The OOIDA tour trailer sets up in Barstow, Calif.

November 22, 2021

Chuck Robinson


Barstow, Calif., is the next scheduled stop for Marty Ellis and the OOIDA tour trailer.

Ellis and the Spirit of the American Trucker trailer are scheduled to be at the Barstow TA Travel Center on Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 23-24.

The Barstow TA Travel Center is on Interstate 15 at the Lenwood Road exit, Exit 178. It is southwest of the downtown area. There are 303 parking spaces for tractor-trailers at the Barstow TA, plus a Black Bear Diner (which is open), Subway and other amenities.

Barstow is the I-15 gateway to the Los Angeles area. Barstow lies at the junction of Interstate highways 15 and 40 and California Route 58 on routes connecting Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Flagstaff, Ariz.

Riled up about recruiters

Recently on Land Line Now, Ellis vented a little bit about recruiters who sell new drivers an unrealistic bill of goods to get them to sign on. He told about an OOIDA life member he had talked to who decided to call a recruiting number from the back of a trailer. The woman who answered the phone couldn’t answer questions from someone who knew what was up.

“The problem with some of this advertising, it really does make it sound like this is just the best job ever and you’re going to make a hundred grand plus a year and you’ll be home every other day,” Ellis said.

Especially long-haul trucking requires a special breed of person to handle the time on the road, so recruiters shouldn’t be selling false promises to them. Ellis said the OOIDA life member was right to call the number and ask questions that a truck driver would know.

“We need to kind of call them on this so we don’t get these folks who are looking to get into the industry – we don’t want to get their hopes up so high just for them to be dashed within a month or three months of them coming into our industry,” Ellis said.

The problem is magnified with a lot of lease-purchase agreements that promise a driver will own a truck as easy as one, two, three, he added.

Listen to the Land Line Now discussion here.


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 Barstow, Ellis is scheduled for a few days off to get the trailer looked at before taking The Spirit to Sweet Water, Texas; Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Joplin, Mo. in December.

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.