Wheel Jam Truck Show 20 Years Of  Spinning Wheels And Turning Heads!

Pam Pollock
July 2023

HURON, SOUTH DAKOTA….  The 20th Annual Wheel Jam Truck Show was held this past June 1-4th at the South Dakota State Fairgrounds in Huron, South Dakota. The weather was hot, hot, hot and so were the almost 200 trucks who made the trek to Huron.  The Fairgrounds was ablaze with the shining chrome on display.

The Wheel Jam Truck Show has come a long way, baby in the past 20 years!  In an exclusive interview with Scot Marone, owner of 18-Wheel Truck Promotions, LLC, who puts on the show,  we talked about Wheel Jam Truck Show’s humble beginnings and future goals.

Scot said that in 2003, Peggy Besh, who was then the Executive Director of the Huron Chamber of Commerce (she’s now the Manager of the South Dakota State Fair), approached Scot about wanting to host a Wheel Jam at the South Dakota Fairgrounds.  Peggy was planning on having cars, motorcycles, stock cars, and rock and roll bands – but she wanted something new.  She asked Scot for some suggestions.  Scot told her, “How about some trucks?”  Peggy inquired as to whether he meant pick-ups but Scot, himself a Professional Truck Driver replied, “No, 18 wheelers, big rigs!”

Scot, who had never been to a truck show was up for the challenge and although he admits that he and Rich Barnes totally winged that first Wheel Jam Truck Show back in 2003, they knew they had a solid idea that they could build upon.  And they have.  That first truck show featured between 15-18 trucks; this year’s was almost 200 trucks.

Scot said they held driving competitions the first couple of years but moved on to bigger and better things.  One of their best attractions at the Wheel Jam Truck Show has been a staple since the 1st show, the World’s Loudest Dynamic Engine Brake Competition. Scot said that they purchased a Decibel reader for the competition after the 3rd Wheel Jam Truck Show and that’s when it became a true competition.

After 3 years of hosting the Wheel Jam Truck Show, Scot and Rich attended the Big Iron Classic in Kasson, Minnesota and set up a booth to promote the Wheel Jam Truck Show.  This was their first truck show other than their own Wheel Jam Truck Show.  They set up a TV in their booth and played the Dynamic Engine Brake Competition on constant replay.  Soon drivers and show attendees were coming over to their booth, wanting to know what was happening.  Rich Barnes stood up, and like a Carnival Harker, started calling out to the crowd, extoling all the details about Wheel Jam Truck Show!

It was also around this time, said Scot, that Doug Perkins came up to him at the Wheel Jam Truck Show and said to contact Movin’ Out to start promoting the show.  (Thanks Doug!)  We at Movin’ Out are proud to be able to help spread the word all of these many years about Wheel Jam Truck Show!

18-Wheel Truck Promotions, LLC truly rolls out the red carpet for the Professional Truck Drivers and truck owners who attend the Wheel Jam Truck Show.  Scot is adamant that the Drivers come first.  He stated, “Wheel Jam Truck Show is all about the North American Truck drivers and the truck owners.  We are honored to have Drivers come back to Huron year after year and to also welcome new Drivers. Wheel Jam Truck Show has the best truck drivers in the nation in attendance.  They are very professional.” 

That professionalism comes in handy during the annual Saturday Parade in downtown Huron.  The precision of organizing almost 200 trucks to drive through town is amazing to watch.  The Parade is a favorite of Huron locals – who gather along the streets with children air pumping their arms and shrieking with glee when Truck Drivers respond with a blast of their air horns!

18-Wheel Promotions, LLC hosts a Thursday Night Steak Supper at Scot’s home that is free for everyone involved in the truck show – drivers, truck owners, vendors, media.  Limos transport the Drivers from the SD Fairgrounds to Scot’s house and back.  They offer free beverages and Country Bands.  There’s also Friday Night Rockin’ Lights with music from a radio station.

Scot wanted to thank the 18-Wheel Production, LLC crew for all of their hard work in making Wheel Jam Truck Show the huge success that it is.  “We can’t do this without everyone,” he said.  He also thanked all of the Truck Drivers, Sponsors, and Vendors for their support year after year.

I asked Scot what his future goals for the Wheel Jam Truck Show were.  His reply was simple, “Keep growing and make the Wheel Jam Truck Show the premier Truck Show in all of North America! We had a lot of post-show comments from our contestants and sponsors/vendors that this is the best show in the country hands down. So this feat should be sustainable with continued growth in the years to come.”

The dates for the 2024 Wheel Jam Truck Show are June 6-7-8-9. 

Congratulations to the Wheel Jam Truck Show for 20 Years of a “Wheely” Great Truck Show! We at Movin’ Out know that your future will continue to be bright and wonderful.

The 2023 Wheel Jam Truck Show Winner’s List:

Lifetime Achievement Award - Danny Oswald

Legacy Awards - Ray Ross  and  JD Noonan.

