The 2018 installment of the Guilty By Association Truck Show promises to be quite the celebration.
Not only will GBATS be celebrating its 10th annual show, but it will also be an opportunity to recognize the 45th anniversary of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
4 State Trucks and OOIDA have partnered to present the 10th annual GBATS from Sept. 27-29 in Joplin, Mo.
“With this being our 45th anniversary at OOIDA, we wanted to do something special,” OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh said. “We’ve attended GBATS several times over the years, and it has been a great show for truck drivers. Bryan Martin and 4 State Trucks have always been great friends to our members, and we think it will be a great partnership.
“We think it will be a great weekend for our members. We encourage all of our members to take part in this fun-filled time and celebrate our 45th anniversary.”
Martin, the owner of 4 State Trucks and organizer of GBATS, said the partnership is a great fit.
“With it being our 10th year and OOIDA’s 45th year, it should be pretty exciting,” Martin said. “It brings more to the party and more excitement. We’re looking forward to this partnership.”
The 2018 version of GBATS is expected to be the largest one yet. Martin said he anticipates about 600 trucks in attendance. The first GBATS in 2009 had only 38 trucks.
OOIDA also knows a thing or two about growth. Started in 1973 to fight for the rights of all truck drivers, the Association had humble beginnings and operated out of a trailer chained to a light pole at a truck stop in Grain Valley, Mo. Now, OOIDA is the largest national organization of professional truck drivers in the United States with more than 160,000 members.
The show’s first full day will be Friday, Sept. 28, and will include such activities as big rig burnouts, a tour of 4 State Trucks, a truck and tractor pull, a motorcycle stunt rider demonstration, and fireworks.
The activities for Saturday, Sept. 29 include more big rig burnouts, a pedal tractor pull for kids, big rig drag races, a truck convoy to raise money for the Special Olympics of Southwest Missouri, and a downtown street party that will include free concerts from Confederate Railroad and Tony Justice.
Confederate Railroad was one of the most popular country bands of the 1990s with such tunes as “Queen of Memphis,” “Trashy Women” and “Daddy Never was the Cadillac Kind.”
The band released its self-titled debut album in 1992 and climbed to No. 7 in the U.S. country charts. The album included three top 10 singles with “Queen of Memphis,” “Jesus and Mama,” and “Trashy Women.”
The second album, “Notorious,” was released in 1994 and reached No. 6, featuring such singles as “Daddy Never was the Cadillac Kind,” “Elvis and Andy,” and “Summer in Dixie.”
Justice, who still works as a truck driver, will open for Confederate Railroad on Sept. 29.
Last year, about 420 trucks participated in the truck convoy, generating about $115,000 for Special Olympics of Southwest Missouri.
“Truck drivers are big-hearted people,” Martin said. “The convoy is approaching $600,000 raised over the years for Special Olympics.”
For Friday’s entertainment, a motorcycle stunt rider will attempt an “Evel Knievel-style” jump over a tractor-trailer.
“We tried to put a lot of interaction, family activities and fun activities into the show,” Martin said.
The show is also an opportunity to thank truck drivers for all that they do.
“I don’t think your average trucker encounters a lot of hospitality throughout the course of the day,” Martin said. “Between shippers, receivers, commercialized truck stops, toll booths, scales, they don’t see a lot of hospitality. This show welcomes truck drivers with open arms.”
A complete schedule of events can be found here, and you can preregister here.
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