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  • The Great West Truck Show 2009: Putting the BIG back into Big Rig Diesels

The Great West Truck Show 2009: Putting the BIG back into Big Rig Diesels

Melissa Spiering
Jul 29, 2009
Photographers: Melissa Spiering
The Las Vegas Convention Center played host to the 2009 Great West Truck Show June 25-27, 2009. Each year, more than 18,000 attendees and more than 400 exhibiting companies' flock to Las Vegas to check out the latest news and gadgets on the market for heavy- and medium-duty trucks, haulers, trailers, sleepers, and show trucks.
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Drivers, buyers, and manufactures traveled the booth aisle and were entertained by products, handouts, consumer info, and on-site demos that can help save on truck maintenance and protect the environment. One such hot product was the TURBO3000 fuel saver; this tiny rod-shaped fuel rail claimed to increases fuel economy, horsepower, and decrease emissions by providing the fuel injectors with a more efficient delivery of fuel. The HUSS diesel particulate filter with active diesel burner technology also grabbed a lot of attention of the crowd. The HUSS MK-system replaces the original muffler and has a filter made of Silicium Carbid and a high-tech ceramic. The filter collects harmful diesel particles for up to eight hours running and then the active diesel burner burns these particles when the engines are shut down. The system collects 99.9 percent of the soot produced by unburned fuel and helps leave less of a carbon foot print on the road. Last but not least, the chrome accessories shined through out the hall everywhere. If you want it shiny, they most likely have it from grilles to turn signals, there was an overabundance of custom aftermarket parts to put any import four-banger show to shame.
The California Trucking Association sponsored educational seminars on accident protection, how to pass A DOT audit, Train the Trainer, OSHA in the trucking industry, and many other leadership topics. But the biggest crowd pleasers where the show trucks!
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The GWTS also included the Overdrive's Pride and Polish Truck Beauty Competition that brought out some of the most unique and creative truck builders and designers from across the nation. These trucks where rolling works of art powered by diesel. From custom paint jobs to granite tiled cab floors, these trucks had it and more. From the amazing wood work of the sleeper cabs and the extended built in motorbike garages made these trucks a trucker's paradise, a home away from home.
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The crew from Chrome Shop Mafia was seen roaming the vender booths and the Ice Road Trucking legend Alex Debogorski from The History Channel's hit TV series "Ice Road Truckers" was signing autographs and telling behind the scenes stories that never made it on air. The Midnight Trucking Radio Network invited attendees to play at their booth for a chance to win many of their prizes.
This year's show brought more people out than any other year, and with the pinch of this tough economy it's a great reminder to all that the diesel truck industry is a major component that holds this nation together. Be sure to check out The Great American Trucking Show, the nation's second-largest trucking trade show when it rolls into Dallas, Texas August 20-22, 2009!
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Ol' Blue
Ol' Blue is a 1951 working truck with a 53-foot "Rolling Billboard" trailer featuring our sponsor's logos and those of the California Highway Patrol, Nevada Highway Patrol, and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
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Arrowhead's 1931 Ford Model A Delivery Truck
This truck was a four-year restoration project by Ruben Cendejas from the Arrowhead L.A fleet service center. It features a solid oak truck bed that hold 72 original five-gallon glass bottles of water, and the original four-cylinder flathead motor.
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1931 Ford Model AA Stake Bed Truck
This truck was a full restoration from the ground up in honor of the company's fallen founder, Mr. Charlie Giles in 2005.
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1959 Mack B-6
This Mack truck features a custom built sleeper owner by Andy and Irene Zary. Its retro deep purple, lavender, and white paint are very flattering to the green and chrome interior.
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1979 Peterbilt Budweiser Truck
This custom-built sleeper cab features its own motorcycle garage, which alone made this truck my favorite of the show. The interior isn't so bad either. The sleeper cab features wall-to-wall dark wood cabinets with granite countertops and old West wall sconces while the cockpit is lined with the traditional quilted black suede with brass buttons.

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2007 Peterbilt 386
Nothing screams subtle like a trailer with custom oak hardwood floors and maple interior walls with its own 400-watt sound system. The custom sleeper on this rig features a shower, toilet, roof top A/C, two-burner stove, conventional oven, microwave, walnut cabinets, Corian counter, kitchen table with Italian leather seats, 26-inch LCD TV with hydraulic drop down, and a Bose surround system. The exterior features a built in tool box, 7 kilowatt generator, built in stainless steal BBQ, and a retractable water hose.
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1993 379 Peterbilt
Built by Hommers Custom Chrome in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this truck takes a younger, more tuner look with the two-ton black and royal blue tribal wrapped interior that features a big flat screen TV and a powerful bass-sound system. The blue paint features the right amount of ghost flames.
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Kriss Trucking 1998 379 Peterbilt
This six-year project features a 301-inch wheelbase, 18-speed, Low air suspension, 48-inch flattop sleeper, standard roof cab, 22.5 Smoother wheels, custom under-hood air cleaners, custom blinkers, flipped mirror brackets, custom upper dash, eight-inch powder-coated exhaust, custom front fenders, billet grille, big back window, solid rear wheels, one-piece air windows, painted dash with gingerbread, 100 feet of blue LED lights, drop visors front and back, rear fenders, custom deck plate, handmade 10-inch cab and sleeper panels, custom windshield wipers, and a custom-made air intake manifold.
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2009 International LoneStar
Continental Tires brought its display in one of the best-looking retro trucks on the road, the International LoneStar.

The Little Train of Happiness
The Little Train of Happiness features a 1989 Peterbilt 379 and a Stoughton dry van with its original 20-year-old engine. There isn't one spot on this truck that isn't custom painted or stock. All most every panel has some thing done to it, even the fans in the engine are painted with a Western theme. You just have to see the photos to find all the little details that went in to this truck. All this work was done by owners Marcel and Valerie of Tuscon, Arizona.
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1992 Peterbilt 379 long hood
Built by Sandvik Trucking, this truck is known to win at shows. It features a 460 Cummings engine, 15-speed transmission. and a 300-inch wheelbase.
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1998 Peterbilt 475
Also built by Sandvik Trucking, this truck features an amazing trible-flamed paint theme inside and out. And nothing says "this is my truck" like having yourself painted on the rear of the sleeper with a crowbar in your hand. Custom carved wooden panels also feature the tribal designs. Even the trailer bed is inlaid with wood.
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1998 Freightliner Classic XL
Known as the Legends and Heroes truck, this rig is painted Corvette yellow and features a 9-11 memorial on the rear of the cab and the face of late racing legend Dale Earnhardt ghosted on the hood. There are also the M&M characters painted all over the vehicle, and I mean under the cab, in the fan blades of the engine, and on the dash.
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This rig features custom flat metallic gray and black paint with custom hood vents, smoke stacks that resemble gun tips, and lugs made to look like bullet clip of a revolver. It's a Mad Max take on the classic Western theme.
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Two Blue Trucks
I can't tell you much about these trucks, but I do know they're from one of the biggest truck clubs in North America, Severed TIES. The work on these trucks pretty much says it all. From full custom air-ride suspensions, custom paint, and modified interiors, these two trucks are in a class of their own.
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