Man, 2021 sure flew by, didn’t it? However, we still need to tell you about a cool show held in Southern California that you should plan to attend in 2022 if you are in the area. After a year “pause” in 2020 for the pandemic, the California Trucking Show is a convention-style of event that was held in Ontario, CA on October 16-17, 2021, and it is a little bit different than the typical outdoor truck beauty contests we usually attend.
For those of you that are not aware, Ontario is a metropolitan area 35 miles east of Los Angeles. Incorporated in 1891, Ontario held the promise of a booming farming region, but water was a big concern. Through a sophisticated drainage system that brought water down from the nearby foothills, along with powerful electric pumps that lifted water from deep wells, these water solutions helped fuel a large growth of oranges, peaches, walnuts, lemons, and grapes, feeding much of Southern California from the turn of the century through the 1970s. The Ontario Power Co. was established in 1905 to provide the needed electricity for these water pumps.
The city has expanded from the .38 square mile area incorporated in 1891 to 50 square miles. The economy now reflects a manufacturing and industrial base. Ten thousand acres are zoned for industrial use. With three railroads, three major highways, Ontario International Airport, and several large truck stops nearby, the Ontario Convention Center was once again a great place to have this 5th annual trucking event.
Held both indoors and outdoors, this convention style show was big and busy. With 225,000 square feet of indoor space, most of that area was used to house the 214 vendors that offered all services related to trucking – from job hirings, truck insurance, freight factoring, and schooling, just to name a few. There were also parts and accessories, new products, and lots of chrome. A majority of vendors were from the local Southern California area, which really gave this show a local feel. Oscar and his crew from the California Trucking Show did a great job producing this event.
Admission into the show was free, and while the food and drinks were all “convention priced” (ridiculous), they did serve beer for those who chose to enjoy a libation while walking around the many booths. The total number of attendees for the Saturday and Sunday show, according to show producers, was around 8,500 people. That might not sound like a lot, but those aisles were packed with people all weekend!
Inside there was a constant buzz of vendors sharing their company info, along with giving away a ton of their products and swag. Introducing us to all the latest and greatest of items and services, a majority of the vendors were also selling products, while others were giving away items such as Smart TVs, dash cams, electronics, and other prizes, for those that entered the many raffles that were held during the show.
Over at the 10-4 Magazine booth, on the corner of Main Street and Coolville Lane, we were continually giving away posters and centerfolds to all the visitors in attendance. We connected with our friends that advertise in 10-4 and made a few new ones, which made the event even better, all while handing out current and past issues of the magazine. Jean, April, Gracie, and Kenny were always there to help, while I was out most of the time shooting pictures and taking in all the sights – both inside and out.
A highlight from inside was a large 150’ x 40’ area that was shared by the West Coast Mini Truckers and the So Cal RC Truckers. The best-looking remote-controlled trucks and combos you’ll ever see in miniature were driving around the streets and miniature truck stop of their premade town. Several of those remote-controlled trucks were seen driving around the convention floor, in a small convoy, going from booth to booth, exciting all the young people (and the young at heart).
Although there were a few “display” trucks inside, the big buzz was outside in the parking lot, where the real trucks were parked. This year, the truck beauty contest was hosted, judged, and managed by Laura and her team, along with a few volunteers, from Truck Club Magazine. With one of the only booths outside with the trucks, along with our friends at Stay Loaded Apparel, they enjoyed sunshine, blue skies, and fresh air. Next year, we hope to see more vendors outside.
Shined and show ready, the trucks outside were displayed and looking awesome. Due to the limited size of the parking lot, no trailers were allowed, so it was a nice to look at just the bobtails and dump trucks. With about 40 trucks on the lot, there was a very nice display of working and show trucks to look over, most with some incredibly clean custom interiors to check out, that were just as awesome as the exteriors. With a large stuffed bear driver and his full-sized stuffed dog co-pilot, one International truck was ready to move at any time (and they were always smiling).
The friendly competition outside, as mentioned before, was hosted by our friends at Truck Club Magazine, but we at 10-4 Magazine sponsored the People’s Choice award, that I was pleased to have been asked to present. But before the awards, a raffle was held outside for just the drivers of the show trucks. And these raffle prizes were no small items. There were bumpers, light bars, speakers, air horns, apparel certificates from Stay Loaded, and (2) 70-inch Smart TVs!
After the raffles were completed, the awards were given out by Laura Machuca of Truck Club. Wood plaque awards were given to 1st and 2nd place winners for Best Kenworth, Peterbilt, Freightliner, and International. Other categories included Best Construction, Best Paint & Graphics, and Best Interior. Lastly, the two coveted awards – Best of Show and People’s Choice – which were both beautiful trophies. Both of these final awards were won by our December 2021 cover truck – a red and blue 2016 Kenworth W900L owned by C.G. Soza of Soza Trucking in Atwater, CA.
Both days (Saturday and Sunday) of the California Trucking Show were about the same in regard to attendance, which made the excitement at the end just as high as the beginning. We went through everything we brought, and sold a ton of shirts, as well. It was a great event. But alas, the sun was setting, as we drew a close to not only this show, but our entire 2021 truck show season. What a year! We are excited to see what the next California Trucking Show, scheduled for October 15-16, 2022, has to offer. We hope to see you all there. The winners this year were:
1st David Montes
2nd Sal Elizaras
1st Ron Hokason/Fannum Trucking
2nd Mark Gomez/Fannum Trucking
1st Mike Wendell/Gardner Trucking
2nd Bobby Haro/Kershia Trucking
1st Alex Gomez/Gomez Trucking
2nd Alex Cabral/Liberty Linehaul
1st Ruben Vargas/R&E Trucking
2nd Corey Atkins/Corey Atkins Trucking
BEST PAINT & GRAPHICS:
1st Brandon Smith/B&B Transport
2nd Daniel Cabral/Liberty Linehaul
BEST METAL SHINE:
1st Kelvin Monzon/Monzon & Sons
2nd Daniel S./S.S. Skikos
1st Maximo Oropeza/Oropeza Bros.
2nd Ricardo Avila/AES Logistics
C.G. Soza/Soza Trucking, Atwater, CA
BEST OF SHOW:
C.G. Soza/Soza Trucking, Atwater, CA