2023 Guilty By Association Truck Show Rolls On

Pam Pollock
November 2023

JOPLIN, MO…  The 2023 Guilty By Association Truck Show (GBATS), held on September 21-23  at the 4 State Trucks complex and the Joplin 44 Petro, in Joplin, Missouri was truly one for the books!  Obstacles galore, including adverse weather (the rain, oh the never-ending rain) and Joplin city officials nixing the planned downtown free Roots & Boots music concert and Truckers Convoy because of concerns about the aforementioned thunderstorms, gave the 4 State Trucks staff plenty of last minute challenges (and probably a lot of migraine headaches).  Friday night’s Truck and Tractor Pull was also cancelled due to the wet and muddy conditions.

The average person would have thrown up their hands in despair,  but this is the Chrome Shop Mafia and defeat is not in their vocabulary. Like a phoenix, they rose to the occasion and turned lemons into lemonade. 

Spectators  grabbed umbrellas and donned rain ponchos and slogged through the saturated parking lots and grassy areas to check out the over 750 trucks registered at the show. And there were some spectacular trucks on display.

A special Monster Truck Mania Show filled the void spot for the Truck and Tractor Pull.

Working through the night, the gang rallied and hustled and transformed one of the 4 State Trucks warehouses in a last minute concert venue for Saturday evening’s Roots & Boots Concert featuring Sammy Kershaw, Collin Raye, & Aaron Tippin.

A fundraising auction provided a  modified 20-spot truck convoy on Saturday evening.  The top 20 bidders won the honor to be in the Convoy. 

GBATS is a major fundraiser for the Special Olympics of SW Missouri.  Bryan Martin, President of 4 State Trucks, was adamant that the Special Olympics could not be let down. Bryan Martin added  the option of another Convoy to the GBATS participants that took place early Sunday morning. 125 Drivers donated $100 directly to the Special Olympics athletes. Over $120,000 was raised by 4 State Trucks and Professional Truck Drivers for the Special Olympics of SW Missouri. 

The weather was dreary and dismal at times, but everyone took it in stride. Truckers were constantly wiping down their trucks, vendors had to secure their canopies, but the atmosphere was one of laughter and camaraderie

A  press release sent out by 4 State Trucks at the conclusion of GBATS, had this message from Bryan Martin, the event promoter for the Guilty by Association Truck Show, “I am so proud of our industry! They rallied, raised some great donations for the charity, and rolled up I-44 with a lotta pride. Sunday’s 9am convoy was held on a beautiful ‘rain free’ morning, I actually got to drive in it, and the positive vibe from convoy participants was like nothing I’ve ever seen. These truckers are truly committed to ‘take care’ of the Special Olympics athletes through the legendary World’s Largest Convoy initiative.”

Winners of the 2023 Guilty By Association Truck Show:

Best Bobtail - Conrad Shada

Best Combo -  Zach Strayer

People's Choice - Brandon Avant

Top Kenworth in Show - Charlie Bates

The Memorial Award - Mason Halcomb

Planning has already begun for the 2025 Guilty By Association Truck Show!