Four Things Drivers Want in a Truckstop


For the drivers traveling down America’s highways, the nation’s truckstops and travel plazas offer a place to refuel their bodies and their vehicles. NATSO sat down with professional drivers and the traveling public to find out their top priorities when selecting a stop. Drivers thought about their favorite truckstop experiences and shared their insights. That knowledge can help industry suppliers and their customers deliver the experiences the public is looking for.

Four things drivers want in a truckstop:

Service with a Smile: Woody Clark, a professional driver based in Wrightstown, Wis., seeks out one truckstop in particular for the waitresses. “You can walk there any time and feel welcome. The waitresses talk to you like a person,” he said. “There is one waitress there, her name is Connie, and I will wait to eat just to see her. She always remembers my name and as soon as I walk in, she gets me a soda.”

Matthew Keefer of Barboursville, W.V. said of his favorite truckstop location, “The employees are always nice. Sometimes they might be busy, but they still take time out to say hello and thank you for stopping by. If they have time, me and my wife will chat with them a little while.” Keefer and his wife own a RV and take frequent road trips.

Clean Restrooms: Whether it is a professional driver stopping for the night or a recreational vehicle driver on his way to a campground, drivers want clean restrooms. “I can’t stress that enough,” said Marla Landry, a professional driver based in Fort Kent, Maine.

Personal Attention: Drivers, and particularly those who make their life on the road, appreciate it when travel plaza employees go above and beyond. For Landry, who team drives with her husband, extra towels are a nice touch. “Every truckstop we've been at has been very accommodating. One employee even offered us a double shower. I didn’t even know those existed,” she said.

Landry also likes fast restaurant service “because sometimes time is a truck drivers enemy.”

Unique Items: They say variety is the spice of life and drivers like to find new items when they stop at truckstops. “[I look for] different snack food that you can't get a home,” Keefer said.

{HBMHighway Business Matters is a brief semi-monthly newsletter created exclusively for companies that provide products or services to the truckstop and travel plaza industry. Highway Business Matters will keep you informed on trends, tactics, and tips to help you connect to the $65 billion truckstop and travel plaza industry. 

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Mindy Long's photo

Mindy Long

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More
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