OOIDA’s tour trailer stops in Kingdom City, Mo.

April 8, 2021

Chuck Robinson


The second to last stop for Jon Osburn as skipper of OOIDA’s tour trailer will be in Kingdom City, Mo

The Spirit of the American Trucker is scheduled April 9-11to be at the Petro in Kingdom City, Mo. It’s at the junction of Interstate 70 and Highway 43, Exit 148.

The Kingdom City Petro has 235 parking spots for tractor-trailers. Good news, the Iron Skillet dining room is open.

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.

OOIDA senior member Marty Ellis takes over from Jon Osburn, who is retiring.

Ellis has been a company driver for nearly 27 years for a South Dakota motor carrier. His home base is Carl Junction, Mo., near Joplin, Mo.

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 also has won four South Dakota Truck Driving Championship titles.

What drivers are talking about?

Drivers who stopped by The Spirit were interested in quite a few topics, Osburn said. Two issues, however, stuck out.

“The big talk has been PRO Act and truck parking,” Osburn said.

The Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2021 was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives in March. The bill would implement California’s ABC Test for determining if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. OOIDA opposes it, and doesn’t think there are 60 votes in the Senate to pass it.

On the topic of truck parking, many drivers are wondering if lawmakers in Washington, D.C., are really serious about fixing the crisis or are they just blowing smoke?

The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act was given a second life when Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., reintroduced the bill to invest $755 million over five years to address truck parking capacity. Bost comes from a family trucking business and has driven over the road. OOIDA helped the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee develop the legislation and says there is reason to be hopeful something will come of it.

Kingdom City

Kingdom City was incorporated in 1967 at the intersection of I-70 and U.S. 54. I-70 had been completed in 1965, replacing U.S. 40 as the main thoroughfare across Missouri. The area encompassing the city had been nicknamed “Kingdom of Callaway County,” according to Kingdom of Calloway Historical Society website. The nickname has roots in the area being a pro-slavery bastion during the Civil War.

Gasper’s Truck Plaza opened the same year that the city was incorporated. It is on the other side of I-70 from the Petro. The Kingdom City Petro opened in 1989.

Stop by when you see The Spirit

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

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

Here is the schedule for The Spirit. LL