OOIDA member Bart Boudreaux takes honors at Gulf Coast
July 20, 2018
Bart “Bowling Ball” Boudreaux has been a spectator at the Gulf Coast Big Rig Truck Show several times. But this year was his first experience showing a truck.
“I told my friends, win, lose or draw, I don’t care. I’m entering it to have fun,” the OOIDA Senior Member from Thibodaux, La., said.
Boudreaux’s 1980 Peterbilt 352 COE hauled away third place in the show’s Antique Truck Division.
Bowling Ball has a long history in trucking, and with this truck in particular. He tells of spending the summer breaks when he was a teenager, riding along with his mentor, Robert “Short Stop” Brower.
“All I ever wanted to do was drive a truck, for as long as I can remember,” he said “When I was a teenager before I had a driver’s license, I rode with Short Stop during summer school breaks. He had a cabover like this one. I fell in love with it.”
After Short Stop decided Bart had been riding long enough, he finally told him, “Get on it or get out of it.”
“There was no way I was getting out of that truck. I was scared to death, but I learned to drive it,” he said.
And he’s been driving ever since then.
Bart’s relationship with the 352 Pete he showed at Gulf Coast began long before he ever thought about showing it.
The cabover caught his eye when it was put up for sale by a local crane company more than 25 years ago.
“I was a young family man, had two kids. I couldn’t afford what they wanted for it,” he said and then went on to say, “It sat for a long time. I’d pass it, and think about it, and finally, one day it wasn’t there anymore.”
The crane company had taken the original motor and sold the truck. Boudreaux said, “I was actually kind of happy I didn’t have to think about it anymore. It was gone.”
But it wasn’t.
A few months later, by the power of social media, Bart saw the truck for sale on Facebook. And four years ago, he brought his cabover home to Louisiana, where he began lovingly rebuilding it, piece by piece. He relates the story in this Big Rig Video interview with Buck Landry, from Heavy Haul Mafia.
Bart’s mentor and driving teacher, “Short Stop” Brower, was present at the show and able share his excitement for the first trophy won by a Boudreaux Trucking Co. entrant.
“That man right there has a true love for trucks and trucking. He always has, since he was nothing but a little ol’ fella,” he said. “He’s a hard worker, and he deserves it.”
2018 Gulf Coast Big Rig Truck Show Winners
- First – LMJ Transport
- Second – The Chrome Shack
- Third – Bart Boudreaux Trucking
- First – Ashley Farms
- First – Chris Foret Trucking
- First – Ashley Farms
- Second – Superior Carriers
- Third – R.R. Cassidy Inc
- First – Rite Development
- Second – Steelman Transportation
- Third – Wedgeworth Trucking