If you want to see the SuperRigs superstars shine in the US, follow the recommendation of Diesel’s US Correspondent, Steve Sturgess, and check out the best looking trucks in North America at the SuperRigs Show and Shine event Virginia.
Early summer in the USA sees one of the high points in the truck show and shine calendar with the Shell Rotella SuperRigs. This annual truck glamour contest attracts a turnout of the best rigs in the United States and Canada, with close to 100 entrants registered for the 2018 event at White’s Truckstop in Raphine, Virginia, the largest truckstop on the east coast of the US.
SuperRigs moves to a different venue year-by-year, so each year’s event draws a different selection of super rigs along with the regulars who will shut their trucks down and journey across the country to show off their trucks.
The event has been held every year since 1982. Over time, the competition has morphed from a low -ey event and trucks with just a hint of chrome and gingerbread in the early days to today’s super rigs. Back then, there was a class for cabovers as they were the favoured configuration. Now there’s Tractor-Trailer, Tractor and trucks with well over a million miles competing in Classic.
The contestants are looking for recognition and this year shared nearly US$45,000 in cash prizes. Eric Turner, Sr. of Ellenwood, Georgia. captured Best of Show honours with his 2015 Peterbilt 389 with a 2018 Wally-Mo 8 car-hauler. He was awarded US$10,000 from Shell Rotella and US$5,000 from MAC trailer.
MAC is a co-sponsor of the prize fund because so many contestants show with the highly polished covered flatbeds trailers this Ohio-based manufacturer offers.
But most contestants have a dual reason for being at SuperRigs. They covet a little piece of immortality as a featured truck in the following year’s SuperRigs calendar. The calendar shoot has little to do with the beauty event judging except that Best of Show is guaranteed a cover and a month inside the top-class calendar.
Judging can be tricky. The difficulty is knowing which of the entries are ‘trailer queens’. Fortunately, the judging team has an ex-trucking law enforcement officer who knows all about Department Of Transportation numbers, licenses, fuel tax reports and the like, so he’s able to spot non-working trucks and gives a heads-up when a doubtful entry shows up. This is important as SuperRigs is, and has always been, about working trucks. The trucks have to cover an acceptable mileage in the year and the scores take account of the type of operation.
Also judges look out for the just-out-of-the-paintshop contenders. Fortunately, there’s a judging item that’s for ‘workmanship’, and if it’s proven that the truck was redone just for SuperRigs, it’s scored accordingly, taking down what may have been a gorgeous truck in favour of one that has come to the event fresh from a quarry or landfill and the driver has been polishing on it for days to get it show-ready.
And so it was this time. Best of Show was a working car-hauler. First runner-up a heavy haul prime mover and second runner-up a fuel tanker. All were immaculate and several picked up subsidiary prices that included best interior, best theme, best engine and best lights.
Next year’s event will be an equally spectacular event. But the location is never announced until after the year-end holidays.