The 34th Annual Great Salt Lake Truck Show was a fun event, as always, but this year there was a little rain to muddy things up a bit. Held on August 4-5, 2023, at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, UT, we at 10-4 Magazine were able to attend this event in person for the first time in several years because the date was pushed sooner than usual.
Held in a pretty park-like setting, the trucks are parked on nice green grass, with shade trees all around, which are nice things to have when it is sunny and hot, as it typically is in Utah in August. Thankfully, it wasn’t too hot this year, but there was some sporadic rain throughout the weekend, but not enough to dampen anyone’s spirits.
Arriving in Salt Lake City on Thursday afternoon, the day before the show started, the weather was perfect. Earlier that week, it was really hot (100+ degrees) and a lot of rain had fallen, which made things a bit humid, as well. That evening around dusk, as we were heading to dinner with our contributor and friend Stephanie Haas who was also there to cover the show with us, a huge thunderstorm with wind, thunder and lightning rolled through, dropping a lot of rain in about an hour, causing some small landslides near where we were staying, the lane of a road to collapse, and plenty of mud bogs to be formed on the grassy areas of the show grounds.
Come Friday morning the rain was gone, and there were mild temperatures in the 80s, along with a bit of residual wind still blowing. Since we were not setting up a booth at this event, we were able to spend much of that first morning exploring Provo Canyon before heading over to the show grounds. As we began walking around and looking at the trucks, we noticed some pretty deep ruts in the mud made from the trucks rolling in that morning to get parked, but it seemed like everyone got in and parked okay, and nobody got stuck. Finding our friends C.G. and Ashleigh Soza and their two little boys, Cody Davis and his family, and Eric and Val Gibbons, who were all sitting under canopies near their trucks, we spent much of the weekend hanging out with all of them.
As evening approached, the annual Dutch Oven Dinner was served in the main covered pavilion nearby. Once again sponsored by the Utah Trucking Association, this dinner included pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, corn, coleslaw, and peach cobbler. As always, it was a terrific meal, shared with a few hundred of our trucking friends! It didn’t get dark until about 9:00 PM, so that is when the light show finally started. We spent the next few hours walking around, taking pictures, and talking to everyone there. It was a nice night.
Saturday morning brought warmer temperatures, but it was still pretty nice, all things considered. At 11:00 AM the “Dunk-A-Cop” fun started, where people paid to get a chance to throw baseballs at a target and, if they hit it, send a Utah police officer down into the cold water. It’s all done in good fun and the money goes to charity.
At 1:00 PM the “Human Truck Pulls” began. Starting with kids pulling a miniature side dump trailer, it then switched to the adults, who put on a harness with a long strap attached to a Utah DOT pickup truck and attempted to pull it a predetermined distance in the fastest time. This event is always fun!
Some of the standout trucks for us included (2) cool gray KW dump trucks owned by Momentum, (2) two-tone blue Peterbilts owned by Tramcor (including one nice 389 with a standup sleeper and a sweet 379 daycab with a polished and painted dump trailer with six axles), McInelly Trucking’s brightly-colored teal and purple Kenworth T680, Josh Skidmore’s STS trucks (a yellow and white Peterbilt and a cream and yellow KW), and a really sharp red and white Peterbilt 359 owned by Tri-H Farms. Justin Mascaro also had a few clean KWs hooked to livestock trailers, Gary Amoth Trucking had three bright red Kenworths (including a really cool W990), and Trevin Walck brought out his white 2005 KW T600 (featured in our May 2019 edition) with a new white interior and a unique floor that was looking great.
As the hosts of the event each year, Pride Transport had several of their beautiful rigs there, too, including (2) silver and black A-model Kenworths, along with a brand-new Metallic Forest Green Peterbilt 389 with a standup sleeper built by Pickett Custom Trucks. A bunch of past 10-4 cover trucks were there, as well, including Dylan Badders’ purple and dark charcoal gray 1994 Freightliner cabover (December 2022), Cody Davis’ Viper Green 2022 W900L and polished livestock trailer (July 2023), and Eric Gibbons’ red, blue and silver 1997 Peterbilt 379 (April 2022). C.G. Soza, a past cover trucker from December 2021, was there as mentioned previously, but he did not bring the truck that we featured on our cover, instead opting to bring his newer ride – a green and black Kenworth car hauler.
