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The Big Ones!

by Jim Park

As the summer clicked past the halfway point, the two big events of the season were just wrapping up: the Fergus Truck Show and Rodeo du Camion. The weather for both events was more accommodating than last year, and the crowds seemed larger than ever.

In the town of Fergus, an hour west of Toronto, show-goers enjoyed some prime country music entertainment this year, thanks to an arrangement with the Ontario Country Performers and Fans Association and promoter Jerry Carroll. The bandstand was busy all weekend with a who's who of rising country talent, topped off on Sunday afternoon by an appearance by the Good Brothers.

The Fergus organizers wowed 'em again with the variety of equipment on display, if not just the sheer number of trucks on the grounds. There were lots of new faces in the crowd this year, like Craig Hanson and his beautifully restored 1981 Kenworth conventional. This one had throngs of wide-eyed fans gathered close all weekend. Hanson said Fergus was the first show he'd taken the truck to, but it won't be the last. He picked up Best Restored honors for his efforts, and we'll be featuring this one in an upcoming Truck of the Month feature.

Many of the regulars made return appearances as well, like perennial favorites Steve and Mary Tede of Droh Transport and their pale-blue 1998 Freightliner Classic, but there were more first-timers in the winner's circle this year than repeat performers. Bob Spear brought his Pete car-carrier along, loaded up with a few classic autos just for appearances, and he carted home a first, as did Neil Molenaar's outstanding '85 Peterbilt 357. His bulk tanker, from Cooney Bulk Sales, was perhaps the brightest thing on the grounds, save for the sun itself.

And of course more than a few of the veterans returned, like Alan D. Kerr of Schneider International. He carted home a second at Fergus a few years back, but said he was there this year more to catch up with old friends than win a prize.

"This is the only time I get to sit still long enough to get re-acquainted with all the guys I haven't seen in ages," Kerr said. "It's just a good time to kick back and relax."

The clouds of black smoke will have cleared by the time you read this, but just barely, at Notre Dame du Nord, Que., the site of Rodeo du Camion. It's near New Liskeard, Ont., about seven hours north of Toronto. The truck pull competition was tighter than ever, and competitors were showing off a little more this year, with antics such as brake stands at the starting line. It's all part of the spectacle that is Rodeo, a show that really is alone in its class.

Rodeo's Show and Shine, like Fergus, had plenty of new faces and several first-timers showing some very respectable looking iron. Yves Gagnon's Sterling logger was one notable entry. With nearly 400,000 km on the clock, over some pretty poor roads, the truck still looks like a showroom demonstrator. Phil Langevin made his first appearance at Rodeo, and stole a first for Best Highway Tractor.

In other action on parade grounds, two of the favorites scored big again this year. Brent Kurtz carted home a first for best highway tractor and van trailer, and nicest chrome, with a respectable second place finish in cleanest paint and lettering to Larry Dyck's emerald green and orange tractor/tank combo. That one stole the hearts, and eyeballs, of the judges again this year. CRS Express of St-Georges, Que., brought down what seemed like half the fleet, and scooped a first for most represented fleet, followed by smaller group of gorgeous red Petes, from Munkittrick, in Bishopton, Que.

Out on the pull track, the modified class still drew the loudest roars from the crowd. Going into the final race of the day, all tied up, Terry Nychuck choked on the starting line and Donald 'Baby Mad Dog' Vachon drove home with top prize for the second year in a row.

"It's the same thing I did last year," Nychuck lamented. "I flicked the wrong switch on the shifter."

While he wouldn't explain exactly what he meant by that, we can still say that he posted the fastest time of the weekend, at something just over eight seconds in beating another challenger in an earlier elimination race.

There was a new contender this year, Don Grant of New Liskeard. He entered a truck in the modified class, a slick looking Pete 359 running a 400 Cat, the same engine as Nychuck. Grant will likely be spending a little time under the hood over the winter, as he was unable to catch either Vachon or Nychuck on the way up the hill. But it's good to see the modified field expanding a little. It'll keep the other two on their toes.

Rodeo's Show and Shine, like Fergus, had plenty of new faces and several first-timers putting up some very respectable looking iron. Yeves Gagnon's Sterling logger was one notable entry. With nearly 400,000 km on the clock, over some pretty poor roads, the truck still looked like a showroom demonstrator. Phil Langevin made his first appearance at Rodeo, and stole a first for best highway tractor.

