On June 3, Janeeda and Waynne Phillips of the Knights of the Road Foundation issued a press release titled "Widows and Disabled say NO to NAST." The release announced the National Association of Show Trucks (NAST) would not be hosting their foundation's Virginia Beach, VA, show truck competition (slated for October). According to Knights of the Road, NAST participation would cost $15,000 - a figure NAST officials found astonishing.
Land Line contacted NAST executive director Bob Guy, who expressed bewilderment at the $15,000 Knights of the Road arrived at as a price tag for NAST participation. "I just came back from the Coldwater, MI, show, and NAST expenses cost the organizers $2,064," he said.
According to the Knights of the Road, NAST demanded "compensation for all their expenses, including airfare, car rental, $150 a day plus 85 cents a mile for their officials, trophies, on site transportation, meals, rooms, communications, golf carts, etc, and free booth space for their sponsor, Western Star Trucks."
Knights of the Road, a non-profit organization formed to provide assistance to the families of disabled or deceased truckdrivers, said their event "was a fund raiser and memorial, not a commercial event."
NAST's agreement to donate 50 percent of entry fees to the Knights of the Road Foundation was dismissed with "that wouldn't come close to the $15,000 it would cost to have them host the competition."
Guy provided Land Line with a copy of the NAST standard contract and talked about what NAST requires from show organizers for running a truck beauty contest. "Usually three of us do each show. I get 31 cents per mile for travel expenses if I drive my car. If it's too far to drive, I get airfare, not airfare and mileage both. The other NAST people usually load their trucks as close to the show site as possible, and they get 70 cents-per-mile for their out-of-route miles to the show. On rare occasions, all of us will fly into a show," said Guy.
According to their contract, NAST personnel working a show each receive $150 a day for lost wage reimbursement, plus meals and a room. Land Line asked Guy what their highest expenses were for any show. "I think the most it's ever cost anybody for our staff's expenses was about $4,100," he said. "And that was for a big show where we all had to fly in, so about half of that was airfare."
Land Line asked Guy about booth space. "We ask for a 10 x 10 booth for a NAST operations booth," he said. "We also require another 10' x 10' booth for our sponsor and parking for a Western Star on the lot with the show trucks. There are also two Western Stars available for test drives, but they park on the street or wherever there's truck parking available."
"We require that show organizers provide overnight security for the trucks entered in the competition, and that's something you need to do no matter who is running your show." Guy said, "these truckers have a lot of money tied up in these rigs, and they want someone keeping an eye on them. NAST also asks for a shuttle for competitors and support staff to get back and forth to motels (unless rooms are available on site). We don't ask for golf carts or on-site communications. Some shows provide us with them, and that's always appreciated. We bring our own radios for communication."
Guy also addressed the question of trophies. "NAST does not supply trophies for any competition," he said. "Whoever organizes the show does that. What NAST does is line up judges, train the judges, provide copies of judging forms to all contestants, lay ground rules for the competition, make sure everyone is aware of the rules, enforce those rules, and make sure the contest is fair. We take care of registration, organizing parades, parking the rigs, oversee the judging process, and organize and put on the awards ceremony.
"Once we're on site, we take care of everything, including any problems that might crop up. We are on site from early in the morning until late at night. Guy said, "until you start doing it, you don't realize how much time and resources it takes prepare for a show and see that it runs smoothly. NAST can't do this for free - we have to make our expenses. Apparently Knights of the Road thought we would donate our services for their show. I am sorry for the misunderstanding with Knights of the Road and hope they have a successful show."