Arizona desert tour takes OOIDA’s tour trailer to Eloy

January 31, 2020

Chuck Robinson

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The 2020 Arizona desert tour for Jon Osburn, skipper of OOIDA’s tour trailer, takes him through Phoenix on Interstate10 to a town 50 miles southeast, Eloy.

Jon and the Spirit of the American Trucker are scheduled Feb. 2-5 to be at the Eloy Petro at the Sunland Gin Road exit from I-10, Exit 200.

The Eloy Petro has 175 truck parking spaces. TVs will be tuned Sunday to the Super Bowl, promises Travel Centers of America’s corporate communications department, so Jon can watch the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers face off.

Cruising through the area, drivers see an assortment of palm trees and cacti.

The date, queen and Mexican palm trees you see are generally not native to the area.

The cacti include the tall stately saguaro and the barrel, hedgehog and shrubby, many-limbed cholla.

Eloy’s largest employer is Corrections Corporation of America, which operates four detention or correctional centers there.

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The name of the road where the Petro is located, Summerland Gin Road, apparently refers to the history of growing cotton in Arizona, or “Sunland.”

Border crossing and USMCA

Eloy is midway between Phoenix and Tucson. It is just 120 miles from Nogales, Ariz., home of the Mariposa Port of Entry border crossing.

Related issues dominating all others in the region pertain to cross-border crossing. It is no wonder that the newly ratified United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is a topic of heated conversation.

President Donald Trump signed the USMCA on Jan. 29. The trade agreement will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, which went into effect in 1994. Mexico already has ratified the new agreement.

Now that Mexico and the U.S. have ratified the agreement, it is up to Canada to approve it before it can go kick in. Canada began its ratifying process on Jan. 27. USMCA goes into effect 90 days after the last country ratifies the agreement.

The final text approved by Congress includes several provisions directly related to the trucking industry.

Significantly and addressing cross-border trucking, USMCA will give U.S. trucking companies a chance to have a Mexican carrier investigated.

Stop by to say hi

Whenever you see The Spirit tour truck, go say hello to Jon. He enjoys visiting about the Association’s activities and current issues. You can join or renew your OOIDA membership for $10 off the regular price there. Also, you can get vouchers for flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines from Jon at The Spirit.

After Eloy, The Spirit is scheduled for a stop in Willcox, Ariz., before heading to El Paso, Texas. Here is the schedule.

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Chuck Robinson

Chuck Robinson formerly was senior copy editor for a weekly trade publication serving the fresh produce industry. He has served trade publications, horticultural journals and community newspapers for 25 years.