On a much smaller scale, this year's Burls' Creek Big Rig Show and Shine came off successfully with a turnout of 35 trucks. The weather held and by all accounts, a good time was had by all. The crew from Jackson Transport Systems (J.T.S. Inc.) carted away most of the gold this year, with Jay Anderson picking up Best Custom Truck, Best Tractor-Trailer/Van Combo, and Best Company Truck. His partners in crime, Ken McCarty, Duane Tingey, Sandy Stokes, and Bob Armstrong, all had their arms full when they left as well.

Carla Industries entered several trucks and showed well enough to capture four firsts, while Allan Fancey took home Furthest Travel honors, coming in all the way from South Brookfield, N.S.

Burl's Creek is a new stop on the tour, in its second season, but watch for this one to take its place in the plans of more and more truck show enthusiasts in the coming years.

Next stops for us? The Performance with Pride show in Saskatoon early this month, with a report in our October issue, and then the DuPont Performance Coating Show and Shine at the Truck World 2002 show in Toronto on Sept. 26-28. We're not done yet!

The Fergus Truck Show Winners

Best Unique Purpose
Alan Eadie, Comtow, 2002 Kenworth

Best Heavy Recovery Unit
Mike Caczur, Ken's Towing, 1984 Kenworth

Best Straight Truck
Bennett Smoke, Transpo Freight Systems, 1997 Freightliner

Best pre-2001 Dump Truck
Ray Weber, BJ Bear Grain Co.,
1998 Freightliner

Best 2001 or Newer Dump Truck
Mike Rynard, Luchka Float, 2002
Peterbilt

Best Tractor-Trailer, Dump
Ian Greenwood, Greenwood Haulage,
2002 Peterbilt

Best Tractor-Trailer, Trains
Ray Weber, BJ Bear Grain Co.,
1998 Freightliner

Best Tractor-Trailer, Tank
Neil Molenaar, Cooney Bulk Sales,
1985 Peterbilt

Best Tractor-Trailer, Float, Flat, or Curtain-side
Robert Spear, Export Express Auto Carriers, 2001 Peterbilt

Best Tractor-Trailer, Feed
Ray Weber, BJ Bear Grain Co.,
1998 Freightliner

Best Tractor-Trailer, Livestock
Jeff McLean, Schaus Transport, 1998 Peterbilt

Best Tractor-Trailer, Van
Chris Green, L.E. Walker Transport, 2001 Peterbilt

Best Tractor-Trailer, Reefer
Steve & Janine Woods, Brian Kurtz Trucking, 2000 Kenworth

Best Fleet (6+ trucks together)
J.F. Kitching & Son

Best Fleet (3-5 trucks together)
Sleeman Brewery

Best Displayed Fleet
Keith Hall & Sons Transport

Best Displayed Truck Area
Steve & Mary Tede, Droh Transport,
1998 Freightliner

Best Mural Tractor-trailer Combo
Bill Aylesworth, J.S. Crawford & Son,
1996 Freightliner

Best Mural Tractor
Steve & Mary Tede, Droh Transport,
1998 Freightliner

Best Paint Tractor-Trailer Combo
Dan Lubberts, Lubberts Trucking,
2002 Peterbilt

Best Paint, Tractor
Craig Hanson - Sunrise Equipment,
1981 Kenworth

Best Restored Tractor (non-working)
Craig Hanson, Sunrise Equipment,
1981 Kenworth

Best Pre-1983 Working Tractor
Adam Paruin, Dinsmale Trucking,
1978 Peterbilt

Best 1983-93 Working Tractor
Phil Langevin, P.A. Langevin Transport,
1985 Peterbilt

Best 1994-97 Working Tractor
Dennis Bradbury, Star Cruiser Transport,
1997 Peterbilt

Best 1998-99 Working Tractor
Steve & Mary Tede, Droh Transport,
1998 Freightliner

Best 2000-01 Working Tractor
Dave Cowan, Walker Transport, 2001 Peterbilt

Best 2002 or Newer Working Tractor
Mark Poirier, Heritage Trucklines,
2003 Peterbilt

Best Pre-2002 Company Working Tractor
Chris Hall, Sleeman Brewery, 1999 Freightliner

Best 2002 or Newer Company Working Tractor
Jim Provost Trucking, 2002 Peterbilt

Best Working Cabover Tractor
George Mercer, TNT, 2000 Kenworth

Best Working Conventional Tractor w/o Sleeper
Steve Joyce, Sleeman Brewery,
2001 Freightliner

Best O/O Working Tractor
Dave Cowan, Walker Transport, 2001 Peterbilt

Best Truck of Show: Public Choice
Steve & Mary Tede, Droh, 1998 Freightliner

Best Company Truck
Jay Anderson, J.T.S.

