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NATSO Blog: Truckstop Business

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Three Categories of Products RVs Need at Your Truckstop Right Now

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

We typically associate warm summer months with camping and road trips, but you might be surprised at the number of RVs hitting the highways around the holidays. In addition to those who travel and live in their RVs full-time and the predictable caravan of snowbirds traveling south for the New Year, the holidays also provide a great excuse for more casual users to drag their rig out for vacation or bring their own accommodations when visiting family and friends. Now is a good time to promote the RV-friendly products you sell year round, as well as some holiday- and cold-weather specific ones.

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Busy Bee is On-Point with Apparel

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

Apparel can be a lucrative profit center for NATSO members that invest in the category. Elizabeth Waring, president of Johnson & Johnson Inc., which operates Busy Bee locations, sat down with NATSO to share her thoughts on how she is making the most of apparel and the value it brings to her customers.

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Holiday Retail Sales are Important: Nine Ideas for What Your Truckstop Could Stock for the Holidays

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

As I type this we have 56 days until Christmas. If you have not ordered your LED Christmas Lights for drivers to hang on their trucks you may already be out of luck. What about that bag with a handful of charcoal briquettes inside strategically placed on the counter and sold for a buck or so? Everyone loves to get a bag of coal for Christmas. If you do not have Christmas and other holiday gifts and products in the store already, get on the phone now and get them ordered.

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Holiday Retail Sales Are Important at Truckstops Too

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

I had the pleasure in the past three weeks to visit with owners and managers of a combination of 18 new and current member locations. I saw awesome stores with a lot of exciting happenings. I was, however, surprised to see how few of the operations had yet to prepare for the Halloween holiday let alone Christmas. We will talk Christmas on the next blog.

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6 More Tips to Better Serve RV Customers at Your Truckstop

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

After a NATSO member asked me how she could drive more RV traffic to her travel center, I sat down with a friend who has spent the better part of four years and accumulated more than 100,000 miles traveling the country in a diesel-powered pickup towing a 30-foot travel trailer to learn more about his life on the road.

He shared his experiences and made some recommendations for how truckstops and travel plazas could better serve RVers.

He had a lot of great stuff to share! Here are seven more recommendations on how to attract and serve RV traffic.

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8 Tips to Better Serve RV Customers at Your Truckstop

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

A member recently asked me how she could drive more RV traffic to her travel center. RVs are a growing market and an often untapped customer base for travel plaza operators.

Whether we’re talking about those who take out their motorhomes and travel trailers on the weekends, the surprising number who use them to live on the road seasonally or full-time, these customers seek many of the same amenities you’re already offering to professional over-the-road drivers. If RVers aren’t on your radar, they should be.

I recently sat down with a friend who has spent the better part of four years and accumulated more than 100,000 miles traveling the country in a diesel-powered pickup towing a 30-foot travel trailer to learn more about his life on the road. He shared his experiences and made some recommendations for how truckstops and travel plazas could better serve RVers.

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Take a Trip up North to a PetroCanada Travel Center

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Truckstop Travels

Sometimes it is fun to see what our neighbors to the north are doing. Earlier this year I was able to visit a PetroCanada location just outside Calgary operated by the husband and wife team of Allan and Kathy Neuauter.

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Five Key Takeaways from a Truckstop Industry Icon Shared During NATSO Connect

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Leadership & Strategy

During NATSO Connect, Bobby Berkstresser was presented with The Hall of Fame Award, which recognizes individuals for their notable participation in their communities, industry and the association. As part of the presentation, Tom Heinz, former NATSO Chairman, past Hall of Fame Award winner and president of Coffee Cup Fuel Stops, sat down with Berkstresser to learn more about his experience and success in the travel plaza industry. Berkstresser was happy to share his insights with Heinz and the show’s attendees.

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Taking in the Big Rigs at Shell Rotella SuperRigs at White's Travel Plaza

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

last month. Employees, travelers, professional drivers, locals and the Shell Big Rig team all brought a level of enthusiasm that added to all that the location offers.

White’s, which is owned by NATSO member Bobby Berkstresser and located on I-81 in Raphine, Va., is always a popular location, and when you add a spectacular event like the Shell Big Rigs, it becomes even more of a draw. The professional drivers that I had the opportunity to talk to rearranged their schedules with their companies so they could participate in the excitement.

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Bonus for Not Using Sick Time Okay?

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: We currently have a policy that provides that in the event an employee maintains the maximum accumulation of sick leave of 240 hours and does not use any sick leave during the calendar year, that employee shall receive a $200 bonus payable at the end of the year. Is this a concern for employment practices? We do not intend to discourage sick employees from using their time, rather to reward employees who do not abuse the current sick leave policy and have been healthy enough to accumulate their sick time, which they are allowed to use if they incur an injury but cannot get paid out (for unused hours) upon separation.

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