All across the country you can find a truck show to attend. Whether you want a judged show or one that is a laid-back gathering for friends, there are plenty to enjoy. A Midwest favorite for many, and always a gathering of friends, is the Busted Knuckle Truck Show in Tonkawa, OK and, this year, the trucks were all packed in!
The 2022 event marked the 12th annual truck show hosted by the Wilkins family and Wilkins Oklahoma Truck Supply. This show continues to grow every year, and for some this is the once-a-year show to meet up with friends and friends that are family. Those who attend this show know that the Wilkins family gives it their all every year – and this year was no different.
After a great visit with friends in Missouri, I made the drive to Oklahoma on Friday, September 16th, and it was hot. As I do each time I attend the show, the first thing I do is go into the store to get my annual Busted Knuckle show shirt. This year I pre-ordered mine so it was ready and waiting. The design has a cool bicentennial 359 on the back.
I don’t believe there was anywhere outside to keep cool, but the weather never affects the many conversations that happen, nor the enjoyment of seeing all the cool trucks in attendance. I love this show because there are literally all kinds of trucks to see and great people who drive them. I was able to see people I hadn’t seen in quite a while, which is always great catching up. As the late afternoon rolled around, several people with golf carts participated in a little parade around the grounds consisting of conversations, laughing, and possibly a drink or two.
Friday evening at 6:00 PM the convoy started, which goes through downtown Tonkawa, and is probably my favorite part of the show, because I can easily photograph each individual truck as they pass by. Over 150 trucks participated in the convoy, with plenty of train horns sounding off, and no lack of black smoke (insert emoji with heart eyes). As the trucks rolled back onto the show grounds, conversations continued, and drinks were served at the Bad Apple Bar next to the chrome shop.
It seems so slow for the arrival of the start of the show, then by Saturday morning, you can’t believe the show is almost over. It was no different on Saturday, September 17th, as I went to the grounds to gather a few more truck photos. With work never-ending, I left the show on Saturday afternoon to start making my way back to Georgia.
If someone asked me what my favorite truck was at the show, I wouldn’t be able to pick just one. There were so many beautiful trucks at the show, and so many people who truly take pride in the truck they drive. I wish I could’ve had the time to meet all the drivers to tell them they have great looking trucks!
Some trucks I have seen at Busted Knuckle in the past, like Tom Zummallen out of Oklahoma, who had his blue W900 with a shiny end-dump trailer that was detailed with an American flag on the underside, Justin Oaks with his black head-turning 2007 Peterbilt 379, and Matt McReynolds’ black 1993 Peterbilt 379 with the unmistakable blue “McReynolds” below the door. There were other trucks I laid eyes on for the first time at this year’s show, including Travis Conner from Nebraska with his 2020 Peterbilt 389 hooked to a matching conestoga, Dustin Graf out of Kansas with his 2017 black cherry Peterbilt 389 pulling a livestock trailer, Dustin’s father Kevin, who brought out his 2015 Peterbilt 389 pulling a livestock trailer, as well as his Kenworth W900A.
It was nice to catch up with friends including Dustin and Amanda Bates, Darren Friedrichsen, Derek Bates, Derek Bridgman and his lovely girlfriend Laura (and their pup Dolly), and Arlyn and Linda Workman. The only thing I don’t like about these shows is there never seems to be enough time to visit. I had the opportunity to meet Maylon Unruh and Alejandrina Miller from Ohio who brought their black with red Seminole striped 2017 Kenworth W900. It is cool to see the people that come from all over to attend this annual event!
The Busted Knuckle show shirts are a coveted item for everyone that goes to the show and, this year, for the first time ever, Wilkins opted to do another pre-sale of tees. The complete sell-out of show shirts wasn’t expected, so they decided to put in another order to insure everyone was able to purchase one.
Thank you to the entire Wilkins family, employees, and volunteers for providing a great time for everyone who attended the show. Your busyness, hard work, and attention to everyone does not go unnoticed. We are proud to have representation from 10-4 Magazine each year at the show, and appreciate the warm welcome we get. The show ended up having over 300 trucks, which were all packed in everywhere, and I have no doubt next year will be even bigger! Mark your calendar now for the next show, being held September 15-16, 2023. As always, to all the drivers out there doing the deal, truck safe.