The Beginnings of the Tournament Service Trailer

MG[Editor’s Note: Due to the Christmas and New Year Holidays, the Monday Trivia Contest won’t be posted until after the beginning of the year. The Bass Fishing Archives staff will also be taking some much-needed time off between Christmas day and January 1st to spend with our families and friends. We wish you all a Happy Holiday Season  and hope you get to spend that time with your family, friends and loved ones – and we hope you can hit the water a time or two also. Although we won’t be posting any new features during this time, please come back daily to see some of the most popular posts from 2013 and also maybe some interesting pictures from bass fishing history.]

Chances are, every pro who has fished for any length of time on one of the major tours has made a visit at some point to one of the many service trailers maintained by various sponsoring companies of the major boat and motor brands. There are even some from the various electronics companies. Everybody is nice to the service guys because it’s these guys that keep our fishing heroes out on the water day after day. But when did this practice begin?

I’m hoping that perhaps Harold Sharp will jump in here with some of his thoughts and recollections on the subject. For now though, here’s what I’ve got. According to the MotorGuide Facebook page, they list the following event for 1974: “MotorGuide and Larry Register introduces first official trolling motor tournament support service vehicle.” That should be pretty definitive, but I’ve tracked down an ad from a December 1975 issue of Fishing Facts (below) that backs that up. In the ad, it states that the blue and white service truck manned by Larry is available 24 hours a day, for free to all competitiors at “almost every officially sanctioned bass or sports fishing tournament” an angler might have attended at the time. And while Larry’s job was to help assist with any MotorGuide trolling motor issues, it also stated he would help with competitors models also.

The vehicle was stocked with loads of spare parts, had lights for working at night, and came equipped with a roll-out work bench. There is probably no question about the goodwill and customer service reputation such an effort would have generated for the company, and it is something that must have caught on, as witnessed by the many service trailers apparent today at an event. Perhaps most interesting of all, if I’m not mistaken, Larry is still with MotorGuide after all these years, having held a variety of positions including Business Unit Manager and Director of Sales.

Larry Register, Motor-Guide Service Ad. Fishing Facts, Nov. 1975.

Larry Register, Motor-Guide Service Ad. Fishing Facts, Nov. 1975.

  • Harold Sharp

    I’m not sure of the year but 1974 sound about right, I can tell you the service teams at BASS Tournaments kept many contestants in the events who without their help would have been heading home with broken equipment. The service teams were a great help to us, we could always count on these teams to help with any problems, even stuff that was not their brand, if they could fix it they did. As I recall Motor Guide started it, then the others joined in and their main concern was to keep the anglers fishing, so they did whatever was needed or ask. It also helped sell equipment, if you were looking to purchase something to fish the tournaments, first thing considered was, do you have service teams at the tournaments ? Ever4yone at BASS appreciated the service teams.