OOIDA’s tour trailer heads to Baltimore

May 24, 2021

Chuck Robinson


The next stop for OOIDA’s tour trailer is near the urban neighborhood called South Baltimore.

Marty Ellis, skipper of OOIDA’s tour trailer, plans to park the Spirit of the American Trucker at the Baltimore South TA Tuesday through Thursday, May 25-27. It is at the I-95 junction with Route 175. That is the Jessup exit, Exit 41A.


The Baltimore South TA has parking for 436 tractor-trailers. The Country Pride restaurant dining room is open for business.

The Baltimore South TA in close to the neighborhood of South Baltimore, which – being right off I-95 – is often the first Baltimore experience of the metro area for visitors. It is home to the city’s top attraction, Fort McHenry, where the Battle of Baltimore in 1814 inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words of what became the U.S. national anthem. That’s about 5 miles from the South Baltimore TA on the other side of the Patapsco River.

South Baltimore also has the stadiums for both the Major League Baseball team Orioles and the National Football League Ravens. Both are only a few miles away from the TA Travel Center.

Questions on per diem

One driver stopped at The Spirit at the previous stop in Bordentown, N.J., to discuss federal legislation to restore employee drivers’ ability to deduct 80% of up to $63 in daily expenses for meals on the road.

In April, Land Line’s Senior Editor Mark Schremmer reported there were bills in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate that would restore that per diem deduction, which had been eliminated by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

The member said he didn’t know why it shouldn’t be 100% deductible, but getting back to 80% would save some truckers thousands of dollars in tax obligations.

OOIDA has worked to educate federal lawmakers on how the per diem changes have affected truck drivers. Click here to read about a letter sent in 2019 aimed at informing congressional leaders.

Travel companions

OOIDA life member Bruce Shepard
OOIDA life member Bruce Shepard stopped by OOIDA’s tour trailer at the Greenland, N.H., TA Travel Center with his canine copilot, Luci. “Luci” is short for “Lucifer.” (Photo by Marty Ellis)


OOIDA member Aldred Schofield
OOIDA member Aldred Schofield and his wife, Taylor Aho, brought their Napoleon breed kitten over the check out The Spirit. The kitty’s name is “Der Riss.” Napoleon cats are a newer breed dating back to 1995. They are a cross of Persian cats with Munchkin breed cats. . (Photos by Marty Ellis)


OOIDA member Aldred Schofield and Der Ris.

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 for anyone with a commercial driver’s license at The Spirit.

After Baltimore, The Spirit is scheduled to stop in Raphine, Va. After that, Ellis takes The Spirit to the American Truck Historical Society’s National Convention and Truck Show on June 3-5 in Harrisonburg, Va.

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.