LUCKY WINNERS: Daryl Caeser, Keith McArtney, Wayne Burgess, Craig Harbeck , Joseph Cahill and Killian Paasch at GATS in Dallas.
LUCKY WINNERS: Daryl Caeser, Keith McArtney, Wayne Burgess, Craig Harbeck , Joseph Cahill and Killian Paasch at GATS in Dallas. JAMES GRAHAM

Dallas dazzles Aussie contingent at Texas truck show

THE six lucky Australian winners in the Shell Rimula Rewards Program were treated to a mind-boggling array of exhibits and features at the opening of The Great American Trucking Show (GATS) in Texas today.

The quartet from Buslink VIVO - Keith McArtney, Daryl Caesar, Wayne Burgess and Craig Harbeck - and Cahill Transport's Joseph Cahill and Killian Paasch had their work cut out getting around the 500,000 square feet inside the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Centre in Dallas.

More than 500 exhibitors jammed the floor space, spruiking more than 54,000 industry products.

They also had to compete for attention with back-to-back attractions at the busy health, business and recruitment pavilions.

The latter boasts a special searchable database where job-seekers can find carriers that are hiring with their skill-set.

"We're changing the game with our meeting-setting process,” said Emily Larson, director of event services with organisers Randall-Reilly.

"No other industry show brings together recruiters and drivers in such an exact, strategic format, starting at the registration process and following through to meetings on-site.”

Another feature is the annual Pride & Polish competition, the premier trucking beauty competition in the US.

Participating trucks are cleaned and polished, accessorised and customised, front to back and bumper to bumper.

More than 150 owners have gathered under the giant convention roof this year, all vying for the coveted title awarded on the final day of the show on Sunday (AEST).

"We have some of the nation's best show trucks on display, and our competitors are always passionate and world-class,” added Stacy McCants, the organiser's vice-president of events.

Another new feature to the show floor this year is the pre-trip inspection competition for drivers, which aims to get them better prepared before hitting the road.

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