The 2nd Annual Bobtail Apparel Truck Show was once again held at the fairgrounds in Dixon, CA on October 20-22, 2023 – and like the first one the previous year, it was a fun time. With about 160 trucks and 20 vendors at the event, the turnout was great. With mild fall temperatures and some sun, mixed with overcast skies, it was a great time to be outside. Unfortunately, our show buddies Roger and Annette Ghidelli, who typically haul our big TFK show trailer to local events with the Maggini “Godfather” show truck, were unable to attend due to a family member getting married that weekend. So, instead of having the big trailer, we pulled out our smaller 12-foot cargo trailer and braved it alone. Well, we weren’t exactly “alone” all weekend, as John “JT” Testa and Miss Julia showed up to do live remotes and hang out, as well.
Arriving on Friday morning, we got our booth set up and proceeded to do what we do, which is hand out free magazines and posters, sell t-shirts, and sign folks up for subscriptions. Unlike last year, the vendors were all set up on the grass, between the trucks, in a sort of makeshift vendor row. It was a pretty chill day, so we mostly just hung out in the booth and visited with people. Our friend Aaron Puterbaugh of Long Haul Trucking came out from Minnesota to attend the show, spend some time with us, and help in the booth when needed. We got some great pictures of his super clean company truck during the show, which you just might see sometime soon, in an upcoming edition of 10-4.
As Friday afternoon turned into evening, one of the two nights of light shows began. We walked around and took a few pictures but left a little earlier than usual to head into downtown Dixon to get some dinner at Bud’s Pub – a local favorite. We went there last year, too, and had a great dinner, and this year it was even better. Last year we got there so late, most of their signature dishes were already sold out, so this year we made sure to get there a little earlier. Most of us ordered their famous blackened prime rib, and let me tell you, there’s a reason it is “famous” – it was amazing!
Saturday was a full day of running the booth and taking pictures. Walking around the fairgrounds, there were plenty of California cool trucks on hand – and tons of our past cover trucks, too. Live music was provided all afternoon by Harry Luge, while several food trucks offered all sorts of snacks, meals, and drinks. In addition to the newer rides present, there were also plenty of old schoolers like Stan Alles (our May 1998 cover truck), Ken Talley (our July 2006 cover truck), Roel Hofstee, Harold and Nick Silva, and the folks from DeJager Transport, with their awesome silver and white classic “needle nose” Peterbilt hooked to an older-style cattle trailer. Another older truck that was getting a lot of attention was Chad Hudson’s 2-axle 1985 Peterbilt 359, with an eye-catching brown, orange, and gold original factory “swoosh” paint scheme with a twist.
Some of the big names that had multiple trucks at the show included Hildebrand’s Black Market Express, which had about eight of their mostly black and red trucks with belly dumps in attendance, which earned them the Best Fleet award, Double E Trucking, with at least four trucks, including a brand-new Battleship Gray and purple unit, which earned a bunch of awards including Best Lights Combo, North Coast Wine, with three trucks at the show, including one that took the Best of Show honors, and Bruce and Kelli Cone (our April 2023 cover trucks), who not only had their two trucks there, which got a few awards, but it was Bruce’s birthday that weekend, so they decorated his truck and did a bit of celebrating. Of course, there were plenty of amazing Lowrie trucks at the show, too, as the event is hosted by Madison Lowrie of Bobtail Apparel!
A few other noteworthy units at this show included CG and CJ Soza’s cool Kenworth car haulers (one of them was our December 2021 cover truck), Doug Veerkamp’s blue service truck (our August 2023 cover truck), which is a 1966 Pete cab and hood mounted on a modern chassis, Norm “OG” Butler’s maroon-colored 2020 Kenworth W900L (our May 2021 cover truck), and Ruben Vargas’ bright red 2011 Peterbilt 386 and matching curtainside trailer (our May 2020 cover truck). Arreche Hay had several of their black and gray Peterbilts parked on the grounds, along with Mitch Railsback, who had two of his yellow Peterbilts (one newer 389 and one older 379). Refujio “Ref” Juarez of R and M Transport out of Castroville, CA had his clean bright pink Peterbilt 389 and matching polished reefer at the show, and “Ref” was kind enough to make fresh tacos for everyone all weekend long.
Making its debut at this show was the latest rig from Jeff Botelho of Botelho Custom Trucks in Los Banos, CA. After a more than ten-year hiatus, Jeff is back in the truck building business and, with help from his two sons and daughter, Jeff is making waves in the truck show world once again. Having built a few trucks now, this latest project was a little medium-duty 2007 Peterbilt 330, which he built for David Smith out of Texas. David is retired now, but he was the former plant manager at the Peterbilt assembly facility in Denton, TX. This cool little toy, painted blue, of course, has a custom flatbed on the back and really unique completely flush taillights. When not lit up, they look like plain red ovals, but when the lights are switched on or the brakes are applied, Peterbilt logos are illuminated. Welcome back, Botelho family, we missed you and your creations at the shows!
