Trucks at Work

A super time at SuperRigs

For show truck junkies like me, Shell’s annual SuperRigs competition is an annual event not to be missed (work and travel schedule permitting, of course!)

This year, Shell brought its annual show truck gala to the Speedco located off I-44 just outside of Joplin, MO; a facility almost completely leveled by a massive tornado outbreak one year ago this week.

Yet, rising like a Phoenix from its ashes, Speedco’s reopened Joplin truck service center ended up playing host for four days to some of the sharpest iron operating on U.S. roads today – along with some other interesting sidebars to the show truck judging event.

For example, take a look at an unusual demonstration Bridgestone Tires brought to the SuperRigs event to show off the low-rolling resistance capabilities of its new Ecopia line of truck tires.

Of course, the real “meat” if you will of the Shell SuperRigs competition remains the “super rigs” rolled in from far and wide across the country.

Here’s a look at the judging station for the 2012 Shell SuperRigs competition, complete with a blessedly air-conditioned RV unit to keep the judges cool and composed for several long days of work. The truck in this clip, by the way, got wrecked by the massive Joplin tornado last year – but you’d never know looking at how it gleams and shines with unadulterated pride and polish.

One particular favorite stood out from the crowd this year: a 2007 Mack tractor dressed up by Larry and Jeannette Pruitt to honor the firefighting profession; all the more appropriate since Larry Pruitt is himself a volunteer firefighter who hauls petroleum and propane tankers on his “off” days.

Scattered about the SuperRigs event area were all sorts of other interesting fare: drag racers, speed boats, and of course Shell’s latest iteration of its Rotella Roadshow trailer, newly redone for 2012 to highlight not just engine oils but coolants and greases as well.

Yes this year’s SuperRigs proved to be packed with all sorts of goodies – so much so that it’s going to take several posts to highlight them all.

So stay tuned to this space to see a lot more – especially a visit with the one and only Bryan Martin, head of the Chrome Shop Mafia based out of 4 State Trucks in Joplin. You’ll get an eye-opening photo tour of how his group of skilled artisans produces some of the most eye popping show trucks you’ll ever see rolling down the highway. 

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