OOIDA’s tour trailer pulls up in Alabama

June 14, 2021

Chuck Robinson


The spring tour of the Northeast U.S. for OOIDA’s tour trailer has changed into an early summer tour of the South.

The next stop for Marty Ellis, skipper of the Spirit of the American trucker tour trailer, is at the Petro Stopping Center in Dodge City, Ala. The Spirit is scheduled to be there June 15-17.

The Dodge City Petro is on Highway 69 and I-65. That is Exit 299 from I-65. Dodge City is about 40 miles north of Birmingham, Ala.

There’s parking for 312 tractor-trailers at the Dodge City Petro. There is an Iron Skillet Express there. The Dodge City Petro is only a block or two from Dodge City Town Hall, and just a few blocks from a Dollar General, in case a driver needs some supplies. Pop’s Place Bar B Q is a couple of blocks in the other direction.

Word from the road

At a recent stop, Ellis says a driver stopped by whose company had been testing equipment meant to determine if a driver was drowsy or not. Despite realizing a failure rate of about 90%, the company still decided to go with the drowsy driving tech, the driver reported. That just didn’t make sense, he said.

They also discussed driver-facing cameras and how they certainly are an invasion of privacy. Where should the line be drawn between a driver’s rights and an employer’s rights?

There also has been some buzz among drivers about the various highway bills and infrastructure proposals coming out of Washington, D.C. OOIDA says the House of Representatives proposal has too many poison pills to swallow despite it allocating $1 billion for truck parking. One of those poison pills would increase insurance liability minimum coverage to $2 million.

OOIDA believes the Senate highway bill represents a “remarkable contrast” to the House version, though the Senate bill is not perfect.

Also, drivers in general seem to agree with Land Line Managing Editor Jami Jones’ take on recent comments by Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and Rep. Hank Johnson from Georgia. In both cases, the comments are dumbfounding. Read her column here.

Of course, chat among drivers stopping by The Spirit isn’t all focused on Washington, D.C., or state government. One perennial issue is the lack of adequate and clean restroom facilities at shippers and receivers’ facilities. Listen to a discussion of Ellis’ conversation on that topic on a recent Land Line Now segment.


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 Dodge City, The Spirit has stops scheduled on June 19-21in Bucksville, Ala., and then June 23-25 at the Idella M Hansen Petro in North Little Rock, Ark.

Here is the schedule for The Spirit. LL