OOIDA tour trailer stops in Spokane, Wash.

October 18, 2021

Chuck Robinson


Having stopped in Boise, Idaho, over the weekend to meet drivers and also visit with Jon Osburn, his predecessor as skipper of the OOIDA tour trailer, Marty Ellis now is in Spokane, Wash., through Tuesday.

After that, he plans to head to Montana, with stops Oct. 21-22 in Missoula and Oct. 24-25 in Laurel.

The Spokane Petro is at the Medical Lake Road exit from I-90, Exit 272.

The Spokane Petro has parking for 200 tractor-trailers. The full-service Iron Skillet restaurant there is temporarily closed.

Ellis said he had a good talk with Osburn, who says he misses being on the road with The Spirit but he is finding a lot of things to keep himself busy.


Marty Ellis and Jon Osburn
Marty Ellis (left), skipper of the OOIDA tour trailer, caught up with Jon Osburn in Boise, Idaho. Osburn is Ellis’ precessesor behind the wheel of the Western Star that hauls the Spirit of the American Trucker trailer across the U.S.


“I’m really happy for him. He’s been working his butt off all his life, and he’s finally getting some ‘me’ time with his family, so I’m really happy for him,” Ellis said on Friday’s Land Line Now broadcast.

Scuttlebutt from drivers

One issue drivers have expressed concern about is the push toward electric vehicles, including Class 8 trucks, Ellis said.

“We’re getting talk from our members about are we going to – with the different emissions and that – are we going to be forced into the electric trucks?” Ellis said.

Electric trucks sound sort of neat, Ellis said, but there are issues having to do with the weight of them with the heavy batteries, what to do with the batteries when they are no longer sufficient for running the truck, the range of the vehicles and the lack of infrastructure.

While it sounds on paper, but in reality can electric trucks really work, Ellis said.

“I don’t see enough people saying, ‘Let’s think this through,’” he said.

A year ago, Land Line Staff Writer Tyson Fisher asked similar questions as he asked if electric trucks were the “next thing.” In August of this year, Fisher wrote about California’s Clean Truck Fund and how port drivers were getting seriously nicked.

Listen to Ellis and Host Mark Reddig on Land Line Now

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 Spokane and the two stops in Montana, The Spirit is scheduled to stop in Fargo, N.D.

Here is the schedule for The Spirit. LL