Those of you who follow truckbloguk on twitter you might well have realised that we are now being followed by, Ice Road Trucking royalty, Lisa Kelly. After I tweeted her (ooh-er!) to see if she’d follow the blog, she duly obliged. So as an odd dedication, I thought i’d do an American truck based post and as yet I don’t think I have ever said to much about my Mid America Truck Show Experience.
Back in the year 2001, when I was a mere whipper snapper, I went to my one and ony American truck show to date. The Mid American Truck Show in Louisville, Kentucky. Part of the main reason for going, other than my slight enthusiasm for a truck, I went out to meet with Panelite. Now for those of you who are saying, Whooooooo?? Panelite were the leading US aftermarket light supplier. You know all the extra orange lights US trucks have, most of them were down to Panelite. At the time the company was run by the founder and his wife, but in the last few years, due to family differences the company is no more, very sad. I am told by a very reliable source that the rights to production and all other copyrights have been bought by a Canadian company, so hopefully the products will be back on your American shelves before long. The reason I went was, at the time I had been talking with Panelite about starting a European dealership as this was something they were supposedly keen to do, but due to many reasons, not that i really understood them all, it never happened. Shame. Look how successful Kelsa and Spot-On have become.
Here are a couple of the then, Panelite show trucks.
I did think on the way to the show, how would they light the trucks up to show the lights. At that point i hadn’t seen trucks plugged into the mains before, once again I guess the American started the trend. One of each of the main American truck’s were represented, such as the Kenworth, Freightliner and Peterbilt above, all kitted out with every possible stainless steel accessorie that you can imagine. The rest of the show was just a impressive as the Panelite stand. It was just amazing really, for those of you who just think its another truck show, your wrong. All I can suggest is that at some point you make the effort to get yourself to the US of A for a show and I highly highly reccomend the MATS.
Out side the is the Truck Beauty Contest. This is really the same sort of standard of trucks as you get at the Nordic Trophy. The trucks were just amazing. Everything was polished stainless steel and great paint jobs. The owner drivers must put so much effort in, they deserve a trophy each! This was the first place I saw wooden floors inside truck cabs! This Kenworth was a prime example of the standard.
As over here, an awful lot of owner drivers have their own trailers and these too are treated to the custom treatment. The highlight of these trailer’s, for me, are the quilted effect rear doors, just wicked, although I imagine following along behind them with the Nevada sun shining at its peak, must test the best of sunglasses!!
A chunky spud of a tipper.
Last of all for those of you haven’t been to the States, one of the best things about travelling about the Interstates is seeing thr trucks in their natural environment. In a lot of states cars still have lower speed limits than cars. Most American trucks will purr along at 70 or 80mph. So you can be driving along and all you can see in your rear view mirror rapidly gaining on you are sights like this;