This was the third year for me attending the Dirty Business Truck Show sponsored by HD Equipment based out of Grand Mound, IA. For those of you unfamiliar with the area, Grand Mound is located just north of Davenport, IA and northeast of the Iowa 80 Truck Plaza in Walcott, IA. This is a nice area of Iowa with very friendly people. Once again, Guthrie Waechter and Kelly Fore were responsible for planning, organizing, and making this truck show happen at the HD Equipment headquarters on July 21-22, 2023. And, as always, they did a superb job of putting on a successful event, especially for the charities they support with this truck show. But more on that later in this report!
There were right at 100 trucks participating in this year’s truck show, which is up from the 2022 event. For the most part, the weather was fairly cooperative for the truck show weekend. Normally, this time of year in eastern Iowa, it’s always hot and humid. There was a change to that weather pattern this year with pleasant temperatures at night and warm, sunny days, with exception for Saturday. The clouds began building in the afternoon, and then thunderstorms eventually rolled through in the evening right after the fireworks had finished. The timing was perfect. The bands scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights set up and played inside the expansive HD Equipment building, safe from any inclement weather.
The primary purpose of this show is obviously the gathering of trucks and their owners and drivers for two days of fellowship and having a fun, relaxing time. But another important aspect is to raise money for the amazing charitable organizations HD Equipment supports throughout the year. It is not a judged truck show with many awards. Even though it is a wash and park type of event, many of the participating trucks are very clean, detailed, and competition quality in presentation. That being said, there was one award created for this year’s Dirty Business Truck Show.
There was a specific award created in honor of Kaleb Hammett. Kaleb’s award was named the “Worst Pre-Trip Inspection” award. It originated from this past winter. Kaleb was running in and out of Dubuque, IA, moving loads out of John Deere. He had a couple of breakdowns over the course of his trips to Iowa. He had his truck repairs done at HD Equipment. Guthrie kept the take-off parts and as a humorous gesture had the idea of making a funny trophy to highlight his stressful challenges right before heading to MATS in Louisville.
The parts for the award consisted of a burned up axle end, front air ride bracket, and an oil filter housing for the engine. Carl Carstens at Rockwork Products made the base for the award. The shop welded all the broken parts together and attached them to the base of the award. They had planned to give it to Kaleb at Dirty Business, but because of his busy workload, he was unable to attend the truck show this year. So, Guthrie decided to just auction it off for charity. Ron Beer was the winning bidder, contributing $1,000 towards the overall donation to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital and No Foot Too Small charities.
As with every truck show, business sponsors are critical for the support and success of the event. Following is a list of all the sponsors of the Dirty Business Truck Show, with the title sponsor being C&J Trucking LLC, along with support from Sadler Power Train, Burke’s Auto Body, Hoker Trucking LLC, Roemer Machine, K & K Tank Service, Iowa Customs, D & D Trucking, Hawkeye Valley Express, Tarpstrap LLC, Tad Schultz, Big Strappers, PDI Diesel, Mike Smith/Mel Foster, Integrity Trucks of Texas, Andy Schwartz, B&J Electric, Flattop Transport, Sentry, Dynaflex, Berry Trucking, Williams Construction, J&L Contracting, Moss Trucking, Fugs Auto Body, Ricklefs LTD, Crystal Creek Enterprises, Wade Farms, Peterbilt GTG, First Trust, Lincoln Chrome, Aronson Group, Kevin Babler Trucking, Rabbit River Trucking, GMC, Dewitt Bank, Workman Trucking, Greenview Farms, Roadworks Manufacturing, Semi Casual, Iron Horse Truck Services, Geotsch Trucking, First Gateway, and Todd Workman. Thank you, sponsors.
The vendors present at the truck show with booths were the Aronson Group, Berry Trucking, GTG Peterbilt, Iowa Customs, No Foot Too Small Charities, Roadworks Manufacturing, Sadler Power, and 10-4 Magazine. Food vendors were Buzzy’s Tap who provided the delicious driver dinner on Saturday evening. The dinner consisted of smoked pulled pork, mac-n-cheese, and cheesy mashed potatoes. The Grand Mound Sportsman’s Club provided a variety of sandwiches, chips, fries, and cold soft drinks throughout the 2-day event. Our friend Carl Carstens from Rockwood offered root beer floats on Saturday as a refreshing treat on a warm summer day. Thank you for that, Carl!
Several forms of entertainment were provided on Friday and Saturday night. J&M Displays sponsored the Saturday night fireworks that lasted almost 30 minutes. It’s cool to see the effects of the fireworks exploding in the night sky and reflecting off the highly polished trucks and trailers parked on the show field! Of course, the final few minutes of the fireworks show are the best, with many fireworks going off at the same time (the big finale). After two days of activities and viewing trucks, two bands provided entertaining music in the HD Equipment building, with Jammer providing music Friday night and Wild Oatz on Saturday night.
Prior to the scheduled Saturday evening activities of the driver’s dinner, fireworks, and music, one of the most memorable and significant activities took place in the C&J truck shop. It was the Dirty Business charity auction for items donated by many contributors who provided several cool and unique items for sale. Justin Steward was the live auctioneer who added color, energy, and humor to the entire event. It took an hour and a half to get everything auctioned off. There was everything from polished stainless half fenders to a large selection of gift baskets, Yeti coolers, tickets for various football games, 12 packs of beer, truck parts, and yes, even a custom-made handgun and rifle.
The bidding action was spirited and fast-paced, and $86,550 was raised from the auction! Proceeds were divided between the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital ($59,550) and No Foot Too Small ($26,833). This year’s total was over double of what was raised in the 2022 show auction. Just guessing, I think $100,000 is a very doable amount to raise in the auction next year. Just throwing that challenge out there for the 2024 truck show.
It was yet another amazing Dirty Business truck show. It is one of my favorites of all the shows that I attend each season. Because it’s not a judged show, it’s naturally a fun and laid-back event. This event has everything you desire for a great truck show – beautiful trucks, trailers, cars, and motorcycles, great food, good music, fireworks, incredible people, and an awesome staff of people who put on a great show at HD Equipment. Guthrie, Kelly, and Cathy Hawthorne organized the entire event. There were many volunteers who also contributed their efforts and made this truck show the must see and attend event of the truck show season. If you have not attended this show, make it a priority to attend next summer, and be ready to do good things for charity!