Coming up March 27-29: Mid-America Trucking Show

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 3/14/2014

For many attendees, the Mid-America Trucking Show at the end of this month in Louisville, Ky., is a tradition. It’s a place to meet up with old friends, visit the show displays, and attend forums and events. This year’s event takes place March 27-29 and features more than 1 million square feet of show space at the Kentucky Exposition Center.  

The event begins Thursday with VIP day 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For general admission, the hours are 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Hours for Friday are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The word is official: Show producers announced this week that all the exhibitor floor space is sold out. More than 950 exhibitors will show off their products, parts and services. Although the free registration period has expired, attendees can still register in advance for $10 and ensure smooth access at the show gates. Visit for more information and get ready to hit the ground running when the gates open at 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 27.

OOIDA will be interacting with members and new members at several locations, booth No.11128 in the North Wing, No. 40460 in the North Lobby, and No. 65229 in the West Wing. In addition, per tradition, Jon Osburn and the Spirit tour truck will be set up amid the action in the Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium lot during the entire show. Stop by any of these and join or renew your membership for a discount.

Several seminars are planned for Thursday and Friday. Among them is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration seminar from 1-2 p.m. Thursday called “CMV Inspections 101.” From 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Cummins Crosspoint will host a seminar on “Natural Gas for Freight Haulers.” From 4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., the FMCSA has scheduled a seminar on the agency’s “hot topics.” On Friday, FMCSA will present a seminar from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on what’s current with CSA.

All seminars take place in South Wing Conference Center Room B-104. All seminars are free and do not require advanced registration.

The FMCSA has also scheduled a session for Friday to solicit ideas and information on new entrant testing requirements for property carriers, freight forwarders and brokers. Interested parties who do not attend the session in person can log on to to view a live or archived version.

The session is one of many events that Land Line Magazine and “Land Line Now” will be covering throughout the show. Tune in to Sirius XM Road Dog Channel 128 each evening for interviews and happenings from the show floor and check in with Land Line’s “Pork Chop Diaries” starting on Wednesday of show week.

One place you’ll find us is covering a special check presentation from Shell Rotella. At 1 p.m. on Friday at the Shell booth No. 14125, Shell Rotella will present a $10,000 check to the OOIDA Mary Johnston scholarship fund. The check will be accepted by OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer and OOIDA Board of Director Bill Rode of Eagle, Idaho.

You’ll also find us in the show truck lot at 2 p.m. Friday for a special event new to MATS. An industry-wide movement called “Trucking Moves America Forward” kicks off with live entertainment and giveaways and you are invited to attend. The goal is to shape a positive image of the trucking industry. All sectors of the trucking industry are brought together to engage policymakers, industry professionals and the public in learning more about how trucking contributes the nation’s economy, infrastructure and everyday lives of all Americans.

FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro is this year’s headliner for the Fleet Forum, planned from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 26. The event requires registration to attend.

The schedule of events at MATS also includes several that honor truck drivers. Travel Centers of America will announce the winner of their “Citizens Award.” Goodyear will once again present its Highway Hero Award at MATS, an annual tradition. The program honors trucking professionals who put themselves in harm’s way to help others.

Back by popular demand is the annual Health Awareness Walk sponsored by the Trucking Solutions Group and Travel Centers of America. The purpose of this 1.5-mile walk is to get people up and moving and to enable healthy habits. Traditionally, it’s been held at the Expo Center, but this year TSG has announced the health walk will start at Papa John’s parking lot and participants will walk to Churchill Downs and back. It’s planned for late Thursday afternoon. Watch for details.

SUBHEAD: Entertainment preview
Show trucks always draw a big crowd. Spend some time in Lot J behind the West Wing and you’ll know why. That’s where the best of the best will queue up to compete for the 25th annual Paul K. Young Truck Beauty Championship. The annual “trophy dash” on Saturday morning is sure to produce some surprises. It always does.

Aside from the famous show trucks, what famous people might you run into roaming around MATS? Popular“Ice Road Truckers”star and OOIDA Life MemberAlex Debogorski of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, will take his place among the regulars at MATS.

Attendees may also run into country music artist Phil Vassar, who will be hoping for “Just Another Day in Paradise” this year.

Many drivers know the voices of Red Eye Radio, and MATS is a place to put a face with the names. Join Eric Harley and Gary McNamara as they welcome special guests at the Red Eye Radio booth. They’ll have country music artists Craig Morgan on Thursday and Sarah Evans on Friday as well as deck boss Edgar Hansen of the popular TV show “Deadliest Catch.” Hansen will be at the booth during all three days of the show.

This year’s lineup of concert music won’t disappoint. Grammy Award-winner Gretchen Wilson will perform at the annual free concert for show attendees. The concert sponsored by Mobil Delvac will take place on Friday, March 28, at Freedom Hall. Attendees can visit Mobil Delvac booth No.18160 in the North Wing on Thursday and Friday to pick up their free tickets. Up-and-comer Chris Hennessee of Nashville will open the show.

There’s one celebrity sighting that breaks from tradition and is sure to raise a few eyebrows. Blue Tiger, the makers of Bluetooth headsets, will be bringing in a real live tiger named Blu on Friday. See Blu and learn about the new Elite headset at booth No.64072.

SUBHEAD:  But wait, there’s more
For truckers, the Mid-America Trucking Show is more than a monster tradeshow. It’s a place where the trucking community sets up booths and tents at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium parking lot along what’s been dubbed “the yellow brick road.” This year, the parking lot is sponsored by Travel Centers of America. Watch for Land Line’s complete report on the activities at Papa John’s, coming next week on Land Line’s daily news online.

Land Line staff editors contributed to this article.

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