Generosity of truck drivers shines through at world’s largest convoy

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Updated Sep 30, 2015

A bunch of truck drivers made a nice lady cry Saturday afternoon.

Robin Anderson stood on a flatbed at the Guilty By Association Truck Show at 4 State Trucks in Joplin, Mo. and through tears announced that truckers bid $65,000 for just the top 15 spots and the caboose position in what would become the world’s largest convoy of trucks, which was staged for Special Olympics Missouri.

Scott Wade won the lead spot in the convoy with a bid of $17,250

More than 370 trucks lined up for the convoy.

With the $100 entry fees for each convoy participant, the event raised more than $100,000 compared to last year’s $70,000. And, there were numerous sponsorships to add to the event’s total.

“I can’t begin to tell you how much you mean to us,” said Anderson, Special Olympics Missouri’s director of development. “What you mean to our athletes.”

Johnny Villanueva win best combo at GBATS

Scott Wade paid $17,250 for the honor of leading the convoy from 4 States into downtown Joplin Saturday evening. Wade is president of Certified Express, Inc. and Huntington Woods Logistics, Inc. of Neosho, Mo. He led the hour-long parade of trucks in a 2016 Peterbilt 389 Pride of Class.

Right behind Wade were three trucks from Farmers Oil Company. Larry Graves bid $5,000 each for those special spots.

Kevin Graf paid $1,000 for the honor of being the last truck in line for the record setting convoy. It was the first time in the convoy for the owner of Graf Transportation, which operates out of Summerfield, Kan.

Bob Harley, winner of the best bobtail award

After the auction, 4 States handed out the awards for best bobtail and best combo, as voted on by the drivers at the show.

Best Bobtail went to Bob Harley’s 1972 Peterbilt, “Bad Attitude.”

Best Combo was given to Johnny Villanueva for his 2015 Peterbilt glider with a 2015 Armor Lite trailer.

The Freshman Award went to Brad Sweet for making GBATS the first truck show he had ever entered.

Bob Brinker

The tongue-in-cheek Showoff Award went to Bob Brinker, who brought his Pirates of the Caribbean Legend of the Black Pearl themed 2000 Freightliner Classic XL to the show.

Dave Charlebois won the Long Hauler Award for coming the farthest to the show. He arrived in Joplin from Quebec in eastern Canada.

Finally, Paul Coffee won the Rat Rod award.