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Each fall, more than 60 TAWA automotive journalists and 100-plus manufacturer representatives from throughout the nation meet for a two-day evaluation of the industry’s best trucks, SUVs and CUVs.

The 2018 Texas Truck Rodeo will return to the spectacular Longhorn River Ranch, thirty-five miles west of Austin, near Dripping Springs, Texas and is scheduled to run from Sunday, October 14th through Tuesday the 16th.

The results from the Texas Truck Rodeo are widely covered in national publications such as Motor Trend, Consumer Reports and USA Today. The 2016 New Year's Eve edition of The New York Times featured the legendary competition internationally, and TAWA is actively engaged in the development of a television series surrounding the event. 

Manufacturers covet the prestigious awards they earn at the Texas Truck Rodeo and often mention the honors in their press releases, promotional materials and campaigns across the globe.


The Texas Auto Writers Association, Inc, is very proud to announce our continued association with the Steel Market Development Institute as the title sponsor for the 2018 Texas Truck Rodeo!

For more on the Steel Market Development Institute, visit http://www.smdisteel.org/

For more information on Wieck, visit https://wieck.com.


If you or someone you know is interested in a vendor space or one of the sponsor opportunities, please visit our sponsorship page.





Members arrive Sunday afternoon where they will find opportunities for learning sessions and enjoy the wonderful facilities of the Sonesta Hotel, our host hotel location.  

Members will complete the event registration at the hotel and join fellow event attendees for fellowship, cocktails, while enjoying the "Western Flyers Band'.  

During dinner, we will introduce our first time attendees so that everyone can be sure to say hello and we will get a run down of the vehicles that are on hand for the event.  

Monday morning will find us at the Longhorn River Ranch outside of Dripping Springs for breakfast and a quick start to the day.  We will be driving on the Ranch property and surrounding roads as we have a chance to compare some of the finest trucks and SUVs on the market in a back-to-back manner.  OEM reps will be on hand to answer questions along the way, providing even more value to our journalist members attending.

During the day, we will also have opportunities to work on the ballot which is a very important part of the event.  Not only do we have the chance to determine the new Truck of Texas, but it is a chance to provide candid feedback to the OEMs.  

After lunch at the Ranch, we finish the day preparing for a new venue for the Monday Night dinner.  More information will be coming regarding the shuttle schedule to a venue that we think will create a unique relaxing atmosphere where networking and fellowship can continue.  

Tuesday finds us at the Ranch for breakfast as we kick-off a second day of driving which includes lunch before the afternoon session.  Following the second day of driving, all attendees will attend the awards ceremony reception and dinner at sunset. Departures should be scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Following the success of last year, there will be NO EMBARGO for the awards presentation. We encourage social media coverage as the announcements are made. News outlets that want to report the results are invited to attend and report from the awards ceremony in real-time.


Sunday, Oct. 14

  • Arrivals
  • Registration
  • Education Session
  • Welcome Dinner

Monday, Oct. 15

  • Breakfast
  • Driver's Meeting
  • Driving Day 1
  • Voting
  • Dinner

Tuesday, Oct. 16

  • Breakfast
  • Driver's Meeting
  • Driving Day 2
  • Voting
  • Dinner & Awards Presentation


  • Departures



Following the highly successful, all-new 2016 Texas Truck Rodeo, the 2018 competition is returning to the spectacular Longhorn River Ranch just outside of Dripping Springs, Texas.

With dramatic elevation changes on more than 1,600 acres, the ranch provides various and challenging off-road courses representative of the vast terrains Texans enjoy across the state.

On-road drive routes follow the winding river roads along Onion Creek and stints at highway speeds more closely represent drive cycles Texans experience every day.



Ideally situated at the Hill Country Galleria west of Downtown Austin and just south of Lake Travis, the Sonesta Bee Cave Austin is just 20 minutes away from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The newest property of the Sonesta Collection with its contemporary chic, laid-back charm and tasteful design reflective of the natural beauty and textures of its Texas Hill Country surroundings.

The property features 195 modern guest rooms, spanning five floors, filled with amenities for you to relax and rejuvenate after long days at the Texas Truck Rodeo. Enjoy the fitness center, 24-hour business center and rooftop bar - Meridian 98 a nightly hotspot for the locals!

Complementary parking is plentiful in the subterranean garage with direct elevator access to the guest room floors. Whole Foods Market, fast casual and restaurant dining concepts, a 14-screen CineMark Digital Cinema and numerous retail stores and services options are co-located walking distance within this urban-concept development.


After you register for our event, you will receive an e-mail with a link where you can reserve your own hotel room.

TAWA has a finite number of rooms in our block, so please register and RESERVE YOUR ROOM NOW to make sure you can stay at the event hotel.

Our block closes on Sept. 30, assuming we don't sell out before then.



Star Hill is a re-creation of a Texas Hill Country community typical of the early 1900s. Currently the ranch is home to 22 historic buildings originally constructed between 1850 and 1935 and includes several other primitive structures that have been relocated from around central Texas. Main Street is centered around the historic Pontotoc Chapel, which has been carefully restored to modern building codes.

​Star Hill began as a childhood dream of Austin, Texas native and a fifth generation Texan Adam Woolley, and was inspired by visits to the early German immigrant settlement of Industry, Texas located near Brenham.

Learn more about the historic buildings at Star Hill







2018 Title Sponsor of the Texas Auto Roundup & Texas Truck Rodeo

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With our two signature events, presence at the Houston, Dallas and San Antonio Auto Shows as well as the Texas State Fair Media Day, TAWA offers many opportunities for select partners to reach our Journalist, Manufacturer and Associate membership and their networks.



TAWA is always looking for journalist, associate and manufacturer members. Journalist members are required to meet professional journalistic standards, must be sponsored by two other active TAWA members and are approved by the Board of Directors.

Learn more about TAWA Membership

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Texas Auto Writers Association, Inc.

PO Box 1505
Austin, Texas 78767


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