The Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky is the largest annual heavy-duty trucking event in the world, with over 79,000 visitors and more than 1,000 exhibitors in 2014 (including Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers). In late March, truck drivers, truck owners and truck enthusiasts came out in droves for the 2014 Mid-America Trucking Show—commonly known as MATS—and, despite the wet weather, they weren’t disappointed.
Trucks, trucks and more trucks
The Mid-America Trucking Show is full of eye-candy for truck lovers. Inside, top manufacturers like Kenworth, Peterbilt, Freightliner, Mack, Western Star and Volvo display their latest trucks; outside, truck owners show off their custom-painted, decked-out, prized big rigs. Check out some of the truck highlights in this video:
Truck beauty contest winners and wannabes
The 25th annual PKY (Paul K. Young) Truck Beauty Championship at MATS 2014 kick started the show truck season, with more than 75 trucks vying for the championship title. Among the lineup of impeccably detailed and shiny trucks: everything from a classic 1948 Peterbilt 270 COE to a 2014 Kenworth W900L.
Also on display at the 2014 Mid-America Trucking Show: Vinnie Diorio’s 2013 Peterbilt 389 truck (pictured above), which won the 2013 Pride & Polish National Championship in the ‘Limited-Mileage Combo’ category, and Bill Rethwisch’s orange-and-white 2012 Peterbilt 389, which won the Shell Rotella Super Rigs contest ‘Best of Show’ in 2013.
Check out some of the most awesome polished big rigs in FleetOwner’s online gallery, ‘Sights at the 2014 Mid America Trucking Show.’
A Western Star Transformer
In the upcoming movie Transformers: Age of Distinction, Optimus Prime will be played by a shiny red-and-blue Western Star 4900X truck, which got a lot of attention in the Daimler booth at the 2014 Mid-America Trucking Show. The Western Star truck replaces the original Optimus Prime, a Peterbilt 379.
The future of trucking
Not surprisingly, ‘aerodynamic,’ ‘light’ and ‘fuel-efficient’ were the buzzwords at the 2014 Mid-America Trucking Show. Walmart showcased its WAVE (Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience) concept truck (which people seem to either love or hate). Walmart partnered with Peterbilt and Great Dane on the carbon-fiber truck-and-trailer combo; the trailer alone is about 4,000 pounds lighter than a conventional trailer.1
Paccar-owned Kenworth Trucks and Peterbilt Motors both showcased trucks that boast aerodynamic design, fuel efficiency and low cost of operation, the Kenworth T680 and the Cummins/Peterbilt 579 “SuperTruck”.2 The Kenworth T680 was recently named the 2013 ATD Heavy Duty Commercial Truck of the Year.3
Peterbilt is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2014 with a national tour starring a special edition Model 579, with a red-and-white paint job that matches the original 1939 Peterbilt truck.
Not to be outdone by the truck manufacturers, Dana introduced lighter-weight steer axles and tandem axles at MATS 2014; Alcoa unveiled the world’s lightest heavy-duty truck wheel, claimed to save up to 1,400 pounds per truck.4
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