The OOIDA tour trailer heads to Oklahoma City, Okla.

November 5, 2021

Chuck Robinson

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After a short break from the road to attend the OOIDA Board of Directors meeting in Grain Valley, Mo., Marty Ellis plans to take the OOIDA tour trailer to Oklahoma City, Okla.

Ellis and the Spirit of the American Trucker are scheduled this weekend, Nov 6-7, to be at the Oklahoma City Petro. It is at Exit 271 from I-40E and I-35 and at Exit 154 from I-40W.

The OKC Petro is dedicated to Ingrid R. Brown, an OOIDA member who was named a Citizen Driver in 2018. Having a TA or Petro truck stop dedicated in your honor is part of the Citizen Driver commendation. The Citizen Driver program honors exceptional drivers who demonstrate values of citizenship, community involvement, health and wellness, leadership and safety.

Supply chain is on everybody’s minds

Drivers have had a lot to say about problems with the nation’s ports and the supply chain, Ellis reports. The lines of trucks stretching 2 or 3 miles at ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach are an obvious sign, but the solution isn’t as simple as work longer hours, Ellis said.

“There are so many inefficiencies that OOIDA has talked about or years and nobody had paid attention because they don’t want to be confused with the facts,” Ellis said on last Friday’s Land Line Now broadcast.

The efficiency isn’t tough to uncover. It is crazy to have drivers lined up to get in a first gate to get the opportunity to wait in another line to get checked in. Finally, the driver get to a dock door, where a he or she waits because there is another truck in the way or the loaders are taking their time to unload.

Loading and unloading actually improved during the coronavirus lockdown, Ellis said. Many companies streamlined processes because they didn’t want people congregating and they didn’t want a lot of interaction with dock employees. Some companies even skipped having drivers hire lumpers to unload trucks and did it themselves, which was a lot more efficient.

But now many of the companies are reverting to their old practices.

“There are a lot of ways I believe that we could get a little more efficient as far as loading and unloading if these companies are willing to take some advice from companies that are actually doing it right,” Ellis said.

Listen to the Land Line Now broadcast here. Ellis weighs in at just past halfway through the broadcast.

If you are interested in another take on the topic, check out this port driver’s take on the “shipping crisis.

Stop by when you see The Spirit

If you see OOIDA’s tour trailer, stop by and say hello. Ellis looks 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 at The Spirit. Face masks are available at The Spirit for anyone with a commercial driver’s license.

After the stop in Oklahoma City, Ellis is scheduled to take The Spirit to Amarillo, Texas, and then to Albuquerque, N.M.

Here is the schedule for The Spirit. LL

Int'l Used Trucks

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.