My Very First Trucking Show
By Ciara Sleeth
In March of this year I was blessed with the opportunity to attend my very first truck show, the Mid America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY. I rolled into Louisville on Friday morning to find dark clouds and downpours of rain over the huge Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, but a little rain wouldn’t kill my excitement.
Right after we checked in it was straight out to the PKY Beauty contest lot to see all the decked-out rigs I have been reading about for years. You name it - it was there! There was everything from the new-aged look of the lowridin’, flat-painted clean looking rides to the classic, old school rigs, like the 1952 Peterbilt 350 and the 1989 Ford LTL 9000 with the original paint scheme, just to name a few.
I saw just how much customizing is involved when getting into the tiniest details of these rigs in every place you can imagine, such as in Clean Slate’s “The Low Life”. I truly believe you could have looked over that truck the entire length of the show and not seen every detail that was poured into that ’07 Peterbilt. Truly amazing.
The themes of the trucks were as different as the drivers’ themselves, showing each drivers’ own background, interest, imagination and how much they love their industry through ways only possible by how they show their rig.
It was a challenge to stay dry out on the lot Friday as thunderstorms rolled through and at one point tornado sirens sounded all over town, but the raindrops made it great for pictures. One of my favorite things to do was talking with all the drivers and builders of the trucks. To hear their stories, have some laughs and make some really cool new friendships. In my eyes, it was priceless! The drivers I spoke with came from all over the US and Canada, but I found it funny that I’d be talking with someone and find that we only lived an hour apart. Now that’s cool.
Saturday I awoke to blue skies and sunshine, Thank God. That afternoon I attended the Women In Trucking “Salute To Women Behind The Wheel” where awards were presented to women with 1, 2, 3, & 4 million safe miles. While there I met some truly special ladies who I thank for such a warm welcome into their trucking family and for inviting me to come. It was a pleasure.
Following the “Salute” I went back down to the PKY lot to see who had received the awards and to watch them leave the show. It was awesome watching the drivers show off for the final time of the show, while getting covered in diesel soot. They lined up, grabbing gears, black smoke just pouring from the polished stacks, with turbos’ screaming, they faded away. Back to the coalmines, interstates and landfills all over the country.
In the end, the best part of all was the people you met and the friends you made. The two days I spent at the show were days I will keep with me all my life, with people I hope to meet again very soon and look forward to having even more fun with. I also hope (Lord willing!) to come back to the Mid America Truck Show for many more years to come.