Best Owner-operator
Kenn McCarty: J.T.S.

Best Daycab
Bob Armstrong, J.T.S.

Best Straight Truck
Duane Tingey, J.T.S.

Best Cabover
Mike Bishop, Equalizer Express

Best Fleet
J.T.S.

Rodeo du Camion Winners

Show & Shine Results
Highway Tractor
1. Phil Langevin, Carleton Place, ON
2. David Baldwin, Milton, ON
3. Yvon Chaussé, Ville-Marie. QC

Logger Tractor
1. Gilles Gagnon, Sturgeon Falls, ON
2. Gabriel Seguin, St-Isidore, ON
3. Francois Rouleau, St-Isidore, ON

Highway Tractor & Van Trailer
1. Brent Kurtz, Breslau, ON
2. Alain Fafard, Montmagny, QC
3. Jean-Eudes, Létourneau St-Georges, QC

Highway Tractor & Flat Bed Trailer
1. Munkittrick Transport, Bishopton, QC
2. Jim Express Stomoway, QC

Specific Transport
1. Marc Roy, Espanola, ON
2. André Archambault, New Liskeard, ON

Brand New Truck
Trevor Wideman Breslau, ON

Towing
René Tessier Repentigny, QC

Antique Truck
1. Terry Henderson Breslau, ON
2.Marcel Corriveau North Bay, ON

Tractor & Dump Trailer
Sylvain Roy, Lefaivre, ON

Truck for show only
Brad Hichman, Moffat, ON

Tractor & Tank Trailer
1. Jade Transport (Larry Dyck), Winnipeg, MB
2. Garry Leitch, Mississauga, ON

Low Bed
Norm Koch, Earlton, ON

Most representative Fleet
1. CRS Express, St-Georges, QC
2. Munkittrick, Bishopton, QC
3. JR Ménard, St-Isidore, ON

Logger Tractor & Trailer
Alain Gemain, St-Esprit, QC

Nicest Chrome
1. Brent Kurtz, Breslau, ON
2. Phil Langevin, Carleton Place, ON
3. Michel Lachance, Rouyn-Noranda, QC

Cleanest paint & lettering
1. Jade Transport, Winnipeg, MB
2. Brent Kurtz, Breslau, ON
3. Phil Langevin, Carleton Place, ON
Nicest interior
Yvan Chaussé, Ville-Marie, QC

Most attractive site
Sylvain Roy, Lefaivre, QC

Best maintenance
JTS (Kenn McCarty), Orilla, ON

People's choice
Jade Transport, Winnipeg, MB

Burl's Creek Big Rig Show 'n Shine Winners

Best 1998-02 Working Bobtail
Carla Industries, #2004

Best 1998-02 Working Dump
Glenn Watts, Luchka Float Services

Best 1994-97 Working Bobtail
Gary Turner, NFM Truck Rental

Best 1983-93 Working Bobtail
Bob Armstrong, J.T.S.

Best 1983-93 Working Truck
Carla Industries, #4422

Best Pre-1983 Working Truck
Trailwood Transport

Best Pre-1983 Non-working Truck
Cam Hiltz, Cam Hiltz Trucking

Best Tractor-Trailer, Van
Jay Anderson, J.T.S.

Best Tractor-Trailer, Reefer
Larway Transport, #74

Best Tractor-Trailer, Float/Curtain-side
Sandy Stokes, J.T.S.

Best Tractor-Trailer, Flatbed
Dave White, Aitken & Parlett

Best Tractor-Trailer, Train
John Dawson, John Eek & Son

Longest Distance Traveled
Allan Fancey, S. Brookfield, N.S.

Best Custom Truck
Jay Anderson, J.T.S.

Best Lights
Kenn McCarty, J.T.S.

Best in Show
Carla Industries, #2004

People's Choice
Carla Industries, #2004

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