Professional Driver Buying Behavior at Travel Centers Toolkit

Professional Driver Buying Behavior at Travel Centers Toolkit

Tuckstops and travel plazas play a vital role in keeping the nation’s truck drivers moving, and professional Class 8 drivers have unique needs that differ from those of the traveling public.

To help the nation’s truckstop and travel plaza operators better understand fleets, drivers and their needs, the NATSO Foundation launched a comprehensive survey among company drivers, leased drivers, independent owner/operators and fleet owner/managers and used the results to create the Professional Driver Buying Behavior at Travel Centers Toolkit. (Donate to the NATSO Foundation here.)

The toolkit covers several critical areas, including fueling payment options and factors influencing drivers’ fueling decisions.

Key Findings:

This toolkit examines how professional drivers and fleets determine where to purchase fuel and how they pay using the results of a survey that was e-mailed to Overdrive, CCJ and Truckers News newsletter subscribers beginning in April 2022 for the NATSO Foundation.

  • Fuel price is among the most important factors influencing where leased and independent owner-operators stop to fuel.

  • Fuel price is also the top factor for fleet managers/owners deciding where their drivers stop to fuel, and 36% of fleet owners/managers said drivers are told where to stop based on negotiated deals.

  • Drivers and fleet managers/owners pay with fuel cards most often. Independent owner-operators pay with major credit cards and cash more often than other driver types.

  • How drivers and fleet owners/managers pay doesn’t always align with their preferred payment method. More would prefer to pay with credit cards, apps and cash than do. Independent owner-operators said they’d like to pay by check at a higher rate than other driver types.

Created by the NATSO Foundation—the NATSO Foundation is the research, education and public outreach subsidiary of NATSO Inc. The NATSO Foundation provides programs and products aimed at strengthening travel plazas’ ability to meet the needs of the traveling public through improved operational performance and business planning. The foundation is completely autonomous and relies solely on donations. Please consider a donation to the NATSO Foundation to enable the continued success of these programs. Donate to the NATSO Foundation here.

Reach out to Amy Toner, executive director of the NATSO Foundation, at or (703) 739-8570 for more information on the NATSO Foundation.

Download a copy of the toolkit by completing the form below.