OOIDA’s tour trailer heads for Cartersville, Ga.

April 22, 2020

Chuck Robinson

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The next stop for OOIDA’s tour trailer is in Cartersville, Ga.

The Spirit of the American Trucker is scheduled to be at the Cartersville TA Travel Center on April 23-25. That’s at Exit 296 on Interstate 75.

The full-service restaurant there has been temporarily closed, but there are fast food options, including Popeye’s, Taco Bell, Burger King and Pizza Hut.

Cartersville is on the northwest edge of the Atlanta metropolitan area. It is about 40 miles from downtown Atlanta and about 75 miles southeast of Chattanooga, Tenn.

Carterville has been in the news lately because of group of truck drivers there serving barbecue to under-the-gun healthcare workers at Cartersville Medical Center on Saturday to show their appreciation.

Tony Maynard and his fellow drivers at Kevin Westmoreland Trucking Co., based in Cartersville, were the benefactors, reports 11Alive.com.

In the neighboring community of White, Ga., is an interesting tourist site, Jon said. It is Old Car City USA, and the proprietor, Dean Lewis, says it is the world’s largest known classic car junkyard.

There are 34 acres and more than 4,000 American-made cars, according the website. Most are rusty classics, but a few are garaged, including a 1977 Lincoln Mark V that said to be is the last car Elvis Presley bought. Admission for adults is $20 per person or $30 if you want to snap photos. Active military personnel get a 50% discount. Here is an online photo gallery.

Notes from the road

Driving from OOIDA HQ in Grain Valley, Mo., near Kansas City, on the way to Cartersville, Jon Osburn, skipper of The Spirit, said he didn’t see a lot of trucks on the road.

“I only saw six flatbeds on the road from headquarters to St. Louis,” he said.

While he didn’t see a lot of semitrailers on the road, in Kentucky and in the Nashville, Tenn., area there were lots of personal vehicles on the road. It didn’t seem like anyone was staying home there, he said.

Drivers everywhere are aware that freight rates have tanked. DAT Solutions say that according to their forecasting models spot rates are expected to stop falling and flatten in May.

A story by Staff Writer Wendy Parker that was posted Tuesday afternoon has really struck a chord with drivers that stopped my OOIDA’s tour trailer. She wrote about OOIDA member and owner-operator Steve Allington’s adjustment to the reality of driving truck in the era of COVID-19. Read the story here.

Stop by when you see The Spirit

If you see The Spirit tour truck, stop by and 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.

After Cartersville, Jon and The Spirit head to Florida for a couple of stops. Here is the schedule.

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.