The Iowa 80 Trucking Museum in Walcott hosts an annual Jamboree attended by 30,000 people. The trucking museum has more than 100 antique trucks on display.

Trucking Museum

“If you are the least bit into cars you will find the museum interesting and well worth the stop,” notes a visitor from Legendary Collector Cars.”From what we could tell, it looks like this I-80 Exit at Walcott Iowa is about to become the over the road truckers Disneyland in a few years.”

The museum’s collection was started in 1979 by Iowa 80 Truckstop founder Bill Moon – who had an obvious and unmatched passion for trucks. He looked for a unique truck or artifact to add to his collection.

“World’s Largest Truckstop”

Every summer, this museum at exit 284 on I -80 outside Walcott, Iowa, hosts a variety of events for truckers and other travelers, teachers, students – and transportation history buffs.

The museum attracts all kinds of visitors, from those interested in antique trucks to those wanting to learn the history of modern, big rigs. Exhibit spaces, which expanded in March 2012, now offer a free app for iPhones and Androids with audio narratives.

truckers museum

Since it’s inception in 1979, the Truckers Jamboree has been celebrating America’s Truckers. This event is a great place to celebrate and learn about trucking history – and those big rigs.

The innovation – increasingly popular among museums – allows both virtual and actual visitors to scan and download detailed exhibit information.

The audio, narrated by museum curator Dave Meier, provides additional details about each truck that is not necessarily found on exhibit signs. Visitors at the museum can simply scan a “QR” code at the welcome desk to download the app. Virtual visitors can download it from the website.

“The Iowa 80 Trucking Museum’s mission is to celebrate trucking and to preserve and share its history,” notes Marketing Director Heather DeBaillie.

“This app will give visitors even more information about the exhibits they are viewing and also give those who are unable to visit the museum the opportunity to learn more about trucking history,” she says.

trucking museum

A century of trucking technology is on exhibit at the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum, which on July 15, 2011, celebrated the birthday of its rare 1911 Walker electric truck, which once delivered dairy products.

In 2011, the museum hosted a birthday party for its Walker electric truck – the party coincided with the 32nd annual Walcott Truckers Jamboree at its next-door neighbor, Iowa 80, DeBaillie notes.

In July, the annual Jamborees host nearly 30,000 drivers and their families from 23 different states and Canada. During two days guests enjoyed 175 exhibits – and a Super Truck Beauty Contest with 59 contestants.

The antique truck display included more than 200 vehicles. Thousands also enjoyed an Iowa pork chop cookout; a Trucker Olympics; carnival games; a concert and fireworks display.

trucking museum

A 1929 International Harvester. Photo courtesy Legendary Collector Cars, which notes: “If you are the least bit into cars you will find the museum interesting and well worth the stop.”

Trucking Museum 1901 Electric Truck

The Walker truck’s 2011 centennial birthday party at the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum celebrated an electric manufactured by the Walker Vehicle Company of Chicago.

The company produced electric vehicles until late 1941. Walker trucks were used mainly as delivery trucks in major cities — delivering ice cream and other dairy products, baked goods and dry goods.

trucking museum

Although the 1919 International Harvester’s four-cylinder gasoline engine provided a top speed of just 17 mph, it was the first truck to climb Pike’s Peak.

The Iowa 80 Trucking Museum’s 1911 Walker electric truck was owned by Bowman Dairy and used to deliver milk to hospitals, restaurants and hotels, according to curator Dave Meier.

It is one of only a handful of Walker Electric trucks known to still exist.

“Many people think that electric vehicles are a recent invention, when in fact they were in production over 100 years ago,” explains Meir.

Electric vehicles were popular in the late-19th century and early 20th century – until advances in internal combustion engine technology and mass production of cheaper gasoline vehicles led to a decline in their use. See Cantankerous Combustion – 1st U.S. Auto Show.

Among the exhibits at the trucking museum is one of the few surviving examples of an Avery gasoline-powered tractor. Avery Company of Peoria, Illinois, began producing coal (and straw)-burning steam tractors in 1891 — and became the world’s largest tractor supplier. It was also one of the first companies to manufacture gasoline tractors.

trucking museum

Manufactured in Peoria, Illinois, Avery tractors brought new efficiency to rural America — and the world. The Iowa 80 Trucking Museum’s 1910 Avery “Tractor-Gasoline Farm Wagon” (at right) was promoted with the slogan, “Makes Power Farming Possible on the Average Sized Farm.”

Created by his family, the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum was a dream of Bill Moon, who founded the Iowa 80 Truckstop. Standard Oil originally built the stop in 1964 – when Interstate 80 was still under construction. In September 1965, Moon took over management and purchased it from Amoco in 1984. He managed its growth until his death in 1992.

Plan a visit to the Iowa 80 Truckers Museum.

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