This week, for the first time in a long time, truckers from
across the country will not find the OOIDA booth in the East Wing at the
Kentucky Expo Center during the Mid-America Trucking Show.
A huge construction project is underway and many exhibitors
- including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association - have been
Staff from both OOIDA and "Land Line Now" will be at the
Association's booth, No. 7670, in the West Hall of the center. To get to the
West Hall, just enter at the registration desk for the West Wing. There are two
hallways - one to the West Wing, and one down to the West Hall area where the
OOIDA booth is.
Land Line Magazine
staff is also attending the show, with Managing Editor Sandi Soendker, Senior
Editor Jami Jones and Staff Writer Charlie Morasch gathering the latest in
trucking news from dawn to dark.
OOIDA's "The Spirit of the American Trucker" rig will be
outside, about halfway along the front of the South Wing, and Ron Mermis will
have the OOIDA NASCAR simulator at the satellite truck parking, which is at the
Papa John's Cardinal Stadium parking lot.
The show opened today and runs through Saturday, March 24. There will
be more than 800,000 square feet of indoor exhibits with another 200,000 feet
of outside exhibits.
Toby Young, president of Exhibit Management Associates, the
company behind the show, recently told "Land Line Now" on XM Satellite Radio
that even though the floor plan has changed, the show still has a lot to offer.
With more than 1,000 exhibitors, if you're looking for
what's new in the trucking industry, MATS is the place to be.
All of the Class 6, 7 and 8 truck manufactures, along with
all major diesel engine makers and more than 60 trailer makers, will be
exhibiting at the show.
If you need tips and information about how to make the most
out of your business, Young said the show will offer a full slate of
educational seminars to help you out. Those seminars will include information
on topics ranging from driver health to hazmat security, and from getting your
own authority to roadside inspections.
One seminar on Saturday will be dedicated to the topic of
biodiesel in the trucking industry and will feature Tom Verry of the National
Other seminars will include representatives from the Federal
Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Canada Border Crossing Services and
Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement.
And if you're looking for information on a particular area,
the show floor will feature several pavilions dedicated to various segments of
the trucking industry. For example, if you've ever thought about giving
expediting a try, stop by the Expediter Experience in the West Wing.
And if you're into the latest technological gadgets, Young
said you'll be able to find them at the Mid-America Internet and Technology
Another popular attraction every year at the show is the
Paul K. Young Memorial Truck Beauty Championship. The Stars and Stripes Event
is now in its 18th year.
The rigs take center stage at this show, and Mid-America is
presenting the Big Rig Build-Off for the third year in a row. The build-off has
also been moved to the west side of the expo center this year.
The entertainment is always a big draw at MATS, and this
year is no exception.
Country music stars Big and Rich will be in concert on
Friday night, along with Cowboy Troy. Tickets are available at the Kenworth
booth, and two will be given out free of charge to each CDL holder while they
Country singer Lorrie Morgan will also be on hand at the
show, along with the crew of the Chrome Shop Mafia.
Major league baseball hall of famer Johnny Bench will be
signing autographs, and world class fisherman Jimmy Houston will be on the
scene as well.
The Mid America Trucking Show is open to the public from 10
a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
For more information on the show, you can check out the Web
site at truckingshow.com.
Though online registration is now closed, anyone who wants
to go can still register at the show itself for just $5.
Young said he is expecting nearly 80,000 people in
attendance this year.