OOIDA’s tour trailer sets up in Brazil, Ind.

April 6, 2020

Chuck Robinson

|

The last couple of stops sounded distinctly European for OOIDA’s tour trailer.

Jon Osburn, skipper of the Spirit of American Trucker, fresh from visiting London and then New Paris, both in Ohio, has a South American-sounding stop next on his schedule.

Jon and The Spirit are scheduled to be at the Brazil, Ind., Petro on April 6-7. The Brazil Petro is at Exit 23 from I-70. There are just over 100 truck parking spaces there, and the Iron Skillet restaurant. Iron Skillet restaurants have online ordering available.

Brazil is 60 miles east of Indianapolis and less than 20 miles from Terra Haute, Ind.

The town was named by William Stewart, known as “Yankee Bill.” He built the first house in the town of Brazil, according to an account published by the city of Brazil. He served in several township offices. He had been reading about a revolution in Brazil, South America. He suggested the name “Brazil” as a short and easily remembered name for the new town.

Word from the road

Jon said he hadn’t seen much traffic on I-70 driving from New Paris to Brazil.

“I went through downtown Indianapolis at the full speed limit,” he said.

The highway wasn’t congested, and the truck stop wasn’t full last night either, he said. The drivers he talked to, though, reported bad news about freight rates.

“Freight rates are not just in the toilet – they are in the septic tank now,” Jon said.

Despite that bad news about freight rates, truckers have been heartened to hear about OOIDA pushing to win real improvements to conditions of life on the road carrying the nation’s economy, Jon said.

OOIDA recently sent a second letter to President Donald Trump asking for “urgent and immediate action” to protect truck drivers as they haul essential freight during the COVID-19 pandemic.

OOIDA also has explained to members of Congress that truckers, lauded of late for keeping the nation’s supply chain moving throughout the COVID-10 crisis, have issues that need to be addressed. These necessary changes will affect truck drivers long after the COVID-19 national emergency is over that will affect truck drivers long after the COVID-19 national emergency is over.

Those pressing needs include truck parking, modernizing hours of service, detention time, and repealing overtime exemption so drivers can be compensated for nondriving time. OOIDA also has pressed Congress to waive the 2020 Heavy Vehicle Use Tax.

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.

Jon and The Spirit are scheduled to be in Brazil through Tuesday. Then The Spirit is scheduled to stop in Troy, Ill, on Wednesday and Thursday. 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.