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GATS 2017: It’s that time of year again!

This post was written by Tom Kyrk. 

Truck show season is beginning to wind down, and it’s time for one of the industry’s hottest truck shows! I mean that both literally and figuratively. The Great American Truck Show—“Where Trucking Improves”—is August 24-26 at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. It’s one of my favorite shows.

Yes, the weather is hot, but this show has a special place in my heart. The show has a much more relaxed feel compared to other shows I have attended. Vendors seem truly glad to see you and are willing and able to to take time to talk with you about life on the road, as well as their products. I have always called this the relationship show. It seems as though everyone—drivers, vendors, even show management—is willing and able to take some time to get to know everyone else.

Another reason this show is special is the willingness of show management to listen to driver feedback and make changes based on their input. The health pavilion, improved parking lot facilities and awesome entertainment is all a direct result of management working with drivers.

There will be a lot of exciting events taking place in Dallas this year. They have changed the floor layout to make it easier to attend various events and improve the flow of the show. There is a large number of free workshops and educational events, health screenings, and entertainment—and that’s just on the main floor! We haven’t event gotten to the activities in the parking lot for drivers each night, the Friday evening concert, or the demonstrations and content various vendors will be displaying in their booths.

The show features several must-see vendors, including:

  • Sunrise Bedding: one of the most comfortable mattress pads I have ever slept on.  While it could be a bit thicker, it has passive temperature cooling technology that has made sleeping in my truck this summer extremely comfortable.
  • We-Boost: I have tested some of their products, and they offer a great piece of technology for leveling out cellular signals, helping to prevent dropped calls in areas of weak service.
  • TomTom: TomTom entered the trucking market with a GPS unit. I have not personally used this device but based on the tech specs and the price I have seen in the truck stops, it’s a very competitive product worth taking a look at.  
  • Winegard: As I was finishing up this piece, Winegard contacted me about some exciting new offerings for drivers—I’ll have to stop by their booth and check them out!

As you can see, there will be a lot happening at this show and new information is being sent out by the minute. I’m also looking forward to stopping by the Health Pavilion—it will have a wide range of products available as well as free screenings for drivers. It’s definitely worth taking a look.

ToughTested’s booth (#5029) is of special interest to me this year. They are taking a much larger role in the show this year, with a larger booth and a small stage where friend and fellow ToughTested ambassador Bill Weaver will be performing. I will be doing some short talks on tech and other driver issues. Additionally, an up-and-coming NASCAR driver, Cassie Gannis, will be spending time at the booth during the show to meet with fans.

Some special events to look out for at GATS:

  • On Friday at 11:45 am the incomparable George Parker, the talented Bill Weaver, the incredible Cassie Gannis, and this tag-along from Road Tested Living, Capt’n Kyrk, will be doing a roundtable on cars vs. trucks. It will be a unique look from professional drivers on how we can all share the roadways more safely together, as well as a showcase for products designed both for professionals and for those who desire great products for their personal vehicles. Come by the Health Stage in the Landstar Fit for the Road Health Pavilion to see us in action!
  • On Thursday at 4:00 pm and Saturday at 3:00 pm I will be doing cooking demonstrations at the Health Stage. ToughTested will be there offering handouts of some of my favorite recipes. After all, life is too short to eat bad food!

There will be entertainment throughout the week at a variety of locations before, during, and after the show. Bill Weaver, Jayne Denham, OverDrive’s Trucker Talent Search, Paul Marhoeffer, and Tony Justice will be just a few of the individuals performing at this year’s show.  Check out www.truckshow.com for more details as to locations and times.

This year is looking to be a great show, and I am truly happy to be able to go and take part in it. I hope to see many of my old friends again there this year and make some new ones along the way. See you at GATS!