Martin Warner, a driver for Manitoba-based Jade Transport, polishes a Pete 388 at the Shell Rotella SuperRigs show.
Andy Zary’s 1959 Mack B-61 from Saskatchewan was on display at SuperRigs.
Ron and Dawn Marie Pickles brought their Pete 388 with 100-inch sleeper (including washroom and shower) to SuperRigs, while under load en-route to New York City.
Mother Nature tried her best to keep the trucks dirty, but her efforts were overcome by the determination of the truck owners and showers who relentlessly polished their rigs right up till judging.
TOMAH, Wisc. — The Shell Rotella SuperRigs show is underway in Tomah, Wisconsin, bringing together some of the finest looking working trucks from the US and Canada.
About $25,000 in prizes is up for grabs, as well as coveted spots in the annual SuperRigs calendar. Judging got underway last night, and ran three hours past closing due to looming bad weather. Judges scored about 40 trucks on the first day of the show, and resumed Friday morning after some heavy rains moved out. Mother Nature is doing its best to make truck owners work even harder to prepare their rigs for judging. Trucks continue to pull into the show, which this year is being held in conjunction with the Budweiser Super National Truck and Tractor Pull.
Nearly 100 trucks had already joined in the competition by this afternoon.
Among them were several Canadian trucks. Jade Transport, always a contender, was on-hand with three trucks from its Manitoba-based tanker fleet. Andy Zary’s 1959 Mack B-61 drew a crowd throughout the day and Ron and Dawn Marie Pickles brought their Pete 388 with 100-inch sleeper cab to the show, while under load with a delivery to New York City.
Chris Guerrero, global brand manager for Shell Rotella, said this year marks the 31st SuperRigs event.
“Rotella has been a part of the trucking community for over 40 years, so for us, it just makes sense,” Guerrero said of Shell’s involvement in the truck beauty contest. “When you talk about engine oil designed to protect hardworking trucks and you talk about beautiful trucks, what we came to understand is the two aren’t mutually exclusive. You can look pretty and work hard and I think these trucks, year in and year out, prove that to people. For us, it’s a natural match for the brand and our customer base.”
Trucks selected to appear in the SuperRigs calendar are whisked off to nearby locales to be professionally photographed. Only actual working trucks qualify for placement in the popular calendar.
The SuperRigs show is hosted in a different location each year, ensuring a steady supply of new entrants.
“Every year we make it a point to try to find a location in a slightly different spot in the US,” Guerrero told Trucknews.com. “We get contestants from all over the US to each one of these events; when we move it around, what we find is we draw in new contestants from around that area.”
Indeed, many of the trucks awaiting judging were plated from Wisconsin.
“It’s a nice treat for some of our contestants to be able to come out when it’s in their backyard,” Guerrero said.
The level of competition at this year’s event was what those familiar with the SuperRigs have come to expect.
“Every year we’ve done it, you think you’ve seen it all, then you have the next event and realize something new is out there,” Guerrero said. “The level of competition year in and year out gets tougher.”
He credited the judges for making the tough decisions in scoring the rigs. It’s a tough job, considering the high caliber of trucks being entered.
“Some of our judges have been doing this for 21 years,” he said. “The level of detail that goes into judging these trucks is enormous. It’s not just if they look good – they all look good! It is the intricacy of the design, the detail in which they’re polished and shined. It’s not just looking at the outside, but inside the wheel wells. It is amazing the amount of detail that goes into judging and the reason being, the competition level is super high at this event.”
Tonight, the trucks will participate in a light show and then the community of Tomah will be treated to a fireworks display. SuperRigs organizers have worked hard to include the communities they’re visiting in the event. Doing so creates awareness about the crucial roles of hardworking truckers to those outside the industry. The Shell Rotella SuperRigs show runs until Saturday afternoon, with registration closing at 11 a.m., judging wrapping up at noon and awards presented at 1:30 CST.
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