OOIDA’s tour trailer heads to Walcott Truckers Jamboree

July 7, 2021

Chuck Robinson

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The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association will be well represented at the Walcott Truckers Jamboree. Not only will Marty Ellis, skipper of OOIDA’s tour trailer, bring the Spirit of the American Trucker, but also planning to attend are Mike Schermoly of OOIDA’s Marketing Department and Trevor Williams, OOIDA fuel card program coordinator.

The Jamboree is scheduled for July 8-10 at the Iowa 80 Truckstop in Walcott. The Iowa 80 Truckstop, touted as the “world’s largest truckstop,” is tough to miss at Exit 284 from I-80 in eastern Iowa. The truck stop is east of the Quad Cities area in Iowa.

The Walcott Truckers Jamboree began in 1979. Last year the Jamboree was an online-only event because of COVD-19 restrictions.

This isn’t the first trip to the Jamboree for Ellis. He’s been there before promoting the South Dakota Special Olympics Convoys, but he’s looking forward to being their representing OOIDA.

Events include the Super Trucks Beauty Contest, an Antique Truck Display Exhibit, Trucker’s Best Friend Pet Contest and the Trucker Olympics. Click here for more details and some photographs of the in-person 2019 show.

Buzz among drivers

One thing always on the minds of professional long-haul drivers is the parking situation. The NIMBYs – the Not in My Back Yard crowd – seem to be everywhere opposing truck parking but still wanting stuff to wear and food to eat that is all delivered by trucks.

Minneapolis is toying with a truck parking ban is a case in point, and drivers hope something can be worked out. The ordinance has been sent back to the committee to flesh out parking options.

The good news in Staff Writer Tyson Fisher’s latest The Parking Zone about more parking in Spokane, Wash., is heartening, but there is a lot of bad news to counterbalance it.

Some of the ideas drivers have been telling Ellis include getting more states to open up available space at weigh stations for truck parking.

Another idea is to encourage municipal planners to get shippers and receivers to include parking at all new locations for trucks they plan to load or unload daily.  While perhaps it could not be mandated, it should still be part of the discussion when building new facilities about where trucks will park that are coming to them.

An OOIDA life member suggested that some receivers could charge for reserving a spot on their property, just like is done at some truck stops.

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 The Walcott Truckers Jamboree, The Spirit is scheduled to stop July 12-14 at the York, Neb., Petro, and then July 16-17 at the second annual Western Nebraska Truck Show in Bridgeport, Neb.

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.