The OOIDA tour trailer joins the Walcott Truckers Jamboree

July 13, 2022

Chuck Robinson


Iowa 80 Truckstop in Walcott is the next stop for Marty Ellis and the OOIDA tour trailer. He is headed to the Walcott Truckers Jamboree.

The Iowa 80 Truckstop – which bills itself as the world’s largest truck stop –is at Interstate 80 Exit 284 in eastern Iowa, not too far from the Mississippi River. Ellis and the Spirit of the American Trucker tour trailer are scheduled to be there Thursday through Saturday, July 14-16.

He isn’t the only OOIDA representative planning on being there. Executive Vice President Lewie Push plans to attend and so does Trevor Williams, OOIDA fuel card coordinator.

The big blowout celebration of truckers and trucking includes a Super Trucks Beauty Contest, an antique truck exhibition, a Trucker Olympics and a Trucker’s Best Friend Pet Contest. Music and fireworks are planned Thursday and Friday evenings. A 100th birthday party for a 1921 International is scheduled Sunday afternoon at the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum at the truck stop.  The Jamboree wraps up on Sunday.

The Walcott Truckers Jamboree began in 1979. Back then, there were a few exhibits, live music, food and a small display of antique trucks, and it attracted only few hundred drivers. Organizers expect to draw 30,000 attendees this year.

A schedule of events for the 42nd Walcott Truckers Jamboree is available. More than 175 exhibits are expected this year.

Admission and parking are free, and shuttles are provided from the parking area.

Photos from Walcott during setup

Ellis sent a few photos during setup for the show as trucks were maneuvered into place.


Finding a good company

Ellis reports that some of the conversation around the OOIDA tour trailer have been about an article that said despite some in the trucking industry having long bemoaned a driver shortage that now there is a driver surplus.

“OK, we were 80,000 drivers short, supposedly, and now we have articles saying we have a surplus of drivers? How does that happen basically overnight?” Ellis said on Land Line Now last Friday from the TA Travel Center in Matthews, Mo.

Companies too often play games with numbers, Ellis said, but drivers aren’t numbers. However, though most of us like to complain a bit, he said, not every driver who comes in is upset with the company he’s driving for.

“Every once in a while I’ll get someone that comes in and they are just happy with the company they work for, and I get kind of excited to hear that too. Oh, gosh, here’s somebody that really enjoys where they work, and they are treated with respect, they aren’t lied to, they get them home when they tell them they’re going to get them home,” Ellis said. “And so it really kind of gives you some hope that there are companies out here that some of the other companies could take notes on.”

Ellis said the best source of information on companies it to talk to other drivers, and not just one or two. And when you talk to companies, ask to see some driver pay slips to see what miles drivers are getting and

Listen to the Land Line Now conversation

Stop by when you see The Spirit

If you see the OOIDA 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.

Ellis regularly discusses what he sees on the road and hears from drivers on Friday Land Line Now broadcasts.

After the Walcott Truckers Jamboree, Ellis and the OOIDA tour trailer are scheduled July 18-20 to stop at the Clearwater, Minn., Petro and then be at the Commercial Chaos for a Cure in Sanborn, Iowa, on July 22-23.

Here is the schedule for The Spirit. LL