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Show Tour 2002

by Jim Park

As the 2002 show season got underway, you'd hardly guess that the industry has just been through one of the nastiest years in decades. Attendance and participation were down a little from last year's numbers, but not dramatically. This suggests that there's still a great deal of enthusiasm for the business in general, and an unfettered interest in just plain 'strutting our stuff.'

Cool weather, rain, and even a little snow conspired unsuccessfully to dampen proceedings at the Central Canadian Truck & Heavy Equipment Expo in Winnipeg in late May. Show organizer Clarence Falk says attendance numbers were good, and both the spectators and the participants seemed to enjoy themselves.

"This was our first time blending the trucks and the heavy equipment," he says. "It was a good fit, and we'll likely be doing it again."

Truckfest, held in Paris, Ont., the following weekend, experienced great weather after last year's virtual rainout. Unfortunately, organizers had to cancel the truck-pull contest at the last minute due to the impossible cost of insuring the event. Attendance was down again this year, but a strong field of show-and-shiners made the weekend a good one.

Mike Cheslock and Ken Hostler duked it out for top honors in the People's Choice and the Top Gun categories, with Cheslock taking the Peoples Choice and Hostler snagging the Top Gun title. Travellers Transportation and H.S. Knill had the largest fleet displays at the show, with H.S. Knill getting the gold for best fleet display, while Jackson Transportation Services (JTS) took top honors for best fleet.

A week later, Mike Cheslock and some 73 other entrants were competing further west at the Brigden Pull & Shine in Brigden, Ont., near Sarnia. Under brilliant sun at the town fairgrounds, this friendly event attracted pretty good crowds to the wild and noisy pulls, and of course to a lot of glitzy trucking hardware.

None were glitzier than Mike Duffy's incredible International daycab show truck, with lights covering just about every square inch and a licence plate that reads 'Spotless'. Pure understatement. Not surprisingly, he took home three trophies to add to what must be a huge collection.

Cheslock and his immaculate 1995 Peterbilt also garnered three well deserved wins, including best interior. This is a money-making working truck, but it sports a hardwood floor and nary a spot of dirt anywhere.

The Peoples Choice prize was won by Jim Provost's brilliant-blue Peterbilt, but he had other trucks there and also won the award for best fleet showing three to five trucks.

That same weekend saw a different sort of show-and-shine event up in Palmerston, Ont., where 60-plus bobtail tractors and a sprinkling of straight trucks didn't compete at all. There's no judging at this one-day show, though every entrant gets an award and some goodies, so it amounts to a fun day in the park for trucking families. It's run alongside a mighty amusing railway hand-car race event, and there's a fun fair attached as well, so it attracts a lot of non-trucking locals too.

For us it's a good chance to meet some old friends, like Verdun Zurbrigg of Zurbrigg Farms. Among the nicest trucks on display were the three owned by Tom Stull, two Kenworths and a Pete, proudly introduced to us by Tom's sister Jen. "That's my baby," she said, pointing to Tom's brilliant-yellow W900.

And in the end, whether they're judged or not, it's exactly that kind of pride that these summer shows are all about.

The Winners

Central CanadianTruck & Heavy Equipment Expo - Winnipeg, Man., May 23-25

Bobtails & Combinations
Combination, tractor trailer, O/O - Jonathan Dyck, Jade Transport
Combination, tractor trailer, company - Ben Hiebert, Garelan Express
Bobtail, 2001-2002 - Mark Brandt, Mark Brandt Trucking
Bobtail, 1999-2000 - John Erikson, Erickson Transport
Bobtail, 1998 or older - Dana Maxwell, Jade Transport
Bobtail, company truck - Mark Brandt Trucking

