 Magazine Best of the Best trophy.
Sincere thanks to the Racine County Sheriff’s Department for providing great security at the Fairgrounds. We entrust our lives and livelihood to these men and women in blue. Thank you from all of us for your commitment and all that you do to make our lives safe and secure.
Finally, a very special thanks to Nick Kimball and Julia Mors from AMCAN Truck Parts. They put in long hours planning, organizing, and executing the 2021 AMCAN Truck Fest. Their hard work and dedication paid big dividends with a successful show. They were the consummate hosts to us at 10-4, and also faithful advertisers. We were privileged to be a part of this event. I’m already making plans to return in 2022 and spend time with the great folks in Wisconsin, where there is more to love than just beer, cheese and brats!