The Spirit heads east to London, Ohio

By Chuck Robinson, Land Line staff editor | 10/3/2018

Jon Osburn drives to London, Ohio, with OOIDA’s traveling tractor-trailer, the Spirit of the American Trucker.

The Spirit is scheduled Oct. 4-6 to be at the London TA Travel Plaza. It is at the U.S. Highway 42 exit off of I-70, Exit 79.

London is 50 miles east of Dayton, Ohio, and 30 miles west of Columbus, Ohio.

The London TA has 138 truck parking spaces, a half dozen service bays, and Country Pride and Popeye’s restaurants. There is a basketball hoop, walking trail and horseshoe pit there too.

Google Maps says there also is a Mediterranean restaurant named Moonshine in a trailer-like structure across the highway from this truck stop. The one review is positive. If you are into gyros, hummus, pita and shawarma, it might be worthwhile to walk over and check it out. If it is scary, just keep walking. Let us know what you find.

London is home to Stanley Electric U.S., a division of Tokyo-based Stanley Electric Ltd. The Madison County Ohio Chamber of Commerce estimates there are 1,800 employees working there. Stanley Electric U.S. began operations in London in 1981. Stanley Electric U.S. supplies the automotive industry.

Stanley Electric was founded in 1920 by Takaharu Kitano, who named the company after the British-American journalist and explorer Henry Morton Stanley, who became renowned for his exploits on the continent of Africa tracking down the lost explorer David Livingstone. Livingstone was one of the most popular British heroes of the late 19th-century Victorian era.

London neighbors the village of West Jefferson, a community of fewer than 5,000 residents but home to some large business entities, including distribution centers for Target (employing around 600 people), Restoration Hardware (450 employees), FedEx (employing 350), Ace Hardware (employing 140) and Kellogg’s Co.(employing 150).

West Jefferson also counts among its corporate residents the factory for Krazy Glue and Jefferson Industries Corp., which manufactures automobile parts and employs 700 or so.

They are all on the next exit east, Exit 80.

After London, The Spirit is scheduled to stop in Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia.

At the stop before London, in Effingham, Ill., Jon said a lot of OOIDA members and life members stopped by to chat.

Many of the drivers that stopped by were live animal haulers, he said, including chickens, pigs and cattle. One was a duck hauler who ships duck eggs. Some of the eggs hatch en route. Before the ELD mandate went into effect the number that hatches was about 5 percent or 10 percent, the driver told Jon. Now, though, it is up to 20-25 percent hatching, and it isn’t good on the ducks to hatch in transit.

Some drivers in Effingham hold out hope for an ELD exemption, and others are glad for the discussion on hours of service, Jon said. As always, parking is a big issue among them too.

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.



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