The big show

Baseball has its World Series and the basketball powerhouses have their March Madness but trucking's big show is four days on the cusp of Spring at the sprawling Fair & Exposition Center that's but a short hop from the downtown of one of America's greatest river cities, Louisville, Kentucky.

Indeed it is time to again head gladly South and indulge in porkchop sandwiches and other local delicacies as we in the industry press corps ( yes, that's what we who aim to keep you informed on all things trucking generally call ourselves-- you most certainly won't catch any of us referring to ourselves as the "media") endeavor to get to every booth we can and attend every scheduled and unscheduled press event possible during the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS).

This year, MATS-- open to the public from March 22-24-- is expected to be a tad subdued given how trucking' s suppliers keep telling us we're in a rough year. That's thanks to the robust pre-buying so many fleets did last year to avoid '07 engines and the not-so-robust economy the whole country is enduring this year. Of course, everyone reminds us in the same breath that '08 and '09 will be real barn-burners as the pre-buy ahead of EPA 2010 will be one for the record books. We can't wait

Nevertheless, truck OEMs slating news (not "press") conferences include most of the usual suspects: sister firms Kenworth and Peterbilt, International, and Volvo-- but not its corporate sibling Mack. But conspicuous by its absence from the scheduled events will be the Freightliner Group (Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star), which opted not to hold its almost-as-traditional-as-Thanksgiving news conference held every Thursday morning for as long as I can recall. Freightliner had a big presence at other recent shows, including NTEA's Work Truck Show earlier this month. I can only guess the North American arm of DaimlerChyrsler's global truck operations has nothing it feels compelled to formally share with the ink-hungry this time out.

Whatever news breaks at MATS, you can be sure to find it first on, which will be updated daily with reports from the squad of FleetOwner editors, including yours truly, who will be covering the show.

See you in Louisville-- or see you on the web!