Show Trucks, Seminars, Swag, & Singing: 2017 GATS Recap


From August 24th – 26th, the Commercial Truck Trader team attended The Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, Texas, and yes, it was great!! This year’s GATS boasted 554 exhibitors, 150 show-trucks, multiple seminars and expert panels, giveaways, and live entertainment on the 500,000 square-foot show floor!! It was a full and exciting weekend for registered attendees who numbered over 50,000!! Keep reading for all the highlights from GATS!!

IMG_2370First, Commercial Truck Trader was there!! We met new dealers and long-time customers alike, handed out 500 color-changing CTT cups, 500 CTT chip clips, and 500 CTT pens!! Those blue-to-purple cups were especially popular, as show attendees sought out our booth to say hi and get some fun swag. If you didn’t get one, don’t worry, we’ll be bringing those cups to more trade show booths in the future!!

There was live entertainment at GATS throughout the weekend. Red Eye Radio hosted daily concert series, including performances from country music stars Jerrod Niemann and Tyler Farr. Overdrive and Uber Freight sponsored a Friday “Take a Load Off” after-party, headlined by trucker and singer-songwriter Tony Justice. A Trucker Talent Search debuted 3 finalists from an initial group of 42 contestants. Richard Woods won the competition, $1,000, and a studio recording session after singing “Gran,” a song he wrote honoring his great-grandfather.

IMG_2429Seminars and expert panels were offered throughout each day of GATS, on topics from staying healthy on the road to growing trends in the business. Advocacy groups were there to educate as well. “Rigs Without Cigs” encouraged truckers to kick tobacco to the curb, while “Truckers Against Trafficking” had a walk-in trailer for drivers to learn how to identify and report human trafficking they might see on the road. A documentary, “Be Prepared to Stop,” also premiered at GATS to highlight the nation’s dependence on trucking transportation and the need to repair our crumbling infrastructure. A 5k run and 1-mile walk raised money for the St. Christopher’s Trucker Development and Relief Fund.

IMG_2413The Pride and Polish truck competition took place again this year, with Best of Show categories for working bobtail, working combo, limited-mileage bobtail, limited-mileage combo, and builders class, as well as an overall People’s Choice category. You can read up on what inspired the GATS Pride and Polish winners here, and can view a full list of winners here.

There was another winner over the weekend as well, Safety Sammy, the moniker voted on by attendees to be the name of the new mascot for Trucking Moves America Forward. That’s Sammy in the picture below with our own Director of Strategic Initiatives, Charles Bowles!!

IMG_2379Finally, GATS was a great opportunity to meet a wide range of fellow industry workers. From dealers to truckers and fleet managers, we were thrilled to discuss with so many people the advantages of buying and selling commercial vehicles on Commercial Truck Trader. We hope you had a chance to stop by and look forward to meeting more of you at future truck shows (we’ll be at the Carolina’s Truck Club Meeting in September next!!). In the meantime, be sure to head over to to explore all the services we offer!!

Texas Love 2**We’d also like to mention that while we were in Texas to attend GATS, Hurricane Harvey was about to make landfall. The situation in Houston is a tragedy, and our thoughts are with all those affected by the flooding. The heroes we now see rising up to save lives, from law enforcement and rescue teams to citizens lending a hand, inspire us all. We firmly believe that Houston will soon rebuild, stronger than ever.

What was your favorite part of 2017’s Great American Trucking Show?? Let us know in the comments below!!


Ethan Smith HeadshotAbout the Author

Ethan Smith

Ethan is a Content Curator for Trader Interactive, serving the commercial brands Commercial Truck Trader, Commercial Web Services, and Equipment Trader. Ethan believes in using accessible language to elevate conversations about industry topics relevant to commercial dealers and their buyers.

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