Four Things that Make Truckstops Unique


Stopping at a truckstop or travel plaza can mean different things to different people. Whether it is for a quick stop to fill the tank or a leisurely sit-down meal in the restaurant, drivers rely on travel plazas to meet their needs while out on the road. Here are four things that make truckstops stand out.

Locations have Multiple Profit Centers Under One Roof: In addition to the fuel desk, the typical truckstop also contains a restaurant and a convenience store. Many also offer shop repair, a truck wash and a motel. Each profit center can be run as its own entity with its own manager and/or buyer.

Drivers Want to Experience a Location’s Personality: Operators like to distinguish themselves from their competition, and drivers like to experience the location’s offerings. Given the distance truck drivers travel in the course of a week, unique offerings, such as regional gift items or local cuisine, can help locations attract drivers and increase sales.

Drivers Can Be a Captive Audience: Department of Transportation regulations require professional drivers to stop and rest for ten hours after 11 hours of driving time. During those break periods, truckstops become drivers’ home away from home. Drivers have time to browse in the travel store, dine in the restaurant and relax within the walls of the truckstop.

Drivers Are Often in a Rush: When professional drivers aren’t observing their federally mandated rest time, they want to get in, buy what they need and get back out on the road as quickly as possible. Passenger vehicle drivers can also be eager to get where they’re going. Truckstop and travel plaza operators have said grab-and-go foods are selling like never before, which they attribute to drivers needing to make the most of their driving time.

{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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