"IT WOULD have been exactly what he wanted."
The late Dane Ballinger would have absolutely loved how the recent Bathurst truck show turned out, said his mate and show organiser Dean Campbell said.
The show, this year renamed the Dane Ballinger Memorial Truck Show, attracted about 180 trucks, more than ever before.
Dane, 36, died in a horror crash on the Pacific Highway near Nambucca Heads when the B-double he was driving crashed into a parked B-double.
Dean and Dane had run the show together in previous years, with Dane taking the organisational lead, and Dean said him contuining the show in Dane's name was a fitting memorial to his friend.
"It would have done him proud, I'd say," he said.
Dane's eight-year-old son Sam, who loved trucks just like his father, had a special task at the show - picking his favourite.
The winner of the inaugural Sam Ballinger's Choice award went to Thurwood Transport's Kenworth Legend T900 with its Smokey and the Bandit inspired trailer.
"Sam's like a mini-Dane, he's got a pretty good eye for details," Dean said.
He said he picked the truck because he loved the trailer and the whole unit.
Mark Causley's immaculate Kenworth Legend T900 won the Truck of the Show award, with Dean citing the way it was
looked after as one of the reasons why.
"That company is renowned for quality trucks and keeping them immaculate," he said.
Dean thanked all who were involved with the show - other organisers Debbie Campbell and Haylie Mammoliti for their work behind the scenes, the sponsors, companies and all who got their trucks ready for show.
"It was a great show, it was incredible how much good equipment was there. They came from all over the country, locally and interstate and it was brilliant, we couldn't fault it."