On Saturday evening, during the second night of light shows, we got to catch up with an old friend and past cover trucker that we hadn’t seen in a while – Ryan Hooten of Ryan’s Feed (our February 2008 cover feature). Back then, Ryan lived in California, and we featured his black cherry 2-axle Peterbilt 379 hay truck. Now a resident of Texas (smart man), Ryan has several trucks, but the one he brought to Dixon was a clean blacked-out Peterbilt 389 with a turquoise stripe. We sat and talked to Ryan for over an hour, and it was really great to see him. With some rain in the forecast for the next morning, we decided to tear our booth down late Saturday night, before heading to dinner.
After taking our booth down and loading up the trailer, we once again headed into historic downtown Dixon, which is just a mile from the fairgrounds, but this time we went to Dawson’s Bar & Grill, which is just across the street from Bud’s Pub. Established in 1908 – yes, you read that right – Dawson’s offered a large selection of different types of food, and like Bud’s Pub, it was excellent. After a long day and a late night, we finally headed back to the hotel for a little rest and relaxation – and also some well-deserved shuteye.
When we got out to the fairgrounds on Sunday morning for the awards, it was noticeably cloudier and cooler, and many trucks and vendors were already gone. Rain was obviously on the way, and many in attendance didn’t want to wait for the awards to be handed out before leaving. The awards ceremony started early – so early we missed the first half of it – but it was a quick 30 minutes or so, if not less, and then it was done. Most of the awards were nice wood plaques with a piece of printed leather attached to the front, but there were a few special awards like a silver cup trophy (Best Fleet), a “heavyweight champion” type of leather belt with large, engraved, metal medallions on it (Best of Show), and a couple special memorial awards, which were represented with pinstriped pieces of chrome exhaust piping.
Once the awards were handed out, the fairgrounds began to empty quickly. On our way home (it’s a short three-hour drive from Dixon) we finally got rained on. This was our final show of the 2023 truck show season, and we were both sad and relieved. Truck show season starts in March and runs clear through the end of October, and there are a lot of shows to cover during that time, so by October, we are ready to spend some time NOT on the road. But it’s always bittersweet, and before we know it, we are talking about, planning, and getting excited for the next year. And speaking of next year, the 3rd Annual Bobtail Apparel Truck Show is scheduled for October 18-20, 2024. We hope to see you there! And this year’s winners were…
BOBTAIL (2021 & NEWER):
1st Kellie Cone of Cone Trucking;
2nd Norm Butler of Butler & Sons.
1st Bruce Cone of Cone Trucking;
2nd Harold & Nick Silva.
1st Harold & Nick Silva;
2nd Shannon Smith.
1st Brandon Schultz of Veerkamp;
2nd Joyce Hofstee of Hofstee Farms.
BOBTAIL PROFESSIONAL WORKING TRUCK (OVER 50K MILES):
1st Richard Hay of Bedrock Products;
2nd James Weatherford of Lamon.
BOBTAIL PROFESSIONAL SHOW TRUCK (UNDER 50K MILES):
1st Brandon Schultz of Veerkamp;
2nd Joyce Hofstee of Hofstee Farms.
1st Cody Lowrie of Mike Lowrie Trucking;
2nd Billy Ezernack of Double E Trucking.
1st Edgar of DeJager Transport;
2nd Ryan of Arreche Hay Co.
1st Stanley Alles of Stan Alles Transport;
2nd Roel Hofstee of Hofstee Farms.
1st Jared Reed of Guy Reed Trucking;
2nd Bruce Campbell.
1st CJ Soza of Soza Trucking;
2nd Mike Lowrie Jr. of Mike Lowrie Trucking.
1st Tino of Double E Trucking;
2nd Cole Conley of North Coast Wine.
COMBO PROFESSIONAL WORKING TRUCK (OVER 50K MILES):
1st Tommy Stine of North Coast Wine;
2nd Ruben Vargas of R&E Trucking.
COMBO PROFESSIONAL SHOW TRUCK (UNDER 50K MILES):
1st Cole Barbieri of North Coast Wine;
2nd Andrew of Double E Trucking.
Anthony Baca of CM Excavating.
BEST HEAVY HAULER:
Grant Hartill of Hartill Heavy Haul.
BEST LIGHTS BOBTAIL:
Josh Lowrie of Mike Lowrie Trucking.
BEST LIGHTS COMBO:
Andrew of Double E Trucking.
FRED’S CHOICE (BEST HAY TRUCK):
Cody Lowrie of Mike Lowrie Trucking.
HEATHER’S CHOICE (BEST SQUEEZE):
Kendra Atkinson of Atkinson Hay Co.
Hildebrand’s Black Market Express.
OVERALL BEST OF SHOW:
Cole Barbieri of North Coast Wine.