OOIDA tour trailer has stops in Wisconsin through Memorial Day

May 25, 2022

Chuck Robinson


Marty Ellis has two stops in Wisconsin with the OOIDA tour trailer. After that, once Memorial Day weekend is past, it’s on to Wheel Jam in Huron, S.D., and then the American Truck Historical Society National Convention in Springfield, Ill.

On Thursday and Friday, May 26-27, Ellis and the Spirit of the American Trucker trailer are scheduled to be at the Petro truck stop in Portage, Wis. That is at Exit 108A from I-90/I-94. There is parking for 300 tractor-trailers there, and the Iron Skillet dining room is open, and there is temptation in the form of Dairy Queen there.

Come Sunday and Monday, Memorial Day, Ellis is scheduled to be at the Kwik Trip in Menomonie, Wis. It is about 170 miles northwest of Portage on I-94W.  It is Exit 45 from the interstate, on Country Road B. Confusingly, not only is there a Menomonie Kwik Trip, but there also is a Menomonee Kwik Trip near Milwaukee. Ellis is headed up north for Sunday and Memorial Day.

The chain operates 700 convenience stores, which are known as Kwik Trip in Minnesota and Wisconsin and as Kwik Star in Iowa.

Talking with truck drivers

At his previous stop in Morris, Ill., Ellis said he had a nice talk with OOIDA life member Jeremiah Pickett Jr. of South Holland, Ill., who is an owner-op for Landstar and also big into recreational vehicles. He said he often talked with his RV friends about sharing the road and how to behave around tractor-trailers.

OOIDA life member Jeremiah Pickett Jr
OOIDA life member Jeremiah Pickett Jr. of South Holland, Ill., is an owner-operator for Landstar. (Photos by Marty Ellis)


OOIDA life member Jeremiah Pickett Jr's truck
That is a nice-looking truck, Mr. Pickett.


Good to see the OOIDA emblem on the truck
Love to see this on trucks.


Sharing the road and getting passenger and recreational vehicle drivers to understand the problems faced by tractor-trailer drivers is a big deal, Ellis says, especially with all the talk of a speed limiter mandate.

On last Friday’s Land Line Now broadcast, Ellis said speed limiters are the hot topic of the tour trailer. Truck drivers need to file their comments and to keep commenting to get federal regulators to listen, he said.

“We have to let those folks at the FMCSA understand what that’s really going to mean in real life out on the road. Just because something looks good on paper doesn’t mean it’s going to work in everyday life,” Ellis said on Land Line Now. “And I don’t think they’re really taking a look at how they’re going to deal with traffic problems, how they’re going to deal with road rage. I’ve talked to guys that just can’t imagine how mad everybody’s going to be because they can’t get around somebody.”

Listen to Ellis on Land Line Now

Ellis regularly discusses what he sees on the road and hears from drivers on Friday Land Line Now broadcasts.

Stop by when you see The Spirit

If you see the OOIDA tour trailer, stop by and say hello. Ellis looks forward to visiting about the Association’s activities and current issues. There are copies of Land Line Magazine to pick up there. You can join or renew your membership for $10 off the regular price at The Spirit. Face masks are available at The Spirit for anyone with a commercial driver’s license.

Here is the schedule for The Spirit. LL