10th annual GBATS on pace to be largest one yet

September 24, 2018

Mark Schremmer


The 2018 Guilty By Association Truck Show is already poised to be the largest in the event’s 10-year history.

As of Monday, Sept. 24, about 730 trucks had preregistered for GBATS, which will be Sept. 27-29 in Joplin, Mo. Bryan Martin, the president of 4 State Trucks and organizer of the 10th annual truck show, said he expects the number to keep growing. The preregistered total already exceeds the previous GBATS high of 504 in 2017.

Martin said that in all of the past years, the final turnout has exceeded the preregistration.

“We’re on an adrenaline high back here,” he said. “We’re busy working on backup plans to make more room and accommodate everyone. The growth is flattering on one hand, but scary and intimidating on the other. If we have 850 or 900 trucks, we are working on contingency plans to make sure everything still goes smoothly. We are going to get everyone parked. Every spot might not be a premium spot, but we will get everyone parked.”

OOIDA, which is celebrating its 45th anniversary of fighting for the rights of truck drivers, has partnered with 4 State Trucks to present this year’s edition of GBATS.

“With having OOIDA partner with us and bringing their following, it has gotten the word out to another layer of truck drivers this year,” Martin said. “Having OOIDA celebrate its birthday along with our 10th has helped take this show to the next level.”

Those in attendance will have the opportunity to talk with members of OOIDA’s leadership team, as well as the chance to enjoy all of the truck show’s scheduled entertainment and activities. The Association will host open house meetings from 10 a.m.-noon on Friday, Sept. 28, and from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29.

OOIDA President Todd Spencer and OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh, as well as the members of the Association’s Washington, D.C., team and several OOIDA board members, are scheduled to be in attendance.

Jon Osburn and OOIDA’s touring tractor-trailer, The Spirit of American Trucker, also will be at the show.

Last week, Land Line confirmed that the show will include an FMCSA public listening session concerning the agency’s hours-of-service regulations on Sept. 28 at GBATS. The listening session is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. CDT in 4 State Trucks’ shop area behind the main store.

There also will be plenty of entertainment at the show. Some of the other featured events include a professional bull riding competition, a truck and tractor pull, a motorcycle stunt rider show, big rig drag races, a truck convoy that benefits the Special Olympics of Southwest Missouri, and a downtown concert featuring Confederate Railroad.

More information about the show can be found here.

“We are expecting record numbers, but don’t let that discourage you,” Martin said. “We will still get you in, and it will be a great show.”