Image & Interests by Roger & Heather Hogeland
Louisville this year was outstanding! I hope many of you were able to be there and join us. I have so much to say I really have no idea where to actually begin. There were press conferences, seminars, luncheons, displays, contests, giveaways, old friends, new friends, awards presentations, pork chop sandwiches, new trucks, old trucks, celebrities and everything in between.
Volvo Trucks unveiled for us the world’s fastest hybrid truck, which is called “mean green” as they are further expanding their operations into more eco-friendly areas and integrated systems. This truck holds some unofficial speed records and is going to be in Utah on April 25th to see what official records it can produce.
Mack trucks revealed their ‘fully integrated’ bulldog technology and outstanding warranty programs that include an adorable gold bulldog hood ornament on all trucks that are fully integrated with Mack power train components.
Kenworth presented the brand new T 680 class 8 tractor, which is almost a combination of a T660 and a T2000 but is a stand-alone, stand out truck all of its own. It is a beautiful tractor inside and out and looks to be a comfortable work and resting place.
Freightliner is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and had a “revolution” concept truck at the show, which is a fully operational day cab-sleeper truck that is looking toward the future. They also presented awards for trucks designed for the future to three very talented young men.
Western Star had a really different, really attractive booth set up this year. It looked like a movie theater with red velvet curtains and popcorn and marquees and everything. They gave away calendars and posters featuring their trucks that looked like movie posters along with the popcorn and backpacks.
International had the entire end of south hall set up with their trucks, tractors, motors, military vehicles and all the components you could get presented in a museum type booth that was very interesting.
Peterbilt had their beautiful girls there in sparkly formal dresses giving away the little red oval pins and having their pictures taken with anyone who wanted it, and believe me a lot of people took them up on it, including me!
Roger and I had a fantastic time as some of our dearest friends and family joined us this year to do the show and we thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent with them. My cousin Patty got there on Monday after she delivered her load and was at Papa John’s Stadium ahead of much of the crowd so she claimed a primo parking spot! Then Natalie joined us on Thursday, Steve and Brenda came on Thursday night and joined us Friday just in time for the Ultra One Platinum club members’ luncheon put on by TA/Petro. We were treated to a really fantastic lunch with (quoting Brenda) “real linen napkins and tablecloths!” They treated us very well and we were introduced to the CEO who stood up and spoke to us about the commitment TA/Petro has made to improve our way of life, and what is coming to us from them in the future. It is really exciting how well they have been listening to us, as you will begin to notice in their travel centers soon.
We all attended the ‘Salute to Women Behind The Wheel’ put on by the Women In Trucking Association and were treated to a concert and dessert bar (including two chocolate fountains!) with coffee and tea and lemonade before WIT founder Ellen Voie introduced us to the speaker Joyce Brenny who is also WIT’s most influential woman of the year. Joyce gave us a very inspiring talk and we were all touched by her heartfelt words. After the million plus mile awards were presented we were ushered out to the lobby to have our photo taken in our red WIT t-shirts. We have one woman more this year than last but have not, as yet, met our goal, which is to break the world’s record for female CDL holders in one photo. That honor belongs to, STILL, a group in Australia, but look out! WE WILL BEAT IT!!!
At the salute I ran into an old friend and was able to reconnect with her, it was Kim Grimm and we had not seen each other in four or five years, maybe even longer since it has been almost seven years since we sold our truck and became freight haulers! Kimmee, it was wonderful to see you again J, I look forward to catching up soon. And Jason Shelley, I am SO sorry I didn’t get to find you out on the show lot, but I was very happy to see you and your beautiful daughter at the Movin’ Out booth, I will get in touch soon.
We went out to the party at Papa John’s on Saturday night after the show itself closed, but it was far from over in that parking lot! There were three different groups BBQ'ing and feeding the many for whatever donations they could raise. We ate some of the best ribs I’ve ever tasted in my life in that lot that night, but there was more, they had hot dogs and burgers, sausages and turkey plus all the fixins you could imagine. Money was raised for trucker’s charities all over the place by the cookouts and the auctions that were held, and then there was a concert. It was really fantastic out there.
If you have never been to Louisville for MATS, you should really begin planning for next year. The dates are March 21- 23, 2013. We have already made our reservations, you should too! Hope to see you there, until then; y’all stay safe out there, and God Bless!