The Spirit keeps clear of snowdrifts by way of Kingman, Ariz.

November 28, 2018

Chuck Robinson


While some parts of the nation are struggling with winter storms, OOIDA’s touring tractor-trailer is making its way along I-40 in Arizona.

The next stop for Jon Osburn, skipper of the Spirit of the American Trucker is in Kingman, Ariz.

The Spirit is scheduled to be at the Kingman Petro on Nov. 29-30. The Kingman Petro is off I-40 at Blake Ranch Rd, Exit 66.

The Kingman Petro has more than 200 truck parking spaces.

Kingman is on the eastern edge of the Mojave Desert. Winter high temperatures are generally 50-65 degrees. Kingman sometimes gets a dusting of snow, but it doesn’t stay around long.

I-40 roughly parallels the much celebrated Route 66. In fact, to get a Route 66 fix, you might want to take in Kingman Visitor Center and Arizona Route 66 Museum.

There are various historical exhibits, a cool looking Studebaker Champion and the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum, which has examples of electric vehicles from the 19th century through the 21st century. The museum building used to house a power plant used during the construction of Hoover Dam.

Admission is $4, and the hours 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

From I-40, take exit 48 for U.S. 93/Beale Street toward AZ-68/Las Vegas. Turn left on Beale Street. Big trucks may park in a lot adjacent to the Neon Museum parking lot at the Cashman Center, museum staff tell us.

For an odd break and photo or selfie op, visit Giganticus Headicus at Antares Visitor Center. It is not far from Kingman.

Giganticus Headicus is a 14 foot sculpture resembling a tiki head on a Stonehenge scale. Artist Gregg Arnold, who created Giganticus Headicus in 2003-04, also has some other art projects displayed there. You get to see a little of the Arizona desert along the way too.

The artist himself says parking for big trucks seems pretty easy there. They can park across the street on Route 66 or down at the far end of the lot, Arnold says.

From I-40, take exit 53 for AZ-66 E toward Kingman Airport, go 18 miles.

At the last stop for The Spirit, in Albuquerque, N.M., a top-of-mind topic of conversation was hours of service.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration chief Ray Martinez seems ready and willing to push his agency to address the issues related to hours of service. OOIDA has been at the table explaining how truck drivers are affected.

Martinez has heard from OOIDA executives, directors and members at OOIDA’s 45 anniversary celebration in Joplin Mo., this summer at the Guilty By Association Truck Show and also this fall at the OOIDA Board of Directors’ meeting (FMCSA, OOIDA leaders work together to address trucking’s top issues).

Several members who stopped by in Alburquerque mentioned the negotiations about hours of service and OOIDA’s involvement, Jon said.

“They are following how much fighting the Association is doing on hours of service, and they are really appreciative,” Jon said.

Whenever you see The Spirit tour truck, go say hello to Jon Osburn, skipper of The Spirit. He enjoys visiting about the Association’s activities and current issues. You also 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 at The Spirit.

Also, Jon has forms for the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Program, which has been assisting the children, grandchildren and legal dependents of OOIDA members in their efforts to gain a higher education since 1998. Applications and all required materials must be postmarked no later than Feb. 1.

You can find an application on the OOIDA website.

Lucas Oil

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.