NATSO Blog

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Five Things Rep. Denham Learned During His Visit to a Truckstop

Posted in: Our Legislative and Regulatory Issues

When Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) visited Joe’s Travel Plaza in Westley, California, he got a behind-the-scenes look at the location’s operations and walked away with greater insight into the industry. During the visit, Kashmir Dhoot, the location’s owner, and David Fialkov, NATSO’s vice president of government affairs, talked with Rep. Denham and took him on a tour of the location. Here are five things the congressman learned during the visit...

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Ten Ways to Convert More Truckstop Customers and Serve Them Faster

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators, Marketing & Retail

In our industry speed is crucial, especially as we face increased competition from c-stores and restaurants that are vying for our customers.

New super c-stores are dotting the interstates with amazing grab-and-go food programs. Although they offer limited amenities and limited parking, they sell over-the-road diesel. They are also experts at moving customers in and out of the operations effectively and efficiently.

So how do we turn these cost center situations into profit centers? How do we improve our conversion rates thus improving our net operating cost?

When you step back and look at all these changes and increased competition impacting our business universe, they are all about speed of activity/event and the ability to go longer and further, which in effect also increase efficiency and speed.

So what are truckstops and travel plazas supposed to do?

Embrace speed! Embrace the need to be different because your customer is different and will continue to evolve.

Here are 10 actionable items you can do to improve the speed of your customers while increasing conversion rates.

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When and How Should You Remove a Disciplinary Write-Up from Personnel Files?

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Human Resources

Today Federated Insurance is sharing one of our “HR Questions of the Month” regarding employment-related practices liability issues.

Question: An employee was written up for calling out sick but the employee had a doctor's note excusing them from work. What is the legal way to withdraw a write-up from an employee's file?

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ADA Compliance for Accessible Showers and the False Cluster Factor

A common misconception about showers in truck stops is that at least half of them must be ADA compliant – similar to the standards for toilet rooms. Actually, that’s not true…ALL of them must be compliant!

The reason for the mix-up lies in the “cluster” factor. Section 213.2 of the ADA Standards states...

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Who Brings the Truckstop Industry Pride?

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Leadership & Strategy

The NATSO Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2017 NATSO Hall of Fame award until this Friday, August 12, 2016.

Formerly the Distinguished Member award, the NATSO Hall of Fame award recognizes current or past NATSO members whose participation in their communities, the industry and our association brings honor to and serves as a source of pride for the travel plaza and truckstop industry...

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Compliance Corner: Menu Labeling Requirements Take Effect Next Year

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Our Legislative and Regulatory Issues, Operations, Compliance Corner

Beginning in May 2017, chain restaurants and “similar retail food establishments,” including many convenience stores operated by truckstop owners and operators, will be required to post calories for prepared food items they sell.

The menu labeling rule applies to any retail establishment with 20 or more locations, including franchises, operating under the same name, offering for sale substantially the same menu items, that sells food that is intended for consumption soon after being purchased.

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Reasonable Accommodation – Or Not?

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Human Resources

Today Federated Insurance is sharing one of our “HR Questions of the Month” regarding employment-related practices liability issues.

Question: An employee came back from the chiropractor with a handout of specific ergonomic measurements for her work station, stating that the employee’s back problem - a previous condition – is being exacerbated by what she is doing at work. The company’s office is state of the art, and designed with ergonomic considerations. The employee sits at a station to type, and turns her head to address patients, versus turning her chair and whole body. The employee also wants to have the computer screen higher, despite the desk and screen currently being set at the proper height. The company feels that the issues are caused by the employee not using the equipment properly, versus facilities that are being provided. What does the company need to document or purchase now, to ensure it does not get a future claim for the employee’s back issue?

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How to Host a Lawmaker at Your Truckstop

Posted in: Our Legislative and Regulatory Issues

Decisions are made on Capitol Hill, but lawmakers’ votes are largely influenced by what they learn from their constituents when they are back home in their districts. That is why the August recess period is the perfect time for NATSO members to host their elected officials at their locations and give lawmakers an up-close look at the important role truckstops and travel plazas play in their communities.

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Reducing Risks at the Fuel Island at Your Truckstop

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators, Operations

The flammable nature of fuels make fire a top concern among operators, but there are a number of steps locations and employees can take to reduce the risk of a fire occurring or to avoid making a situation worse a fire if a fire starts.

As a best practice, operators should ensure all employees know the where fire extinguishers are located. They should also be know how to utilize the emergency shutdown button that will stop fuel from flowing through the pumps are located. They also need to prevent people from smoking near the fuel islands, during loading and unloading operations and within twenty-five feet of bulk trucks and transports.

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Revamp the Job Interview Questions You Use at Your Truckstop

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Human Resources

If you’re using the same tired questions at every job interview, it may be time to mix it up a bit – and find out more than you ever thought possible about a potential applicant!

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