Show organizers expect 50,000 at GATS this week

| 8/19/2008

With the doors set to open at noon on Thursday, Aug. 21, the 2008 Great American Trucking Show in Dallas promises trucking professionals the latest in truck technology, truck gear and truck entertainment.

The show runs through Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Dallas Convention Center. The show floor is scheduled to open at 10 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The show closes at 6 p.m. all three nights.

Free truck parking, with amenities
Free truck parking is available during the three-day event at the 20-acre Reunion Arena parking lot, which is adjacent to the convention center. Click here for directions and a map to the lot. The free truck parking is sponsored by International, a Navistar company.

The lot opens Thursday morning and is for Class 8 trucks only. The spaces are limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Vendors, truckers, friends sponsor GATS poker run for ‘Old Sarge’
OOIDA Life Member John Timmons of Vancouver, WA, goes by “Old Sarge” and takes that nickname from his days as a Marine in Vietnam where he served as a staff sergeant.

He was in Vietnam a long time – from 1967 to 1970 – voluntarily serving three tours to shield his brother from having to go the war zone. Timmons came home a decorated soldier with three Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and a Silver Star.

But his wounds came home with him, too, and now he’s scheduled for surgery on Sept. 25 to see if some of the VA’s top doctors can undo the damage done by a land mine years ago.

His many friends, including Jerry Sims of Gulf Coast Filters Inc., figure Old Sarge could use a helping hand, so they organized a charity poker run at GATS. The poker run begins at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, and continues through 4 p.m. Friday.

Participating booths include Engine Maxx at Booth No. 14087 – where the run starts – as well as OOIDA at Booth No. 13089 and Gulf Coast Filters Inc. at Booth No. 8998.

Prizes include an Engine Maxx fuel-saving device; a PressurePro tire pressure monitoring system worth $795; and a Turbo 3000, valued at $300.

Old Sarge told Reed Black on Land Line Now that he was “at a loss for words” to describe his appreciation for the thoughtfulness of Sims and the others involved in the poker run.

OOIDA offers discounts on memberships
According to the GATS Web site, the show attracted 47,980 registered attendees in 2007. Many of those attendees picked up information and renewed their memberships at the OOIDA booth. This year, OOIDA will be at Booth No. 13089.

A discount dues price of $25 will be available at Booth No. 13089 for new and renewing members of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. The cost of annual membership is regularly $45.

World premiere of ‘Drive and Deliver’
Unique to this year’s show will be a red-carpet, invitation-only premiere of the movie “Drive and Deliver” set for 6 p.m. Friday. A documentary-style film by Academy Award-nominated director Brett Morgen, the film features International’s LoneStar and details the life of long-haul truckers. The film’s makers have said that they wanted to portray the truckers’ world “where the realities of family, business and brotherhood converge into one inspiring story.”

– Staff Writer Reed Black contributed to this report.