Anyone who frets about the state of the trucking industry—whether they’re concerned about finding the next generation of professional drivers or about how the high-pressure demands of the supply chain have made the business cold and impersonal—should take a weekend to visit the Shell Rotella SuperRigs event.
Beautiful trucks, sure. But the most striking aspect of a SuperRigs show is the people: friends and families, many familiar with one another through the truck show circuit, give the event the feel of reunion. And first timers are welcomed like the cousin nobody’s seen in years.
Most importantly, this family loves trucking. Smiles may be hard to come by on most truck parking lots when the temperature is 100 degrees and the sun is relentless, but not at Retama Park near San Antonio last weekend.
The unofficial count was almost 100 trucks entered in the beauty pageant, a record. The winner, incidentally, is hardly old enough to get hired as driver—in fact, Kiegan Nelson is barely older than the refurbed 1985 Pete Model 359 he drives for Rollin’ Transport.
But the flatbedder brought along his next delivery, just in case anyone questioned whether the teal beauty, “Kickin’ it old skool,” was indeed a working rig.
The highlight, for me, was when the trucks—returning from the official parade down the home stretch at the horse track—rolled across what had been the dance floor as Phil Pritchett and the Full Band broke into Little Feat’s truck driving anthem, “Willin’.”
Still, going on the theory that a picture’s worth a thousand words, let’s get to the galleries. Here on the Fleet Owner side of the web, we’ve got a good general roundup to give you the feel of this year’s SuperRigs. But if you’re looking for more—especially photos of the trucks—we’ve got plenty over on American Trucker, broken out into categories: tractors, flatbeds and heavy haulers, bulk haulers and tankers, Texas Chrome Shop, hood ornaments, and just assorted fun stuff.