The Rick Marone Memorial Award, chosen by the Marone family-  Josh Grotewold/Brockwood Trucking.

Tractor/Trailer: 1973 and older: 1st: Mike Eschen, 1961 Mack H-67 & 1989 Ravens Flat; 2nd: Dennis Eschen, 1962 Mack B61

Tractor/Trailer: 1974-1984: 1st: Larry Olsen, 1982 Kenworth W900A; 2nd: Taylor Buchholz, 1986 Kenworth

Tractor/Trailer: 1985-1995: 1st: Jake Denton, 1995 Peterbilt 379; 2nd: Hofer Land and Cattle, 1995 Peterbilt 379.

Tractor/Trailer: 1996-2006: 1st:  Elton Wek, Premium Best Transport, 2000 Peterbilt 379; 2nd: Daniel and Phyllis Snow, 1996 Freightliner Classic XL

Tractor/Trailer: 2007-2014: 1st: Nichole Cheek, 2008 Peterbilt 389; 2nd: RCA Enterprises, 2014 Peterbilt 389

Tractor/Trailer: 2016-2019: 1st: Jade Transport, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 2018 KW 900L; 2nd: Chris Larson, 2019 Peterbilt 579

Tractor/Trailer: 2020-2023:  Jade Transport, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 2020 Kenworth W900B; 2nd: Jade Transport, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 2023 Peterbilt 389

Tractor/Trailer: New Truck 2024: 1st: WH Trucking, 2024 Peterbilt 389; 2nd:  Stan’s Inc., 2024 Kenworth T680

Tractor/Trailer: Show Truck/Limited Mileage: 1st:  Todd Grim, 1979 Peterbilt 352

Bobtail: 1973 and older — 1st” Roger Kirschmann Trucking, 1966 Kenworth W900

Bobtail: 1974-1984: 1st:  Duane Barclay, 1984 International 4300 TranStar; 2nd:  Stan’s Inc., 1984 Kenworth W900

Bobtail: 1985-1995: 1st: Elton Wek, Premium Best Transport, 1987 Kenworth K100; 2nd:  Jason Steel, 1995 19W W900L

Bobtail: 1996-2006: 1st: Jake Robak, 2004 Peterbilt 379X; 2nd: Jonas Waldner, 2006 Peterbilt, 379

Bobtail: 2007-2014: 1st:  Capitola Trucking, 2010 Peterbilt 389; 2nd:  Matt Kunkle, 2007 Peterbilt 379

Bobtail: 2015-2019: 1st: L&D Peterson, 2015 Peterbilt 289; 2nd: L&D Peterson, 2015 Peterbilt 289

Bobtail: 2020-2023: 1st: Austin Malsom, 2021 Peterbilt 389; 2nd: Conrad Willi, 2023 Peterbilt 389

Bobtail: 2024: 1st:, Stan’s Inc., 2024 Kenworth T680; 2nd: WH Trucking, 2024 Peterbilt 389

Show Truck/Limited Mileage: 1st:  Payton Aragon and Mark Aragon, 2003 Peterbilt 379 EXHD; 2nd:  Wayne and Pearl Holt, 1984 Peterbilt Cabover

Best Cabover: 1st:  Western Provisions, 1979 Peterbilt 352

Specialty Class Bobtail: 1st:  Tim Hurrle, 2023 Peterbilt 389; 2nd: JD Concrete, 2020 Peterbilt 567

Specialty Class Tractor/Trailer: 1st: WH Trucking

Dynamic Engine Brake: 1st: Jennifer Waege, 2001 Kenworth W900L; 2nd: Joe Jandel, 1985 International 9670; 3rd: Gary Dovico, 1958 International 405.; 4th:  Jackson Jefferson, 2009 Freightliner, FLD 120

Driver’s Choice Winners:

Best Interior: Payton Aragon, 2003 Peterbilt 379 EXHD

Light Show Bobtail: Jake Robak, 2004 Peterbilt, 379X

Light Show Tractor/Trailer: JJ&L Trucking, 2021 Peterbilt, 389

Best Fleet Bobtail: Hurrle Trucks, Peterbilts (587, 588, 590, 591

Best Fleet Tractor/Trailer: Jade Transport, Kenworth Peterbilts (550, 551, 552)

Best Bull Rack Tractor/Trailer: Ben Timmerman, 1975 Peterbilt 352

Best Grain Hopper Tractor/Trailer: Nichole Cheek, 2008 Peterbilt 389

Best Van Reefer Tractor/Trailer: Daniel and Phyllis Snow, 1996 Freightliner Classic XL

Best Tanker Tractor/Trailer: Jade Transport, 2020 Kenworth W900B

Best Flatbed Tractor/Trailer: Elton Wek, Premium Best Transport, 2000 Peterbilt 379 EH

Show and Shine: Brendon WilsonWH TruckingMike Eschen; S&N Truckin; Jade Transport; Mann Trucking LLC,; L&D Peterson; Ben Timmerman; Jade Transport; Dennis Eschen