OOIDA’s tour trailer stops in southwest Missouri

April 19, 2021

Chuck Robinson


Fresh off his first truck show at the helm of OOIDA’s tour trailer, skipper Marty Ellis next heads to his home stomping grounds.

On Monday and Tuesday, April 19-20, Ellis is scheduled to be at the TA Travel Center in Mount Vernon, Mo. The Mount Vernon TA is at the Route 39 exit from I-44, Exit 46.

The Mount Vernon TA has parking for 150 tractor-trailers. The Mount Vernon TA is between Springfield, Mo., and Joplin, Mo., on I-44.

What drivers were talking about

The previous stop for skipper Marty Ellis and The Spirit was at the Crossroads Truck Meet in California, Mo. He said it was busy, with 155 trucks there. There were some 500 people served at the evening meal, he said.

“It was a great turnout,” he said. “I think people are champing at the bit wanting to get out.”

Lewie Pugh, executive vice president of OOIDA, joined Ellis at the truck meet and shared his passion for the Association.

The hottest topic of conversation was the HAULS Act, which has picked up 16 co-sponsors in the U.S. Senate, Ellis said. If it becomes law, the Haulers of Agriculture and Livestock Safety Act would expand hours-of-service exemptions for ag haulers.

It was introduced by Sens. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., in March. Both have explained to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg that livestock haulers can’t just stop with a load of cattle just because their time ran out.

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. Also, drivers without medical insurance can get vouchers to get flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines.

After Mount Vernon, The Spirit is scheduled to stop April 22-24 in Foristell, Mo.

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.