The 2011 Mid-America Trucking Show opens Thursday, March 31, celebrating its 40th anniversary. MATS will be held March 31-April 1 at Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, Ky., with close to 1,000 exhibitors, seminars, a truck beauty contest and a number of special events.

VIP hours will be held at the show's opening on Thursday, March 31, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. General admission follow from 1 p.m.-6 p.m. On Friday, hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Some events are ticketed and have limited space - plan accordingly.

Some of the special events being held during the show include:

40th Anniversary Concert - Country music stars Randy Houser and Keith Anderson will appear live in concert with a special guest appearance by Halfway to Hazard. The concert, sponsored by Mobil Delvac, will be held in Freedom Hall immediately following the Friday edition of MATS. Complimentary tickets will be distributed, while supplies last, from Mobil Delvac's Booth #18160 in the North Wing and #90400 at the South Wing A entrance.

Paul K. Young Truck Beauty Contest and Winners - The annual Paul K. Young Memorial Truck Beauty Championship kicks off the show season with 100 entries vying for honors. Winners from the 2010 contest will also be on display. The show will be held in Lot J on the west side of the complex.

HDMA Breakfast - The Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association's annual Breakfast & Briefing will be held Friday at 7 a.m. This year's keynote speaker will be Daniel Ustian, Chairman, President and CEO of Navistar International. The meeting has sold out for the past 13 years - Register at

Eaton's UltraShift Test Drive - Eaton Corporation is bringing five Class 8 trucks with the company's new UltraShift PLUS automated transmissions. Attendees can sign up for the demonstration drive at the Roadranger booth # 32175 in the South Hall.

Convoy for a Cure - USA - The 3rd annual Convoy for a Cure will kick off its 2011 show tour at MATS. The convoy, which benefits breast cancer research and education, has raised nearly $100,000 in past years. Convoy for a Cure will be providing nightly entertainment as well as food. Find them at booth #40553 in the lobby of the South Wing and the Papa John's parking lot in the evening.

Back on the Road 2011 Winner - The winner of Arrow Truck Sales' Back On The Road 2011 campaign will be announced by country music star Aaron Tippin and others during a ceremony at 11:00 a.m. on Friday. Back on the Road benefits a deserving truck driver in need of a truck and a job.

FMCSA Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee Meeting s - The MCSAC will hold two meetings during the show. The committee will accept public comment on its work to identify concepts and ideas for developing standards for Patterns of Safety Violations of Motor Carrier management. The committee will meet from 8:30-4 p.m. on March 31 in the Willow Room at the Galt House Hotel, and on April 1 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in meeting room C-101 at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

CSA, HOS, & EOBR: The Driver's Point of View - Comtech Mobile Datacom is hosting this educational seminar on new CSA safety and regulatory compliance rules. Experts will discuss how the new rules and regulations outlined by the CSA initiative impact drivers. The seminar will be held on Friday from 2-3 p.m., and again from 5-6 p.m. in West Wing Room W1. A 30-minute Q&A will follow each session. To RSVP contact: Anna Sekaran 212.880.5359,

The Bendix Tech Talk Series - Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems announced The Bendix Tech Talk Series. The series will help educate attendees about advanced safety technologies, energy management solutions, CSA and reduced stopping distance, as well as address preventive maintenance and product upkeep tips. The 15-minute Tech Talks, available for free to all show attendees, begin at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 31. The final session is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 2, at Bendix Booth No. 32325 in the South Hall.

2011 MATS Seminars - In addition to the above events, MATS will be hosting 15 seminars on topics including: driver hiring, accounting practices, fuel taxes and the FMCSA. For a complete list, see the Seminar Schedule on the MATS website.

Many manufacturers also will be introducing new products to members of the trucking press. Watch for coverage on