The first “Daytona” Truck Meet was held in 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida with the expectation of putting on an event to remember. Since then, the show has grown exponentially.
That first gathering in 2014 pulled in more than 500 trucks from all over the Southeastern United States. Each year, the event continued to grow, eventually seeing two miles of vendor booths, 5,000 show trucks, and almost 50,000 spectators in 2021. Then, sadly, things turned south, literally. I only say that because the event is now farther away for me to drive. The venue is great and it’s just south of Miami, so it definitely has that going for it.
In 2022, the City of Daytona Beach requested the Truck Meet no longer convene in Daytona. Hence, the move to Homestead-Miami Speedway and the new name, Florida Truck Meet.
I never had the opportunity to attend the event when it was held in Daytona, so Miami would be my first experience with the show. When I arrived on Friday morning, the crowd was light. That was to be expected as many were surely at work. Many of the vendors were still setting up, and most of the trucks at the show that day were in the vendor’s booths. I walked around the vendor’s booths and enjoyed the nice weather while I impatiently waited for Saturday to start.
Saturday started peacefully enough, as I got to the venue early. but it didn’t take long for the excitement to start. As soon as the gate opened, the line of trucks started entering the show field through the tunnel under the speedway. I quickly learned that this event caters to two distinct show areas, one was the Premium field and the other was called the Standard show field.
The standard show field is designed as a way for entrants to enter the show at a discounted rate but still be a part of the action. I can say it was not as full as the premium show field. The Premium field was the popular area and with a mix of gas and diesel-powered trucks, there was a decent turnout of hot haulers.
As the simulated dog fight by the local Naval Base took place in the sky above the track, the truck tug-o-war was taking place near the show’s entrance. I didn’t see many trucks compete in the tug-o-war, but the rolling burn-out contest was definitely a popular part of the event.
If you were looking for wheels and tires, the vendor area had plenty on display, and the battling sound systems had a variety of music playing all day. The trucks on display in the vendor area resembled those typically found at a show like SEMA. They were great to look at, but not much for useability if you need a work truck or daily driver.
I heard from several vendors that the show had a different atmosphere than when it was in Daytona, but that doesn’t mean that everyone in attendance didn’t have a good time. To say the show had a party vibe would be a huge understatement.
I will finish by saying that if you are looking to spend some vacation time in South Florida, why not schedule your vacation so you can attend a show with a true party agenda? I suggest making plans to attend this event next year. The Florida Truck Meet will surely be another party gathering.