OOIDA tour trailer rolls into Boise, Idaho

October 14, 2021

Chuck Robinson

|

If trucks have memory, the OOIDA tour trailer may know the way to Boise, Idaho, better than its current skipper.

That’s because Boise is the home stomping grounds of Jon Osburn, who retired as skipper of the Spirit of the American Trucker last spring. Now Marty Ellis is in the driver’s seat, headed for the truck stop dedicated to Osburn.

The OOIDA tour trailer is scheduled to be at the Boise TA on Oct. 15-16. The truck stop is on Exit 54 from I-84. Parking for 171 tractor-trailers is available, and Osburn and Ellis will able to get a cup of coffee at the Country Pride restaurant there if schedules allow it.

The stop was dedicated as the J D “Doc” Osburn TA in 2016, the year Osburn was named a Citizen Driver. The Citizen Driver award recognizes professional truck drivers who have earned respect for the trucking industry through good citizenship and exemplary driving.

As part of the honor, the TA Travel Center in Boise was dedicated to Osburn. A framed display board is posted inside the lobby that features photos of Osburn and a story about his record of service.

Osburn has said being named a Citizen Driver was an honor of the greatest magnitude, rating up there with the moment his wife, Vicki, said she would marry him and the birth of his kids.

Ellis is familiar with magnitude of the honor. He was named a Citizen Driver in 2017. He has called the experience “surreal” and the ceremony “almost like being a rock star.” There is a TA in Rogers, Minn., dedicated to Ellis.

Drivers are talking about two issues

Two issues are top of mind of drivers, Ellis said: the federal COVID-19 mandate and rising diesel prices.

Regarding the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate, in September the White House announced that vaccinations would be required of most federal contractors and subcontractors with 100 or more employees. There is no explicit exemption for the trucking industry, but OOIDA is reviewing guidance and is in communication with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Small Business Administration regarding the potential implementation of any mandate.

OSHA sent its recommended rule to the White House for review this week.

Regardless, of what the rule says, OOIDA reminds drivers that most small-business drivers will not likely fall under the mandate since 96% of motor carriers have no more than 25 drivers, and 99% have no more than 100 drivers.

Listen to a Land Line Now discussion of the issue by clicking below.

As far as diesel prices are concerned, according to this week’s federal report the average price for a gallon of diesel across the U.S. went up nearly 11 cents from the week before. The national average price is now $1.191 higher than one year ago. The price is the highest it’s been since December 2014.

Besides the cost, Ellis said some drivers are reporting that fuel surcharges paid by many carriers are lagging behind the cost of fuel.

There is a fuel surcharge calculator on the OOIDA website. The app helps drivers know the freight rate they need to move their truck.

Stop by when you see The Spirit

If you see OOIDA’s tour trailer, stop by and say hello. Ellis is looking 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 there. Face masks are available at The Spirit for anyone with a commercial driver’s license.

After Boise, The Spirit is scheduled to stop in Spokane, Wash., and then head to Montana for a couple of stops.

Here is the schedule for The Spirit. LL

PrePass

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.