A lot of you may recall some of the scenes in the video above, just small pieces of my last trip to Joplin, Missouri, for the Guilty by Association Truck Show, perhaps the biggest gathering of owner-operators and other truckers around the nation ... with their trucks on hand, anyway.
The event culminates every year, or now every two years since it moved to a biannual schedule, with a massive truck convoy from 4 State Trucks to downtown Joplin, where participating rigs hit the city's major thoroughfare for a block party. It might be better to call it a blocks party, as it were, given how many rigs show up to line each side of the street. The convoy has seen upward of 500 participating rigs in its last few iterations, all benefiting the Special Olympics.
And I know there's plenty of anticipation for this year's event in the trucking community -- it's the first actually in three years. COVID-19 precautions last year scuttled plans for the huge event.
Here's hoping the current uptick in cases can be brought under sufficient control heading into next month.
The show, always a low-key but exciting event, features plenty of casual hangs, conversations, camaraderie; hundreds of beautiful trucks; a truck pull, the convoy, and so much more. In 2018 a federal listening session on the hours of service happened, too. You never know what Bryan Martin and crew there at 4 State will bring to the table, given the event's notoriety and 4 States' many close relationships all around trucking.
The event is scheduled for September 23-25, Thursday-Saturday. For those interested in showing their trucks, 4 State recommends getting in on Wednesday to get registered and parked up.
First-ever SHE Trucking Expo in Chattanooga
Owner-operator Sharae Moore told Overdrive last year that her mission was “to empower women in trucking through community." Following what began partly as a line of women's trucking apparel, SHE Trucking quickly became much more than that. "We’ve mentored [members] from finding a school, getting a CDL, pairing them with a mentor, riding with a trainer and getting their experience," Moore said last year, adding that some of the collective mentoring efforts had helped shepherd involved all the way to truck ownership, even.
Since we last spoke with her, Moore and company have moved further toward big-tent inclusion with their efforts with the first-ever SHE Trucking Expo September 17-19 at the Chattanooga Convention Center, fairly close to home for me here in Tennessee. You can take a look over the schedule via this link, and the list of Friday afternoon speakers, among others, on the website home page.
There's a truck show as well, with roll-in scheduled for September 16. If you're there Friday, hope to see you!
That's a Big 10-4 on D.C., fourth annual
I talked to That's a Big 10-4 on D.C. organizer Fred Bowerman recently about plans for this year's event. Registration, he noted, is ready and available via the organization's website, and a core group of annual attendees have jumped in with new faces, new trucks, stories and concerns, too. Bowerman's hopeful, however, to boost attendance this year after last year's truncation of the usual two and a half days spent parked in formation on the National Mall.
Participating truckers will gather as usual at the Fredericksburg, Virginia, fairgrounds. Unlike past years, Bowerman said, the entire fairgrounds has been reserved for the event. That includes buildings there for shelter in the event of inclement weather -- rain this past year hampered the initial gathering and roll-out for the National Mall.
Last year, too, given civil unrest in D.C., the pandemic (attendees could see from the National Mall Marine One carrying President Trump to the hospital after he got COVID), and more, organizers shortened time on the Mall to a single day to minimize overnight security needs. This year, they're back to the usual schedule -- the Wednesday, September 29 gathering and wee-hours rollout, with Thursday, September 30, through midday October 2 spent on the Mall. The convoy back to the fairgrounds then is followed by an auction to benefit local food banks and one deserving advocate is awarded the Arline Bennett award, among plenty fellowship, food and casual fun.
"This year will be the first year that 10-4 doesn’t actually fall within the dates of the event," Bowerman said, meaning the October 4 date is outside the September 39-October 3 official timeline. Next year it won't, either, yet no matter, "We'll call it a 'leap year,' this is our leap year.”
After Bowerman and I talked, he reminded me of the 10-2 and 10-3 codes and what they mean.
For an event that makes part of its focus outreach to legislators and regulators, who often show up for discussions out on the Mall (that is likely to be the case this year, too), 10-2 (code for "receiving well") seems an especially fitting day to conclude time on the Mall. And 10-3 ("stop transmitting")? Final day of the event, of course. Sometimes things work out when you might least expect it.
If you missed this video from last year, it showcases a fringe benefit of the fact that 10-4 was truncated to a single day on the Mall. The roll-out thus proceeded right at dusk, and the scene as it got darker was something, I'll say, not soon to be forgotten: