The OOIDA tour trailer sets up in Albuquerque, N.M.

November 11, 2021

Chuck Robinson


Steering clear of winter weather for a bit, Marty Ellis plans to pull the OOIDA tour trailer to Albuquerque, N.M. for Friday and Saturday.

Ellis and the Spirit of the American Trucker are scheduled Nov. 12-13 to be at the Albuquerque TA. Several exits lead to the Albuquerque TA. From I-40 it is Exit 159A. From I-25, it is Exit 225 or northbound traffic and Exit 227 for southbound traffic.


The Albuquerque TA has parking for 150 tractor-trailers. The Country Pride full-service dining room is reported to be open.

This truck stop is dedicated to Jim Wilcox, who was named a TA & Petro Citizen Driver in 2017, the same year that Ellis became a Citizen Driver.

The Citizen Driver program honors exceptional drivers who demonstrate values of citizenship, community involvement, health and wellness, leadership and safety. A TA or Petro truck stop is dedicated in honor of Citizen Driver honorees as part of the recognition accorded to them.

Besides the Citizen Driver honor, Wilcox also was inducted into the YRC Freight National Driver Hall of Fame in 2013.

Lots of vaccine mandate confusion

Drivers have a lot of questions about whether they are affected by a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, Ellis reports. There is ample reason to be confused.

There is a vaccine mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors. In most cases, federal contractor employees will need to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8. The federal contractor vaccine mandate only affects contracts over $250,000.

In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s rule mandating the COVID-19 vaccine or mandatory testing for companies with 100 or more employees was published Nov. 5 in the Federal Register. The first deadline to comply was Dec. 5 but a federal appeals court has blocked it as opponents challenge the mandate’s constitutionality.

OOIDA opposes the vaccine mandate.

Constitutional or not, Labor secretary Marty Walsh has said the rule wouldn’t apply to most truck drivers. Just what that means moving forward is unclear at this point.

There are further questions regarding team drivers who are not members of the same family have to mask up in the cab.

Listen to a Land Line Now discussion of the topic of vaccine mandates.

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 Albuquerque, Ellis is scheduled to take The Spirit to Kingman, Ariz., and then Las Vegas.

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.