The awards began around 4:00 PM on Saturday. Each vendor/sponsor gets to choose their own winner, and then a Competitor’s Choice award is announced. This year’s big winner was Marcel Pontbriand of Top Notch Carriers and his “Cowboy of the Road” 1989 Peterbilt 379 and matching 2015 Great Dane dry van trailer, which is covered with murals (inside and out) and features more details than we could ever mention here! One cool thing was a hand-carved wood sign that hangs behind the last trailer axle and acts as a beautiful and unique mud flap. Each of the sponsor award plaques came with $250 cash, and the Competitor’s Choice award came with a whopping $3,400 cash – and most of the recipients immediately donated their winnings back to the charity.
Every year for the past 34 years this event has raised money for a Kidney Kamp up in the mountains, which hosts children with kidney problems and their families, at no cost to them, for a fun and safe weekend vacation in the mountains. Hundreds if not thousands of families have benefited from this amazing event and all the truckers that support it. We are so proud to be part of an industry that gives so much back! Thank you to all the truckers, sponsors, vendors, and attendees that make this all possible, year after year – especially the England Family and Pride Transport – that work so hard to put it all together.
As the awards ceremony came to a close, we did something special to honor the memory of one of our founders, Erik “Big E” Sieben, who passed away from cancer back in 2019. Erik loved going to this event every year and was known for walking around and handing out crisp $2 bills to the kids at the show, as well as some of the truckers. Many have kept those bills in their wallets for years in remembrance of Erik. We brought a stack of fresh $2 bills and then made an announcement during the awards for all the kids to come up and get their $2 bill in honor of Erik’s memory, and then Stephanie Haas handed them out to all the smiling kids in the crowd.
And just like that, the show was over. They always go way too fast. Thank you to Sunne and her crew for making us feel so welcome and treating us, as always, like family. We have a long history with Jeff England, Sunne’s father, and Pride Transport that dates back to when we shot his 2002 Pete 379 out on the Bonneville Salt Flats for our October 2003 cover. That was an epic day we won’t ever forget! After leaving the show, we enjoyed an amazing dinner with 12 of our closest friends at a nearby restaurant, and then prepared to fly home early Monday morning.
That mud in the grass at the show grounds did prove to be a small factor as the trucks tried to leave, as one got stuck and had to be pulled out. But, other than that, it made for some muddy fun that once again proved to be a great event. We hope to see you next year at the Great Salt Lake Truck Show! Stay tuned to 10-4 Magazine for dates and other details as they are announced.
This year’s Sponsor/Vendor Choice Winners were:
CDL STAFFING SERVICES:
Dallas Vance / EMH Transportation
CUMMINS SALES & SERVICE:
C.G. Soza / Soza Trucking
JACK’S TIRE AND OIL:
Hal Brown / Industrial Injection
JACKSON GROUP PETERBILT:
Weston McGill / Pathfinder Transport
Saul Espinoza / JM Mascaro Livestock
Austin Badders / AJB Trucking
Jace Clark / Mtn. States LP Gas
Bryan Stott / Stott Excavating
1580 UTILITY TRAILER:
Eric Gibbons / EMH Transportation
ELEVATED TRUCK & RV REPAIR:
Sam Clark / Mtn. States LP Gas
GRANITE TRUCK BODIES:
Aaron Alexander / Momentum
GREAT DANE OF UTAH:
Jesse Stauffer / Stauffer’s Towing
KENWORTH SALES COMPANY:
Skyler Droubay / Double D Distribution
Glen Hansen / Tri H Farms
NORTH AMERICAN TRAILER:
Marcel Pontbriand / Top Notch Carriers
PREMIER TRUCK GROUP:
Dillon Ivester / Ivester’s Transportation
STOKES TRUCKING, LLC:
Reece Phillips / Phillips Trucking Inc.
SMITH POWER PRODUCTS:
Lyle Wilson / LS Wilson Trucking
Marcel Pontbriand / Top Notch Carriers
Kathy McInelly / McInelly Trucking
Clayton Gilliland / Clayton Gilliland
Jason Hansen / Milk Money Trucking
Jeff England / Pride Transport, Inc.
Brock Lindsay / Gale Storer Transport
UTAH TRUCKING ASSOCIATION:
Cody Davis / Davis Trucking
Jay England / Pride Transport, Inc.