OOIDA’s tour trailer heads to Hot Springs, S.D.

May 29, 2020

Chuck Robinson

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Hot Springs, S.D., is the next stop for OOIDA’s tour trailer.

The Spirit of the American Trucker is scheduled to be at the Hot Springs TA Express on Saturday and Sunday, May 30-31.

The Hot Springs TA Express is about 50 miles south of Rapid City, S.D., on U.S. Highway 385. There are 75 truck parking spots there, a Subway, Caribou Coffee and a pet area.

Hot Springs is a stop in lieu of one that had been scheduled at Wheel Jam Truck Show in Huron, S.D., but the show was canceled because of the coronavirus.

Plans also fell through for The Spirit to be at the American Truck Historical Society National Convention and Truck Show scheduled for the end of May. Because of the coronavirus, organizers created a virtual ATHS show on May 28-30.

Hot Springs is at the southern edge of South Dakota’s Black Hills National Forest in the southwest corner of the state. There are several springs in the area, and the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce lists some here. It is about 50 miles west of the Badlands National Park.

The Hot Springs TA was a Coffee Cup Fuel Stop until last year. TravelCenters of America rebranded four Coffee Cup Fuel Stops last year. They are owned by Heinz Inc. Heinz Inc. President Tom Heinz co-founded Coffee Cup Fuel in 1981 in Steele, N.D. Heinz also is treasurer on the board of directors of the St. Christopher Trucker Relief Fund.

Heinz Inc. bought the Hot Springs truck stop in 2007, rebranding it from the Maverick Junction Truck Stop.

The Spirit’s stop before Hot Springs was in Ogallala, Neb., on I-80 in the western part of the state.

Word from the road

Drivers were interested in the back-and-forth debate between OOIDA and the brokers trade group named Transportation Intermediaries Association. Some brokers, with the blessing of the TIA, have made it clear they do not intend to make transaction records available to drivers as required by federal law.

OOIDA has asked Congress to:

  • Prohibit brokers from including clauses that essentially waive a carrier’s right to access information.
  • Require the automatic electronic transmission of records made available under federal regulations following the completion of service.
  • Authorize fines for brokers violating transparency regulations.
  • Authorize the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to suspend or revoke the authority of habitually noncompliant brokers.

Some drivers have gotten a chuckle about TIA’s kneejerk bluster in reaction to OOIDA’s request that brokers be made to adhere to federal regulations. Some have noted that TIA’s response has basically reinforced OOIDA’s stance. Staff Writer Wendy Parker picked up on that vibe recently in a column.

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. He usually has copies of Land Line Magazine to hand out. 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 Hot Springs, Jon and The Spirit are scheduled to stop in Montana in Laurel and Missoula. 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.