No matter where you are in the United States, one thing we can all agree on during the month of August, was that it was hot! And it was no different in Lehi, UT during the 2022 Great Salt Lake Truck Show, where everyone was sweating in the sun, and things were much better in the shade. August 12-13 marked the 33rd annual truck show, held at Thanksgiving Point Electric Park, and I think I can speak for everyone that we appreciated the trees on the grounds offering everyone the opportunity to escape the hot sun. This was the fourth year I have attended this show and one that I wholeheartedly look forward to every year, because who doesn’t love mountain views and big trucks?
I arrived in Utah a week prior to the show, as I had a project to complete, with the anticipation of seeing show friends. Unfortunately, I don’t get to visit with many of these friends in person except around the time of this show. The weather had continuously been warm and nice, apart from some scattered rain, that came in periodically. Friday, August 12, was when all the trucks started rolling in first thing in the morning, and also it was the first day of the show. This day produced sunshine and warm weather, with plenty of conversation going on throughout the grounds. We did catch some sprinkles towards the end of the day, which was far better than we anticipated, with the looming dark clouds.
Friday evening provided the annual Dutch oven dinner which, for the first time, there was a concern that the food might run out. Thankfully, it didn’t, and the whole pavilion was full of people enjoying their meals while talking to one another. It was so nice to see people milling around from table area to table area, shaking hands, and visiting with each other. At dusk, all the trucks began turning on their lights for the annual light show, and just like at any truck show, that is always something to see.
Saturday, August 13, kicked off with another beautiful day, and I was able to walk the grounds in the morning and get some great truck photos. The Kidney Walk took place in the morning, with announcements and snacks held under the pavilion. As the annual schedule goes, for the Saturday of the show, there was the opportunity to dunk a member of the Utah Highway Patrol, which was Sergeant Jason Kelsey, and watch the human truck pulls, which was fun had by children and adults alike.
Proceeds from this event, as always, benefit the Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho and aid in families to be able to attend Kidney Kamp, a way for families to enjoy time together in the mountains and to be individuals not defined by illness. At about 4:00 PM the awards ceremony began, with lots of appreciation given to all the sponsors, as well as the registrants and attendees.
I am always proud to watch the sponsor award presentations at this show, as you can see the look of general appreciation in the faces of each award recipient. This year, we (10-4 Magazine) chose a new Peterbilt 389 which caught our attention, but it wasn’t the truck itself that led us to the decision, but the driver of that truck. I had a chance to speak with Derek Esplin of Tramcor Corporation out of Ogden, UT who was responsible for the prepping of this 389, and their other truck, that was also present. Derek said this truck was built for one of their drivers, Kody Braegger.
Not only a dedicated employee, but also a hard worker, Kody only attended the show for a few hours with his wife and family, and then headed back to work. Kody started out with the company as a teenager, washing trucks, and then moved up to driving one of those trucks when he obtained his CDL. It is always great to hear of companies taking care of their employees and likewise, employees stepping up to take care of the equipment. And their two-tone blue Peterbilt 389 was looking mighty fine, for sure!
Each sponsor award recipient is given a plaque with a photo of their truck along with an envelope with $250 inside. This year Kendon Holdaway, Program Administrator for the Kidney Foundation, presented the awards. Around 70% of all recipients donated their cash money straight back to give to the Kidney Foundation. I had the honor of coming up front to help present the 10-4 Magazine sponsor plaque and give a short speech about how, as a group of us, we decided to re-implement the handing out of $2 bills.
As co-founder of 10-4 Magazine, Erik Sieben was a regular attendee and avid supporter of this show, and each year he would hand out $2 bills to the kids in attendance. We wanted to keep this tradition going and, with crisp $2 bills in hand (just the way Erik liked them to be), I handed them to all the kids at the awards ceremony. Gets a person choked up to be told that people have their $2 bills they received in year’s past, still folded in their wallets. We will continue this every year going forward as a tribute to Erik so his memory will always live on at this event.
There is always a lot of anticipation for the biggest award – the Competitor’s Choice. I can admit that I got choked up, the same as I did last year when Eric Gibbons of EMH Transportation won, because this year’s winner acted the same. With a shocked look on his face, Dylan Badders of DTB Trucking of Parowan, UT and his 1994 purple and black Freightliner cabover, won this year’s Competitor’s Choice award, and when he received his envelope with the cash award enclosed, he never looked inside and just handed it back to the announcer. There was $3,000 in that envelope, and this is one of the many reasons I am honored to be a part of this industry I am so passionate about.
Thank you to Sunne Wallace and the crew at the Great Salt Lake Truck Show for being so welcoming to all the attendees. I look forward to seeing everyone next year at the 34th annual show August 4-5, 2023, in Lehi, UT! This year, a total of 110 trucks were in attendance, which was the show’s biggest turnout to date. Each year, the trucks look better in the sun, but conversations had are always better in the shade! As always, to all the drivers out there doing the deal, truck safe.