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Today, I’m making my way home from the Mid-America Truck Show which was held in Louisville, Kentucky. This year, the show celebrated its 52nd anniversary. I was there as an attendee this time, instead of a vendor. Being an attendee is a much different experience than being in the show as a vendor. I had much more time to spend with my friends and acquaintances from the trucking industry. In fact, it was a much different experience because I was able to stay close to my truck and sleep in it, instead of going to a hotel at night. By lodging in the luxurious accommodations of the Freightliner driver’s lounge in my Cascadia at the truck parking lot that was provided by the show, I was able to spend more time assembling with many fellow truck drivers. 

I spent time there with a group that calls itself “The Trucking Solutions Group” or TSG for short. TSG is a group of owner-operators, which I have been a member of for many years. The members of this group park their trucks in proximity to each other, so we can cook breakfasts and dinners during the show to enjoy together. During our time there, we were able to catch up personally, but also professionally. TSG is a gathering of drivers from different segments of the trucking industry, who come together for a weekly conference call to share experiences or circumstances that impact our business. We share ideas and work practices that help us have a positive impact on each of our business’ bottom lines. The group has a wide representation of operations with everything from open deck freight, bulk haulers, truck transporters, dry van, refrigerated vans, and expeditor straight trucks. Whenever there’s a change in rules for the industry that has a negative impact on our businesses, we have found that having multiple views of these rules changes our perspective into a positive one. Quite simply, we try to make lemons into lemonade.  

The beauty of attending the Mid-America Truck Show as an attendee this year offered me the opportunity to meet new people as they meandered through the truck parking area. For me, one of the positive signs for our industry was the number of owner-operators who were approaching me in the parking lot, as well as in the halls of the truck show to talk about ordering a new truck and what components they should order to achieve the efficiency goals of their operation. 

There were a lot of people there preparing to order new trucks and trailers for their businesses. Being at this event and seeing the number of people attending it shows me that there’s a lot of optimism regarding our nation’s economy from my fellow trucking business owners.  I encourage everyone in this industry to attend the Mid-America Truck Show.

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Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.