GBATS going big

Organizers prep for an even bigger Guilty By Association Truck Show in 2020.

August-September 2019

Mark Schremmer


For the first time since 2008, there will be no Guilty By Association Truck Show in the fall.

However, that doesn’t mean the show organizers are taking the year off. Instead, they are using the time to make the Joplin, Mo., truck show even better in 2020.

GBATS, which is scheduled for Sept. 24-26, 2020, will now be every other year. Once again, OOIDA will serve as a sponsor.

“The whole reason we went to an every-other-year format was to give us twice the focus, twice the creativity and extra funding and energy to do a really big event every other year,” said Bryan Martin, who is the president of 4 State Trucks and the organizer of GBATS. “By getting this extra year, I think you’re going to see bigger nightly events for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. You’re going to see bigger and more well-known national bands that we will be picking from for our Saturday night show after the convoy.

“There has also been talk about some celebrity appearances throughout the weekend.”

Martin said he expected to have all of the big nightly attractions booked for the 2020 show by the end of August.

“We’re really just wanting to make it a bigger and more well-attended outing for all of the truckers who come out,” Martin said. “We’re going all out to make it everything you would want to see in a truck show.”

The first GBATS was in 2009, and 38 trucks attended. Last year’s show included 693 trucks and had about 15,000 people in attendance.

Extra time in between events will give GBATS organizers the opportunity to make future shows even bigger. Martin said they are planning to clear about 2 acres of timber near the show site to add space to park another 120-170 tractor-trailers.

Updates about the 2020 show can be found at

While there will not be a GBATS in 2019, the Truck Convoy for Special Olympics is set for Sept. 28 in Joplin, Mo. To learn more about the convoy, visit LL


Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.