There’s nothing quite like the Mid-America Trucking Show. It fills all four halls of the mammoth Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville and spills out into the parking lots and outdoor exhibition areas. This year the three-day extravaganza covered 1.2 million sq. ft., drawing over 78,000 visitors from all 50 states and some 79 countries.

With the general economy slowly working its way back to good health, the mood among visitors and exhibitors alike was positive, if still cautious. Summing up the consensus, freight is good, if not great, as 2013 gets underway and truck sales are the same. Steady improvement in both by the end of the year is a reasonable expectation, though all will be just fine if 2012’s final numbers just repeat themselves. And longer term, the prognosis for a healthy trucking industry is excellent.

While the polished show trucks and glitzy displays are the draw for show visitors, MATS also serves as the premiere venue for the introduction of new models, products and services by North America’s industry suppliers. Fleet Owner had a full team of editors there to report on it all. Much of the news focused on natural gas trucks and fueling systems, but updates on advanced safety systems, introductions of new truck models, and additions to fuel-efficient tire lines also proved noteworthy. As is our practice every year, the following “Talk of the Show” report provides full coverage of the most notable press announcements made at MATS this year. And if you’d like to see our photo galleries and video reports, you’ll find them at fleetower.com/mid-america-trucking-show-1.