Special Rigs for Special Kids is an annual event which began in Dunedin in 1992.
The Founder of the event Greg Inch got the idea from a mate who was driving overseas in the UK. At the back of the firm where he worked was an orphanage. Every weekend the kids would help the drivers clean the trucks. So to thank the kids the drivers took them for a ride and then treated them to a BBQ lunch. When Greg heard about this he thought "we could do something like that".
After mulling it over for a while he spoke with some fellow drivers and other interested people, and a small committee was formed. Within six weeks the first event was held. They expected about 30 – 40 trucks to show up. They got 120. Overwhelmed with support from the drivers, sponsors, the community and the kids, there was no going back. From then on Special Rigs for Special Kids was to become an annual event.
Run on a Sunday late in August each year the event is now huge. The chosen venue each year must be able to provide parking for 200 plus trucks, have an undercover area in case of bad weather, power, water, toilets and access as many of the kids have limited mobility.
The event is run by a committee all of whom volunteer their time and talents to organise the event. Extra volunteers also help with cooking the BBQ lunch, parking, setting up and cleaning up the venue. The Police also have Officers who volunteer their time to help lead the convoy, do point duty, and help with traffic flow. St John Ambulance also provides volunteers to help if any medical needs arise during the event.
The convoy of trucks can sometimes reach 12 kms long, so if you want to see a Kenworth, Foden, Volvo, Scania, Mack, and many more all in one place at the same time join the over 2000 people who line the streets to watch the convoy roll past.
In previous years Special Rigs has supported a number of special causes which include but are not limited to Koro Club, Southland Hospital and The Roxburgh Health Camp. Special Rigs takes pride in supporting these worthy causes.