What Is a SEMA Truck?

If you’re not familiar with the term, you’re not alone. A SEMA truck is a vehicle modified or customized by companies and individuals exhibiting at the annual Las Vegas Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show. The SEMA organization comprises manufacturers, retailers, installers, and enthusiasts of automotive specialty equipment. SEMA trucks come in all shapes and sizes, from those with big wheels and tires to ones with wild paint jobs and lifted or lowered suspensions.


SEMA Truck Showcase at the Annual Trade Show

SEMA is the largest automotive trade show in the world, and the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas is a fantastic opportunity to see what’s new and exciting in the world of automotive aftermarket parts and accessories. Over 2,000 companies exhibit 1,500 vehicles annually at the Las Vegas Convention Center, drawing in more than 60,000 industry professionals from around the globe. SEMA is an international event that provides a platform for truck manufacturers and aftermarket suppliers to showcase their latest products, meet with customers and potential customers, and gather feedback from industry experts.

SEMA Show Entry Requirements

The SEMA Show is not open to the general public and is a trade-only event. Only qualified and approved individuals in the automotive aftermarket industry can enter the convention center. You must be an international or domestic buyer, seller, manufacturer, distributor, installer, media representative, or similar to gain entry. Additionally, if you work for a company that wants to exhibit at the SEMA Show, that company must be an active SEMA member. There are also a limited number of exhibitor passes available for sale. Still, only employees of exhibiting companies registered for a badge and approved by their company’s primary contact are eligible to purchase them. For more information on eligibility and registration, visit semashow.com/attend.

Why SEMA Trucks Don’t Have Driveshafts

A common failure point on lifted trucks is the driveshaft. When a truck is lifted, the driveshaft no longer lines up with the differential, which can cause it to bind or even break. Many of the “brodozers” displayed at SEMA avoid this issue; some trucks are lifted so high that they can’t even fit a driveshaft. These trucks are pushed onto the show floor rather than driven. While this may seem like a cheat, it’s a clever way to avoid potential damage to the driveshaft, which could result in costly repairs down the road.

How to Get Your Truck into SEMA

SEMA, the world’s largest automotive aftermarket trade show held annually in Las Vegas, is a must-attend event for car enthusiasts. One of the show’s highlights is seeing some of the world’s most incredible customs and one-off vehicles. If you’re a proud custom truck or hotrod owner and want to showcase your ride at SEMA, here’s what you need to know.

Ownership or Sponsorship by Exhibiting Company

The first requirement for getting your vehicle into SEMA is that it must be owned or sponsored by an exhibiting company at the show. Suppose you don’t have a connection to someone already exhibiting. In that case, it’s unlikely that you’ll get your truck into SEMA.

Application Process

The second requirement is to apply with a digital color photograph or a rendering of your vehicle along with all the owner and driver information requested. After reviewing and approving your application, you can bring your vehicle to the show.

What is a SEMA Build?

A SEMA build is a vehicle built specifically to be displayed at the SEMA show. These highly anticipated builds often have top-secret parts that manufacturers have not officially released. SEMA builds may also be equipped with aftermarket parts that aren’t available for purchase, making them the pinnacle of automotive customization.


Suppose you’re hoping to get your truck into SEMA. In that case, your best bet is to contact exhibitors and gather all the necessary information for your application. With some luck, you can showcase your ride in Las Vegas. And for those who attend SEMA, seeing a SEMA build in person is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the highest level of automotive customization.

About the author, Laurence Perkins

Laurence Perkins is the passionate car enthusiast behind the blog My Auto Machine. With over a decade of experience in the automotive industry, Perkins has knowledge and experience with a wide range of car makes and models. His particular interests lie in performance and modification, and his blog covers these topics in-depth. In addition to his own blog, Perkins is a respected voice in the automotive community and writes for various automotive publications. His insights and opinions on cars are highly sought-after.