The Spirit heads to oil country in Texas

May 5, 2020

Chuck Robinson


The next stop for OOIDA’s tour trailer, the Spirit of the American Trucker, is Beaumont, Texas, just inside the Texas-Louisiana state line.

The Spirit is scheduled to be at the Beaumont Petro on May 6-9. It’s at the Walden Road exit from I-10, Exit 848.

Beaumont, along with Port Arthur and Orange, is part of the “Golden Triangle” industrial area on the Texas Gulf Coast. The region’s success has been built on the Spindletop oil discovery in 1901. Because of that, Texaco and Gulf Oil were founded for developing oil production at Spindletop. Those companies are now part of Chevron Corp.

Pleasant surprise in Slidell

There was a pleasant surprise for Jon when he pulled The Spirit to the TA Travel Center in Slidell, La. Despite being in the land of great Cajun food, the restaurants were closed and Jon may have had to make do with fast food.

As luck would have it, though, no.

There were people handing out free lunches of red beans and sausage on rice and cornbread. They were some of the Mardi Gras parade krewes, representing the Mardi Gras Indians, the Krewe of Bacchus and the Krewe of Rex.

Jon said they were nice people, having a great time, and talking with anybody that came by. They would not take payment for the food. It was really good, too, he said. It is nice for truck drivers to be appreciated, Jon said.

Freight rates

In a phrase, freight rates are what’s on drivers’ minds.

The recent protestors in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere have a point. OOIDA is with the truckers, and the Association is working to create more transparency with freight rates. Requiring brokers to provide rate sheets to carriers upon delivery of a load would be a great place to start, OOIDA says.

OOIDA also is encouraging professional drivers to officially record complaints with the National Consumer Complaint Database of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

OOIDA needs complaints to be filed to help OOIDA illustrate to regulators and lawmakers how the system is broken. If a driver files a complaint, OOIDA suggests forwarding a copy to the driver’s lawmakers and to OOIDA.

Stop by when you see The Spirit

If you see OOIDA’s tour trailer, stop by and say hello to Jon. He enjoys visiting about the Association’s activities and current issues. He usually has copies of Land Line Magazine to hand out. You can join or renew your OOIDA membership for $10 off the regular price there. Also, you can get vouchers for flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines from Jon.

After Beaumont, Jon and The Spirit are scheduled to stop at Carl’s Corner before moving on to Oklahoma. Here is the schedule.

TA Fleetguard
Chuck Robinson

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.