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What You Missed in the Biz Brief This Week: May 28, 2014

Posted in: Industry Trends & News

In today’s information-overloaded business world, we often find ourselves deluged with literally hundreds of news items from dozens of sources. While it is likely impossible to read every article and remain productive, by not doing so we risk missing the one article that could change a key business practice or thought process. And that is where the NATSO Foundation’s publication, Biz Brief, provides assistance! The NATSO Foundation's Biz Brief is a daily collection of the most relevant business intelligence for truckstop and travel plaza operators. 

While we think the Biz Brief is a must-read every day, if you only read ten news articles this week, these ten most-clicked Biz Brief articles are the ten to read. 

  1. TA Scheduled for Closure, Location Called "Safe Haven" 
    Professional drivers are concerned about the coming closure of a popular Virginia TravelCenters of America location. The facility on I-81 in Botetourt County is scheduled to close in August as a result of a highway project that will take the travel center's property. California driver Joe Sullivan echoes many customers' feelings, "We call it a safe haven - this truck stop serves as one of those safe havens - out of many safe havens. The people that are trying to close them have no clue or understanding of the industry." Click here to read more >

  2. New Hampshire Truck Stop on Auction Block 
    The Hanscom Truckstop, located on the Route 1 Bypass in Portsmouth, N.H., is being auctioned off. The truckstop has businesses on both sides of Route 1, and the auction included both parcels. The initial auction generated one bid for $1 million after the auctioneer asked for beginning bids of $2 million. No additional bidders came forward, and the auction was brought to an end with negotiations continuing between the bidder and the owner of the businesses. Click here to read more >

  3. Travel Center Operator Pens Novel 
    NATSO member Karen Gettert Shoemaker, who along with her husband owns and operates Shoemaker's Truckstop and Travel Center in Lincoln, Neb., has published a historical novel set in the Midwestern plains. "The Meaning of Names" is a historical fiction set in Nebraska around the time of World War I. Lincoln's Lifestyle Magazine review said, "Shoemaker’s novel depends upon the German-American families who called this area home, as well as the chasm between the religious and the scientific, drawing upon the strain that occurred when the United States found itself at war with Germany and at odds with a strange, new illness. Shoemaker’s craft as a writer is evident throughout the text." Click here to read more >

  4. Nebraska Petro Named for Werner Driver 
    TravelCenters of America renamed its York, Neb., Petro Stopping Center location as the Charley Endorf Travel Center. Endorf, a professional driver with Werner Enterprises, earned the distinction as a recipient of the 2014 Citizen Driver Award, a program presented by TravelCenters of America/Petro that recognizes professional long-haul drivers who inspire public respect and admiration for the truck driving profession. Click here to read more >

  5. TA Opens Food Court In Illinois 
    TravelCenters of America has opened a large food court in its Effingham, Ill., TA location. The court includes a Dunkin’ Donuts, Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen, and a Sbarro Pizza unit. A large seating area providing 88 seats is expected to be completed in June. Dunkin' Donuts will be a 24-hour operation, while Popeye's and Sbarro will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Click here to read more >

  6. Minnesota to Begin B10 
    On July 1, Minnesota will become the first state to require the use of B10 biodiesel. The switch from B5 to B10 originally was planned for 2013, however, blending infrastructure issues delayed the switch until July of this year. The B10 blend will be sold at the pump from April through September, reverting back to B5 from October through March. Biodiesel usage is expected to grow from 40 million gallons per year to 60 million gallons as a result of the change. Click here to read more >

  7. The Making of an Interstate 
    Ever wonder what decisions were a part of designing America's interstate system? The first segment of the highway network was built in 1955 in Ottawa, Ill. It was a seven-mile test stretch constructed by a partnership of the federal government, AAA and the country's auto makers. Its purpose was to test various building materials, and military vehicles drove on the road night and day for two years. As the system expanded, other decisions came into play. To expedite construction of I-40 in California, there was even a plan to use nuclear bombs to vaporize part of the Bristol Mountain range. There were actually plans to have VIP seating to witness the event, which would produce a cloud 12,000 feet high and a radioactive blast 133 times that of Hiroshima. Click here to read more >

  8. Michelin to Build 1.7 Million Sq. Ft. Distribution Center 
    NATSO Chairman Circle member Michelin North American is building a 1.7 million square-foot distribution center in Wilmington, Ill. The warehouse facility will be located along I-55, about 15 miles south of I-80. According to Wilmington's City Administrator, “The Michelin distribution center will be a showpiece for RidgePort Logistics Center and the city of Wilmington.” Click here to read more >

  9. April Restaurant Sales Sluggish 
    Same-store restaurant sales increased just 1.7 percent in April, according to the latest NRN-Miller Pulse Survey. This rate is significantly lower than the projected two-year trend of 3.5 percent. Traffic counts dropped by 1.8 percent, marking the sixth consecutive monthly decline. On a more positive note, the average guest check, driven by an increase in soft drink sales, rose 3.5 percent during the month. Click here to read more >

  10. Fleet Optimism High 
    A recent survey conducted by employment screening firm HireRight found that fleet optimism is high. Seventy nine percent of fleets reported that they plan to increase their workforce during 2014, and 25 percent said they expected employment gains over 6 percent. Thirty-nine percent of the trucking companies plan to increase driver compensation. The survey found that 41 percent of drivers who leave a company do so because they are seeking more time at home. Click here to read more >


I might be biased, but I think if you aren't receiving Biz Brief, you are missing out! Not a subscriber? Be sure to submit a request to be added to the email list. Already receive it and have feedback for me? Be sure to email me at

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About the Author

Roger Cole

Roger Cole

Roger Cole serves as edior of the NATSO Foundation's Biz Brief. The Biz Brief is a daily e-newsletter created to provide readers with business intelligence tailored specifically for truckstop and travel plaza owners and operators. Cole shifts through hundreds of news sources daily, selects the most relevant and timely news and then editorially distills it into a must-read briefing.