The Spirit rolls into Carolina Panther territory

November 2, 2018

Chuck Robinson


On Monday, Jon Osburn, skipper of OOIDA’s touring tractor-trailer the Spirit of the American Trucker, plans to set up in Spartanburg, S.C.

The Spirit will be at the Spartanburg TA Travel Center on Nov. 5-6. The TA is at the junction of I-85 and Route 290. It is Exit 63.

The Spartanburg TA is 290 miles from the previous stop for The Spirit, at the Kenly 95 Petro in Kenly, N.C.

The Spartanburg TA has 187 truck parking spots. There is a StayFit walking trail for stretching your legs a bit.

If there was a signpost with directions to cities, like the post shown in the now-vintage TV series M.A.S.H., it would tell you that the Spartanburg TA is 20 miles east of Greenville, S.C. It also is 80 miles west of Charlotte, N.C., and 160 miles east of downtown Atlanta.

Expect to see a lot of blue and black shirts and jerseys in Spartanburg, because the town is home to the training camp for the Carolina Panthers. Training camp at Wofford College is less than 15 miles from the Spartanburg TA.

Home field for the Panthers is in Charlotte, N.C. Heading into the weekend, the Panthers were 5-2 and were to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. There happens to be DirecTV/NFL Sunday Ticket available at the Spartanburg TA.

In addition to the common gripes about parking and other issues, in Kenly Jon had a couple of members come in with concerns about a deal where they were supposed to be paid a percentage of an overall trip payment, but they suspected they had not been paid enough.

From what Jon gathered, they were contract workers driving someone else’s truck and getting 1099s for their taxes. There are a lot of issues rolled up in their problems, so Jon encouraged them to contact OOIDA’s Safety and Compliance Department. They would do their best to get to the bottom of the deal.

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.

In addition, during OOIDA’s annual Truckers for Troops campaign, Nov. 5-9, you can join OOIDA or renew your membership while also helping raise funds to send care packages to service personnel in combat zones. Jon will be glad to sign you up.

During the Truckers for Troops campaign, Nov. 5-9, new and renewal memberships are discounted to the special price of $35. In addition, 10% of the amount paid goes into a fund for the care packages and OOIDA matches every penny that goes into the fund.

Truckers for Troops also helps a variety of veterans’ facilities in the United States, including those that assist or provide housing for wounded, disabled or homeless service members.


Where else has The Spirit been recently?

The Spirit sets up in downtown Nashville, Tenn.

It’s ‘Amarillo By Morning’ for The Spirit and then to Albuquerque



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.