Your Favorite Truck Stop

Topic 16516 | Page 5

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Patrick C.'s Comment
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Sorry to resurrect an old post. I have 2 truckstops that kinda tie for my favorites. For similar reasons.

1) Petro exit 299 I-65 in Alabama. Place is HUGE. I always park towards the repair shop. It is on the opposite end of the lot from the actual truckstop. Place is so big it is never full. The spots close to the repair shop are so far away from the truck stop no one parks there. Petro has nice showers, laundry, one of the better Iron Skillets, lounge, exercise room, etc...

2) Pilot Exit 5 I-20 in Georgia. Why the pilot not the far nicer old time privately own truckstop next to it? Simple answer the back 10 spots (5 on each side) are so messed up no one parks in them. I have even seen desperate people turn around head back up front and park illegally. I always pick the back left corner as you come in. It is on the steeper side. The angle is weird since the spots across from each other are not 180 apart. you have to back up hill while turning. What do I get? Peace and quiet. I figured out if I put my tandems against the curb it eliminates the worst of the nose down. There is a trash right next to me that no one uses. There is the woods right there if I have to pee. If I want to eat or shower at the nice old fashioned truck stop, I just walk up the hill behind my truck. That and since it is a pilot I usually only deal with company drivers. All the O/Os with their old Petes or KWs that have a million chicken lights on them, running all night long with straight pipes. Are all parked at the old fashioned truckstop. Hehehe.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Harry H. [ navypoppop ]'s Comment
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Phox, The Oasis is in Robertsdale, Al. Their restaurant is called Derailed Diner and the fuel desk is a replica flatbed with an old GMC.

Unholychaos's Comment
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Flying J off of I-80 exit 77 in LaSalle IL. Reliable parking, nice hot showers, great area.

Rob T.'s Comment
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I'll be checking out Iowa 80 truck stop tomorrow. Taking a day trip out that way with the family for the truck show. Stopped out there one time when i was going to school out there and I'd think if i was relying on truck stops that'd be near the top of the list!

Cold War Surplus's Comment
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Jubitz off I-5 exit 307 in Portland, OR. There's an old school truck stop on one end of the property and a hotel on the other with an enclosed mini-mall of travel services between them. Barber shop, full laundromat, movie theater, several restaurants, convenience store, shoe repair, DOT physicals, mailboxes, etc.

Ever wonder what would happen if a billionaire decided to make some nice truck stops just because? The owner of Sinclair oil did before he passed. Officially, Grand America Hotels and Resorts, little America on I-80 in Wyoming and I-40 in Flagstaff, AZ are some of my favorite stops. Great food, fair prices, marble showers and an upscale look and feel that will make you forget you're in a truck stop.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

England's Comment
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Are the TA's of America the most "modern" truck stops?

Heavy C's Comment
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Dysarts in Bangor, ME used to be really nice. Before the kids took over. Now it's gone to hell

Diver Driver's Comment
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Jubitz in Portland, OR. Is pretty cool. They actually have a night club inside.

Iowa 80 is pretty cool, especially the truck museum next door. Other than the museum and chrome shop, it's basically a big ass TA. (Not a fan of TA)

Cold War Surplus's Comment
member avatar

Are the TA's of America the most "modern" truck stops?

Nope. TA and Petro are usually have the largest parking lots and offer the most services. You won't see a TA with 13 parking spaces like the Love's in Las Cruces, NM. Each of the major chains has its quirks.

Love's started out as a chain of, "country stores". Convenience stores like 7-11, Circle K, etc. They grew into truck stops. I have to tell trainee drivers to be careful when driving in Oklahoma not to just turn into a driveway with a Love's sign because it may just be a convenience store! They skimp on amenities , but bribe drivers with up to 4 points per gallon on their loyalty program. If you find a Love's with a driver's lounge, a sit-down restaurant or a full-size truck parking lot you can than the Federal Trade Commission. When Flying J merged with Pilot the FTC would only allow the merger if they agreed to sell 20 locations to Love's. Oak Creek, WI; Concord, CA and Troutdale, OR locations were all formerly Flying J. If you're not sure, look for keypads near the shower doors. They'll be disabled but they're often visible.

Pilot/Flying J locations are uneven. The Flying J stores are generally nicer and have better parking than the Pilot stores (compare the Flying J across the street from Iowa 80 with the Pilot on the other side of the freeway). Typically they have services inside the store (restaurant, driver's lounge) but they haven't had service/repair facilities. until recently their focus has been on attracting four-wheelers in addition to CMV drivers so their stores are brightly lit with wide aisles (reminds me of Target). Recently acquired by Warren Buffet, Pilot/Flying J are now opening hundreds of truck maintenance facilities and setting up a chain of clinics with healthcare plans for drivers.

TA/Petro doesn't skimp. The largest parking lots by far. You know you'll get a sit-down restaurant and a 24-hour shop at most locations. The showers are the nicest of the three. Unfortunately, they have fewer locations than the other two (271 vs. Love's 430 and Pilot/Flying J's 550) and their rewards program is the stingiest of the three - 10,000 gallons before you reach free showers on demand).

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards
TommyGun's Comment
member avatar

There is a Walmart in Fernley, NV that has truck parking on I-80. Casino and buffet within walking distance.

Anytime I'm nearby, I always stop on Iowa 80. Its just straight awesome.

Penn 80 is good, one of the few locations that still have a Flying J Resturant.

The Big Texan in Amarillo is a steak place with truck parking in the back.

Sky City in Acoma, NM is a great, large truckstop with amenities with a casino/hotel attached.

Theres a few more, but some of those are secret places you won't find in a truckstop atlas or Trucker Path. ;)

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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