Channel 19

Todd Dills

Looks like we got ourselves a parade!

| May 16, 2013
Sam Peckinpah's 1978 "Convoy" flick memorialized the truckers protest convoy in the days of the 55-mph speed limit. The C.W. McCall song on which it was based scored No. 4 on our 2011 reader-provided-and-voted-on list of the top 10 trucking songs of all time, behind only "Six Days on the Road," "East Bound and Down," and "Teddy Bear."

Sam Peckinpah’s 1978 “Convoy” flick memorialized the truckers’ protest convoy in the days of the 55-mph speed limit. The C.W. McCall song on which it was based scored No. 4 on our 2011 reader-provided-and-voted-on list of the top 10 trucking songs of all time, behind only “Six Days on the Road,” “East Bound and Down,” and “Teddy Bear.”

Convoys are a thing of trucking lore, and reality, even today in some cases, as haulers band together on the roadways to run together for the sheer joy — rather than as mutual protection from 55-mph speed traps, as in those old days — of the spectacle. The wistful tone of the letter and proposition below from Knoxville, Tenn.-based hauler Kyle Cantor, posted to Overdrive‘s Facebook page a month or so ago, got me wondering how often these things happen in this day and age. Asking the question on Facebook yielded some interesting response.

Jeff Mathews was among the first to respond: “Convoys are illegal…. I prefer the term parade!”

I suppose caravan could well work, too, but parade it is, Jeff. Here’s Kyle’s note on a Memorial Day “parade” he’s hoping for:

Hey drivers, let’s get a Memorial Day convoy going for the Thursday before. You all remember shooting up 75 through Kentucky getting it together, then hitting Ohio 70 strong, Bird Dog in the front and Drag on the rear in a big rocking chair. Everyone ratchet-jawin’ and havin’ fun doing the job we love, all the lights stretched out for miles…

Don’t know about you, but I miss it, and we need to do it one more time. Heck, we can go 65 so the fun of the bears chasing us won’t be there. Let’s meet at the BP truck stop in London, Ky., get some good food, nanner puddin’ and go-go juice. I was thinking 3-5 p.m. and pick up stragglers along the way.

Let’s show these young dogs how much fun it is and let them see what we saw every night.

What was the last impromptu convoy (er… parade) you’ve seen? Following find a round-up of responses from my Facebook post to that question:

Lee Rexroad: Twenty-one trucks rolling out of St Louis on I-70 heading east, had the back door. Looks good from the back.

Scott Davis: I had about 15 trucks coming out of San Antonio — a “good time gang” with me in the rocking chair. It was pretty cool.

Casey Sanders: Impromptu? That’s a big word! Not sure how to answer!

Steve Vaudrey: And impromptu has only three syllables. Cooperation has five. Now that is a big word. My last impromptu convoy was 22 trucks. …

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