OOIDA’s tour trailer stops in Effingham, Ill.

April 5, 2021

Chuck Robinson


As the days click down on the way to retirement for Jon Osburn, skipper of OOIDA’s tour trailer, he has a stop yet to make in Effingham, Ill. After that, he heads to Missouri.

The Spirit of the American Trucker is scheduled April 5-7 to be at the Petro in Effingham, Ill. It is at Exit 159 from I-70/I-57.

The Effingham Petro has 212 parking spots for tractor-trailers. Sad to note, the full service dining room is temporarily closed.

Huge cross along I-70

Effingham is home to a 198-foot tall cross, The Cross at the Crossroads. The cross is visible from I-70. It is just south of the Effingham Petro, between it and the junction of I-57 and I-70.

The cross was built in 2001 by Bud Althoff, an area resident who was inspired by friends who had seen a similar cross in Groom, Texas, which is 30 miles east of Amarillo. That is a short version of an account published by the Effingham Daily News.

A new skipper for The Spirit

Osburn ends his nine-year tenure at the wheel of the Spirit of the American Trucker on April 16.

This spring a new skipper takes the helm of The Spirit. OOIDA senior member Marty Ellis takes over from Osburn. With a home base in Carl Junction, Mo., Ellis has worked quite a while for a South Dakota motor carrier.

He, like Osburn, has been honored as a TA & Petro Citizen Driver. There is a TA in Rogers, Minn., dedicated to Ellis.

Ellis has been deeply involved in the South Dakota Convoy and Truck Show benefitting Special Olympics. He also has several safety awards from the South Dakota Trucking Association and has been its president and vice president. He has also won four South Dakota Truck Driving Championship titles.

Stop by when you see The Spirit

If you see OOIDA’s tour trailer, stop by and say hello. Osburn enjoys 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 when you visit The Spirit. Face masks are available for anyone with a commercial driver’s license at The Spirit, and drivers without medical insurance can get vouchers for flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines.

After Effingham, The Spirit is scheduled to stop April 9-11 in Kingdom City, Mo., and April 12-14 in Concordia, Mo.

Here is the schedule for The Spirit. LL