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Sometimes childhood dreams do come true. Oliver Johnson is a New Zealand boy who loves trucks. Really really loves them.

“Ollie knows every single name of every single truck and every single truck company. He gets the trucking magazine every month…All he wants to do is be a truck driver. He is just obsessed.”

Katherine Johnson.

But as his mother was planning his eighth birthday (which would of course be truck-themed) she asked him who he wanted to invite. He told her he didn’t have any friends to invite to his birthday party.

Imagine Ollie’s surprise when a semi-truck rolled by his birthday party and honked for him. But that’s not all. It was followed by another. And then another. And then another.

8-year-old Ollie Johnson climbs into the cab of a semi-truck in New Zealand
Ollie Johnson | New Zealand Trucking Media via YouTube

A surprise 64-truck convoy came to Ollie’s party. The convoy included long-haul semi-trucks and the local fire department’s trucks. And of course there were Ollie’s favorites: Kenworth-brand trucks. Many bore signs and decorations. Some drivers even hopped out with presents for the birthday boy. Then they all parked in rows for an impromptu truck show just so Ollie could check out each one.

After Ollie had examined every truck, a trucker invited him aboard and the entire convoy went for a spin with him. Finally, the truckers gathered together to sing to Ollie.

This fantastic surprise has just as heartwarming a backstory. Katherine Johnson posted a Facebook marketplace ad, seeking a single trucker willing to stop by.

The ad said, “Looking for a truck driver to help a little boy.” It then explained, “he is a wonderful boy and we are wondering if there is any truck driver that could take him around the block.” Finally it offered to pay $50 for the short ride.

Katherine was immediately contacted by Gary Hart, owner of the nearby Hart Haulage fleet. He offered to host Ollie’s birthday party at his garage for free. He went one step further, and reached out to ask if any other drivers wanted to convoy by. The response was overwhelming.

“I just saw that there was a kid who didn’t feel like he had friends and didn’t feel like he had a community around him…I would like to hope that every kid knows that there is a community and people out there that will back them.”

Gary Hart, Hart Haulage

Truckers going every which way offered to swing by for the parade. Even drivers based out of far away Auckland drove down. Hart revealed, “There are probably 10 trucks at least that are coming from Auckland, those guys, it will cost them $500-600 to get that truck down there, do their thing, and go away, and not one of them is asking for anything.”

Then a nearby Isuzu commercial dealership got involved. It completely decked out a new model with “Happy Birthday Ollie” decorations. And then the local fire department reached out.

Orange, green, and red semi trucks parked in a lot for a truck show.
Truck show | GBlakeley via iStockPhotos

Gary Hart revealed that originally just 34 drivers RSVPed. He was lucky he decided to ask the police for help with the traffic, because on the special day the number of trucks stopping by doubled.

Members of the community who didn’t have a truck also stepped up. Good samaritans donated Ollie’s birthday cake. What’s more, the original Facebook post racked up loving comments from all over the globe. Ollie’s father said, “We just can’t thank all the people enough…’thank you’ doesn’t cover what’s happened here today.”

Ollie’s uncle and late grandfather are both truck drivers. I’d say that after a birthday he’ll never forget, there’s a good chance he goes in to the family business.

Next, read about the Tennessee automobile club that organized an 83-car parade for an 8-year-old’s birthday, or see Ollie’s convoy for yourself in the video below: