Life on the road is tough; long hours on the highway, tight quarters in the cab, no bathroom readily available, and more. These are just a small chunk of things that truck drivers face day in and day out. Many people take for granted the ability to use a clean bathroom, take a hot shower, eat a hot meal, and banter with friends and family. Around the country, truck stops and travel centers have worked hard to bring the basic necessities to drivers, such as good diesel prices and a spot to park their truck for the night. But others have gone above and beyond to keep them entertained and well fed. So, what are some of the necessities and amenities drivers look for when pulling their rig into their favorite truck stop or trying out a new one? Big focuses tend to be diesel prices, ample parking, security, and cleanliness of amenities. Fuel up – With diesel prices constantly fluctuating, finding the best price can make a difference, especially to drivers who are owner-operators. However, some carrier companies keep an eye on diesel prices around the areas their drivers are in and recommend fueling up at cheaper locations. Lots of spots– Parking and size of parking spaces are important when long-haul drivers are stopping to rest. Some phone apps, like myPilot and Trucker Path, will even show the availability of parking spots at a location. Safety first – Adequate lighting, cameras, and/or security guards all help keep parking lots safer for drivers,especially at locations with a lot of parking. Clean commode and more – Clean parking lots, bathrooms, showers, etc. Truck stops are a home away from home for drivers so a clean commode, among other things, is of importance. Here are a few truck stops that have some out-of-this-world amenities for their customers.
Iowa 80 Truckstop touts over 900 truck parking spots, 24/7 access to food including the family-owned Iowa 80 kitchen with homestyle cooking, 24 private showers, a laundry facility, and a truck wash and service center. But the goods don’t stop there. A barber shop, dog wash, library, movie theater, workout room, dental office, and on-site chiropractor who can also execute DOT physicals, are all features on the property. And we can’t forget about the museum with over 100 antique trucks for drivers to explore during downtime.
Family-owned and operated for over 65 years, Jubitz Travel Center provides a 24/7 full-service restaurant, live entertainment every weekend, 15 acres of fully-lighted, paved, and striped truck parking, 11 private showers and two Jacuzzis, and a driver lounge. Some additional amenities include shoe/boot repair, postal service, a barber shop, an outpatient medical clinic and chiropractor services, and a movie theater.
Owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Creek Travel Plaza was ranked the #1 Independent U.S. Truck Stop by Truck Path users. This facility has tons of free truck parking, fantastic customer service, clean and spacious travel bathrooms, laundry facilities with efficient equipment, and a large driver lounge with leather seats and a flat-screen TV. Oh, and let’s not leave out the mouth-watering southern dishes served in the on-site diner. Chicken and waffles, anyone?
Chains and franchise truck stops are usually competitive in fuel prices but likely don’t provide the extra amenities such as access to health care check-ups and barber shops like some of the facilities mentioned above. But it’s still worth calling out some:
Logistics experts estimate high freight rates will remain through 2022, so now is not the time to stress over costs. Instead, you should be focus on capacity, customer service, and communication.
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