The York, Neb., water tower stands like a beacon for The Spirit

August 24, 2018

Chuck Robinson


Fargo, N.D., with all of its wood chippers and other eccentricities, is in the rear-view mirror as Jon Osburn, skipper of OOIDA’s touring semi-trailer, heads to York, Neb.

The Spirit of the American Trucker is scheduled to be at the Charley Endorf Petro Stopping Center on Aug. 27-29.

The truck stop is at the junction of I-80 and U.S. Highway 81 at Exit 353.

The Petro was named for 2014 Citizen Driver Award winner Charley Endorf, a driver for Werner who at the time had logged 5 million safe driving miles since becoming a truck driver in 1976.

One thing that makes York stand out is its colorful water tower painted like a hot air balloon. It has been there since 1998. It stands 130 feet tall and holds 750,000 gallons. The city had a Towers of York public art display in 2017 with 15 artists decorating short replicas of it. Also, the York County Visitors Bureau has made Christmas ornaments resembling the tower.

To suggest what type of town York is, the community’s newspaper, the York News-Times, recently ran an editorial about Sharon Wilkinson, who was married to Uncle Ronnie. He had just passed away. It was a touching remembrance, which ended with Sharon dancing with her nephews in celebration of her husband’s life.

In other news, five law enforcement agencies together chased down a black Nissan Versa clocked going more than 100 miles an hour during the day of Aug. 22 on Interstate 80. Spike strips were used to slow the driver. In the end, the driver and a passenger were arrested for marijuana possession and other charges.

So that’s the news from York, Neb., where all the women are strong, all the men good looking and all the children above average.

At the stop before York in Fargo, Jon said he got lots of ag questions and also quite a few oil field questions.

Briefly, here are the basics of the 150-air-mile ag exemption for having to use electronic logging devices. The FMCSA has some diagrams to help clarify.

  • Trucks are exempted from using an ELD within 150 air-miles of the source of the ag product, such as the field, farm, livestock holding pen and the like. Drive outside the 150-air-mile radius and an ELD is required and hours of service must be counted.
  • Trucks are exempt from the ELD requirement when taking products to a grain elevator or other market up to that 150 air-mile radius from the source, but an ELD is required 1 foot outside that radius.
  • If picking up ag commodities from multiple sources and taking them to market, the first stop locks in the center point of the 150 air-mile radius. Hours of service are not tallied for however long the driver stays within the radius, but go outside the radius and drivers must count the hours of service and must have an ELD.

Jon says discussing the permutations of the rules and how they apply in specific situations is good exercise for his brain. He likes a good puzzle.

Whenever you see The Spirit tour truck, go say hello to Jon. 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.