Specialties
Specialized - Nick Roscoe & Gary Mangat, Dr. Hook Towing
Engine - Allan Clayton
Custom mural - Allan Clayton
Custom paint, bobtail - Randy Rebillard, Termat Ent.
Custom graphic, combination - Jonathan Dyck, Jade Transport
Custom graphic, bobtail - Gary Mangat, Dr. Hook Towing
Interior, excluding sleeper - Jonathan Dyck, Jade Transport
Interior, OEM sleeper - Randy Rebillard, Termat Ent.
Best of show, combo - Allan Clayton
Best of show, bobtail - Mark Brandt Trucking
Participants choice - Dave Thomas, Weymat Express
Peoples choice - Mark Brandt Trucking

Truckfest - Paris, Ont., June 1-2

Bobtails
Conventional without bunk, company - Chris Hall, Sleeman Brewery
Conventional with bunk, 2000 or newer, company - Dave and Kim Bradshaw, Heritage Truck Lines
Conventional with bunk, 1999 or older, company - Brent Kurtz, Brian Kurtz Trucking
Conventional with bunk, 2000 or newer, O/O - Dan Lubberts, Mass Transport
Conventional with bunk, 1999 or older, O/O - Tyler Wilson, Paris Truck & Trailer
Straight truck without bunk, company or O/O - Jason Becker, Becker Bros. Towing
Straight truck with bunk, company or O/O - Don Davidson, Travellers Transportation
Dump truck - Dennis Walters, Bev Goit Haulage
Tow truck, light, company or O/O - Jason Becker, Becker Bros. Towing
Tow truck, heavy, company or O/O - Mike Kaczur, Ken's Towing (Brantford)

Tractor-Trailers
Reefer, company - Shawn Bowles, J.S. Crawford
Van, company - Jay Anderson, JTS Inc.
Flat/dropdeck, company - Brandon Devereux, Fleetway Transport
Tank, company - Chris Hall, Keith Hall Transport
Reefer, O/O - Bob Britton, J.M. Schneider
Flat or drop deck, O/O - Ben Booker, Pelton Transport
Tank, O/O - Cary Southwell, Crawford Transport
Livestock company or O/O - Bruce Prine, H.S. Knill
Soft side or rack & tarp, company or O/O - Mike Cheslock, IFS
Specialized, company or O/O - Shane Lawrence, Fleetway Transport
Trains, company or O/O - Al Roberts, J.S. Crawford
Heavy specialized - Harold Marsh, Redi-Mix

Specialties
Paint - Bruce Prine, H.S. Knill
Lights - Mike Cheslock, IFS
Restored - Gordon Currie, Brian Kurtz Trucking
Display - H.S. Knill
Fleet - JTS Inc.
Pioneer Award - Ernie Sager
Top Gun - Ken Hostler, Hoss Cartage and Distribution
Peoples Choice - Mike Cheslock, IFS

Brigden Pull & Shine - Brigden, Ont., June 7-9

Working conventional with sleeper - Steve Vanderzwan
Working conventional - Jason Verkaik
Cabover - Terry Volger
Company-owned truck - Jim Provost
Working truck, 2002 or newer - Colin Dobbin
Working truck, 2000-01 - Steve Vanderzwan
Working truck, 1996-99 - Tom Quinton
Working truck, 1991-95 - Mike Cheslock
Working truck, pre-1991 - Jason Verkaik
Restored non-working truck - Mike Duffy
Paint, pre-2001 - Mike Duffy
Interior, working truck - Mike Cheslock
Display area, fleet - Travellers Transportation
Fleet (3-5 trucks) - Jim Provost
Fleet (6 or more trucks) - Grant Warburton
Display area, single truck - Warner Transport
Tractor-trailer, reefer - Bob Pearce
Tractor-trailer, van - Jim Provost
Tractor-trailer, livestock/feed - C.J. Taylor
Tractor-trailer, float/flat/curtain - Mike Cheslock
Tractor-trailer, dump - Auke Zylstra
Tractor-trailer, trains - Colin Dobbin
Straight truck or light working truck - Rodney Firefighters
Pickup or SUV, pre-1995 - Bryan Morton
Pickup or SUV, 1995 or newer - Rene Warnez
Best O/O truck - Bob Pearce
Best show truck - Mike Duffy
Peoples choice - Jim Provost

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