OOIDA tour trailer stops in Fort Bridger, Wyo.

October 11, 2021

Chuck Robinson


Marty Ellis is scheduled to take the OOIDA tour trailer across the state of Wyoming from Laramie to Fort Bridger.

OOIDA’s tour trailer is scheduled to be at the Fort Bridger TA Tuesday and Wednesday. There’s parking for 165 trucks at the Fort Bridger TA.  There is Taco Bell, Burger King and Homestyle Kitchen.

Just 15 miles or so east of the Fort Bridger TA is the Cowboy Café in Lyman, Wyo.  Google reviews of it say it is “homey” and the homemade peach pie is worth a stop.

Ellis will pass by Little America as he heads to Fort Bridger on I-80. While Little America is an incorporated town, the whole town is a multifaceted private enterprise. Besides the hotel, bar and Little American Grill, there is parking for 350 tractor-trailers there. It is 35 miles east of Fort Bridger. The menu suggests there is no going away hungry at the grill.

Word from the road – and off

With so many truckers being affected by the ongoing part shortage, it was only a matter of time before the OOIDA tour trailer was also caught up in it.

Since the Guilty By Association Truck Show in Joplin, Mo., there was an issue with the trailer and also a radiator issue and another with to repair a window that wouldn’t got up.

“They got me in the next day, which, I mean, that’s all great, but they really haven’t been very forthcoming on information on when the parts are coming. And that’s been a challenge,” Ellis said on Friday’s Land Line Now broadcast. “And that’s one thing, if I could say to anyone running a shop somewhere – the best thing you can do for anybody is to give information, even if it’s information a guy doesn’t want to hear. At least he knows he’s not being forgot about.”

A couple of stops for the OOIDA tour trailer had to be canceled because of the delay.

“Now if I hadn’t been accidently at home when all of this had been happening, I’d be sitting out in a hotel somewhere saying, ‘Huh. Sure would be nice to be home,’” Ellis said.

Besides being sidelined by the parts delay, drivers have had concerns about the COVID-19 emergency declaration for hours of service exemption.

Ellis said drivers are misconstruing how the emergency declaration exemption works, and maybe construing the regulations a little more favorably for themselves than what regulators intended.

The Federal Motor Safety Administration now requires drivers to report on their use of the exemption. The first report for September was due Oct. 5. Read more about the change here.

Ellis encouraged members to contact the Compliance Department at OOIDA headquarters if they had any questions.

“I hope that people really do reach out if you have any thoughts at all, any questions. Even if you, eh, aren’t quite sure – call ’em up. … They at least tell you the truth about it, and you don’t want to be just left hanging out there and worry about getting in trouble,” Ellis said.

Listen to the Land Line Now segment here.


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 Fort Bridger, The Spirit is scheduled to stop at the TA Travel Center dedicated to Ellis’ predecessor as skipper of the OOIDA tour trailer, Jon Osburn. The Spirit is scheduled to be at the J D “Doc” Osburn TA in Boise, Idaho, on Oct 15-16.

Here is the schedule for The Spirit. LL


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.