It’s Show Time!
Relax, have fun and let the competition begin
By Bryan Martin
The intent of this article is to inform you how to get ready for those truck beauty contests! Maybe next time I will give you “The Boss’ Top 10 List” for getting your truck ready for the Show-n-Shine, but for now let’s focus on mental preparation, shall we?
There are dozens of events to attend, from the big shows like MATS and GATS to a host of laid back fairground shows like Waupun, Carlisle and the Big Iron Classic. Regardless of what type, these words of wisdom should apply just fine.
Just do it
Fill out an entry form, register your rig and enter in advance when possible. Some smaller shows will allow you to sign up the day you arrive, but for the larger shows like Vegas, Dallas and Louisville, you need to pre-register as early as possible and lock down hotel rooms. Hotel arrangements are good to nail down early, regardless of show size. Some of these smaller burgs only have two or three motels and they fill up quick!
Load up the ice chest with drinks and snacks — it is an absolute must for those hot summer shows. This will save you some $$ and undoubtedly make you a few friends too!
Make it a family affair
Dads, brothers, kids, uncles, buddies, grandfolks — all work as a team with one focus: wax on, wax off, polish, detail and clean those rigs! The more the merrier when it comes to prepping and cleaning.
Once your ride is prepped, ready and “Rags down” has been called, go look around and interact with the other competitors. There is more to these get-togethers than just sittin’ in a lawn chair next to your truck and waiting on folks to make comments! Hey, if you wanna get really proactive, drag out your grill (if the facilities allow it) and cook burgers and dogs for about 30 people!
Do some research
Look around, get ideas, show interest in other vehicles. Praise and compliments do all of us good. If you like what you see, let ’em know it! If you see stuff you don’t like, keep it to yourself. Remember — different strokes for different folks. In some ways, that is the very aspect that makes the shows interesting.
When it comes time for the awards ceremony, be present, pay attention and if your name isn’t called, don’t sweat it! There are all kinds of judges, with all kinds of likes and dislikes. You don’t need a $50 trophy to know you got a cool truck. And, chances are a bunch of spectators liked your rig, and even told you that very thing: “Mister, you sure got a nice truck!”
Bryan Martin leads the Chrome Shop Mafia at 4State Trucks in Joplin, Mo.
Truck Beauty Shows
Walcott Truckers Jamboree
Iowa 80 TA/Walcott, Iowa
Waupun Truck ‘N’ Show
Great American Trucking Show