Laroues receive NAST championship trophy at MATS

| Friday, March 28, 2003

As the new National Association of Show Trucks national champions, OOIDA members Jody and Laurie Laroue, of Sault St. Marie, Ontario, Canada, received the Truck-Lite Trophy.

Truck-Lite Co. made the presentation March 21 during the Dave Nemo Network press conference at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY.

The Laroues have operated L & L Trucking for six years. Jody has been trucking for eleven. Both Jody and his wife Laurie drive their 2000 Freightliner Classic XL, powered by a 550 horsepower Caterpillar. They pull a 2000 Manac 53-foot dry van. In just their third year showing, their rig beat the best competition from two countries.

Their rig was named "One Last Ride" shortly after Jody's mother passed away. It is adorned with murals of stagecoaches, with her mother pictured as a stagecoach passenger and her dad as the stagecoach driver. He passed away 19 months earlier, and is shown taking her for "One Last Ride."

Several years ago, Jody was off work almost a year due to a severe back injury. Laurie took over driving and kept the company going until Jody could resume driving. Laurie still drives and does all the office work. Their 11-year-old daughter and master detailer, Lindsay, joins them for the truck shows.

The Laroues will receive $5,000 from Truck-Lite, and a replica of the Truck-Lite Trophy engraved with the image of their winning tractor. The permanent Truck-Lite Trophy, with brass plates engraved with the names of all the winners, is kept in a special case at Truck-Lite headquarters, Falconer, NY.

The second place trophy and a check for $3,000 went to Chuck Prigge of Sandvik Trucking, Valley Center CA. The company-owned 1996 Peterbilt 379, also Caterpillar powered, is white with purple ripping front to back. It has more than 400 LEDs. Prigge, who has been trucking 16 years is in his third year showing and enjoys competing against, and often beating, company owner Bill Sandvik.

Jerry Harker, Wyoming MI, picked up the third place trophy and a $2,000 check. A driver for Van Eerden Trucking, Harker has 54 years in the business. He does all the preparation on the 2003 Cat, powered Peterbilt 379 and its 2002 Wabash reefer trailer. The entire rig is two-tone green with stainless trim.

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