Even as the Americans compete for gold in the Olympics, drivers at this past week’s Trucker Olympics showed off their skills, their pets, and their rigs at the fabulous Truckers Jamboree held at the world’s largest truck stop in Walcott, Iowa.
Catch a video of the fun below!
The event was forced to pause last year after decades of hosting the trucker appreciation event due to COVID-19 restrictions. The three day event has been held since 1979, and deciding to cancel live events was a pretty devastating call for the I-80 truck stop staff.
But this year the events were back in full force: The entire event’s vibe was a family picnic.
There were truckers with their children, who bobbed along in the crowd with their fistfulls of balloons– CAT scales had brought a racecar and gave balloons to all the children at the event. And because Iowa, where the event was held, is the world’s leading pork producer, there was a world class rib cook off.
But more than anything there was the Trucker Olympics contests for CDL holders– participants dazzled onlookers with their lightning-fast flat bedding skills–In one event, drivers rolled ropes, using muscle memory only gained through decades of securing loads with care.
The Truckers Jamboree takes their events seriously: The I-80 truck stop even re-paved part of their parking lot for the tire-rolling-contest lot because one participant two years before claimed that as a handicap.
Drivers also wowed the crowd by bare-armed pulling an antique truck (slightly uphill) across the parking lot for the fastest time.
However, the real event was the trucker’s pet contest: best trick and best dressed brought out a few Over the Road pooch-pals, and the owner look-alike contest was the crowd favorite.
In particular drivers loved an older trucker who wore her Green Bay Packers uniform that brought our her twin Shit Zu’s in Green Bay cheerleader outfits. And another driver showed off dressed in his rusty orange t-shirt that exactly matched the coloring of the boxer he led around. The emcee teased him that they had the exact same build.
The event’s head emcee has been working the Trucker Olympics for years, and he also agreed that this year had more drivers, more enthusiasm than ever before. He loved that the events had so many participants, but the real charm of this event is that the same drivers join in year-after-year.
“You really get to know the drivers, and we can tease each other,” said Truckers Jamboree Emcee Dan Hasenmiller.
Drivers received wonderful prizes– ranging from chrome outfitting for their trucks to grooming kits for the pets that had won the events for Truckers’ Best Friend.
The event is geared to show appreciation to drivers, according to Truckers Jamboree public relations coordinator Heather Debaillie. The success of a source of fun and a family-oriented reunion for the trucking community is in itself something to celebrate.
We’re excited to see what next year’s event has in store!