The left lane didn’t know what the right lane was doing on a recent Saturday (September 24) when a convoy of huge trucks swept down a section of I-77, skirting the Greater Columbia area. American flags attached to the backs were flying proudly in the Indian summer breeze.
But drivers figured it out soon enough when they passed a semi- with an oversized pallet in its bed pronouncing: World’s Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics South Carolina.
The day began when a bumper crop of trucks (get it: Bumper Crop) queued up at the State Farmers Market in Lexington County early Saturday morning, All spiffed up for the occasion and waiting to be waved into position before heading for the highway and a 30 mile loop around a busy highway section were: 70 to 80 semis, truck/trailers, refrigerated, logging and dump trucks, lowboys, large tow trucks, all at least 10 Gross Vehicular Weight (GVH) or more. No two horns sounded alike; all were blown as they rolled out of the Farmers’ Market.
Riding in the beds of a few large trucks were smaller vintage trucks, symbolizing the genealogy of trucks in the state’s automotive legacy. Many trucks were owner operated, and many also represented significant business interests in small communities. Most were from South Carolina, with Southeastern Freight Lines strongly represented. A Michigan license plate signaled the truck from the farthest starting point.
Lead truck honors went to Rubber Duck Trucking Company, Rome, GA, for raising the most money for S. C. Special Olympics. Rubber Duck is the iconic truck from the movie, “The Convoy.”
While the big trucks were being escorted on I-77 by officers with the S.C. State Transport Police, SC. Department of Corrections, and sheriffs’ departments of Lexington and Richland counties, members of the Special Olympics community were given rides around the farmers’ market grounds in vintage trucks. Members of the Palmetto Upstate Chapter of the American Truck Historical Society as well as the Palmetto Classic Iron Chapter, Antique Truck Clubs of America, had restored trucks parked under the shed for observers to enjoy.
A celebration awaited truckers and their return to the State Farmers Market. The day continued with a picnic, live music by a local DJ, and a castle jump and other games for the kids.
The estimated $25,000 raised will remain in South Carolina and help defray Special Olympics costs such as equipment and uniforms.
This was the 12th year this event has been held in communities throughout the nation to benefit Special Olympics.
Read more by Rachel Haynie at https://palmettoartifacts.wordpress.com/