ATHS 2012 National Convention

It’s over.  Yes, after what seems like years of anticipation the 2012 American Truck Historical Society national convention in West Springfield, Massachusetts has come and gone.  What a quick two days it was.  By many accounts the amount of trucks that made it to the show broke or severely pushed the records.  I know that I was overwhelmed at the number of trucks on hand.  By the time I arrived at the Eastern States Exposition mid Thursday the display field was already reaching capacity.  It seemed like every time I turned around a new set of trucks was pulling on the the field.  I’m pretty sure every truck manufacturer from past to present had one representative on hand.  By my unofficial account I would peg Mack as having the most trucks on site but this is only my overwhelmed perspective talking.  The video below will give you a good representation of what most of the day Thursday and Friday looked like as trucks arrived one after the other.

I was very impressed with the ATHS volunteers who worked hard at the main gates to keep trucks flowing through the very busy registration and photo area.  They did a great job even when crunch time came on Friday.

Ok, now I have to step off the ATHS bandwagon for a moment and bring up a touchy topic. There is probably no good for place for this and I don’t wan’t anyone to get the wrong idea about this website or the experience I had during the show. I’ve debated about posting this last portion of the story but I feel it would be disingenuous of myself and especially to my father after I sang the praises of certain ATHS staff members.

My father and I had made plans to bring our 1952 International pickup to the show.  Seeing as how it has a top speed of 50 mph we decided to trailer the truck to Massachusetts. We had plans to rent a U-Haul truck with trailer that could tow our pickup from Syracuse to Springfield. U-Haul being U-Haul they messed up the reservation and “broke” the two trailers wide enough for the International. At the last possible moment we lost our chance of joining the rest of the Springfield show field. I know this really upset my dad as he had spent a lot of time getting the truck ready for the trip and show. It was a sour note to start the day but we set our eyes to the fun of the show. As always I-90 did its very best to entertain with a median roll over a Volvo tractor trailer outside of Syracuse and a nifty all flat black Ford LTL 9000 motoring up the grades outside of Amsterdam, NY. After arriving and taking in the sights we wandered over to the registration booth where show plaques and wheel chocks were being distributed. We both figured since our truck had been pre registered it would be simple to obtain our plaque by showing the registration paper work. How WRONG we were. My father was informed that only trucks onsite could receive the dash plaque and wood block. We were told to stop back on Saturday afternoon and if anything was left over we could have one.

It seems like a simple and petty thing to let bother you but it was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. My father ended up talking to nearly everyone in the ATHS chain of command and to put it bluntly no one really cared enough to help a first year member who was having a bad day. Rules are rules after all! Considering the truck was registeted and PAID for months in advance I feel he should have received what he was asking for. I have been an ATHS member for nearly 10 years, my father has been a member for one year. Sadly, he won’t see year two. Over the course of the show we ran into another gentleman that had the exact same experience as us. You pre-register, you pay, you get a plaque. In my mind, it should be that simple.

So whatever, time to move on and start shifting through the hundreds of photos and videos I have of the event. Check back often and soon! Thanks for visiting!


*UPDATE* My father did receive his wood block and dash plaques. All is right with the world. 🙂

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2 Responses to ATHS 2012 National Convention

  1. Don says:

    The young lady going around passing out the cards,and”chatting”was a very nice person.I don’t remember her name,as my memory was dampened by the rain(lol),but thanks for the business card and chatting about “trucks” with me/us.Good luck with your website,and hopefully your father stays on as a member!!I learned at the meeting Friday afternoon that the politics of the ATHS is like any other situation out there,no matter what you do,but,WE do this show,and are a part of these chapters because we”LOVE” old trucks,and LOVE to show what we have!!Each of our trucks are “UNIQUE”in their own way,and the more we see,the more we like the group we are in,as we ALL have the same passion,OLD TRUCKS!!Keep on truckin’,and hopefully your dad stays “on board”as a member,if for nothing more than,”I’d” like to see HIS International,as that’s what I have,a cabover,and an 8600 series,which is not antique,but EVERY International is a COOL one!!
    Don Slate

    • Eric says:

      Don, thanks for the visit. My wife Jennifer will be happy to hear that her hard work paid off with at least one visitor to the site! I would love to see your trucks some time, if you have any pictures feel free to send them my way,

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