Ms. Manners: A Truck Stop Or A Convenience Store?

Diesel Tax Increase

By: A.H. Bosley

The truck stops of today are not at all what I like to consider a true truck stop. To me, a truck stop is for tractor trailers first. A place where a trucker can fuel, shower, and get a bite to eat while not being required to stand in lines or fed frozen and tasteless deep-fried mystery meats and low-grade fast food sandwiches.

They are trucker-friendly, clean, dependable, and an easily navigable atmosphere, a safe-haven or home away from home. They are still a gathering spot. A watering hole where we meet and greet over the fuel island or a cup coffee at the counter. There are many good people to meet out here, and some who I have found to be life-long friends. Although they are hard to come by, we should never stop striving to find them.

I know it’s harder than ever with our friendly and welcoming diners all-but extinct. Today’s truck stops seem like they are more interested in the general public than truckers. There is no designated counter or help open for truck needs such as passing for a CAT scale or having a problem with a pump. I’m not saying that a counter doesn’t exist, I’m saying that it is either not open or allowing the general public to cash out and holding up our business needs.

Call your frequented stops, let them know what it is that you love about the service they provide, what it’s lacking, and what you need as a trucker. After all, we are their business, and it should be a truck stop FIRST.

It’s a place where I can feel at ease when brushing my teeth in the restroom. Many of our truck stops do not have separate restrooms for truckers and the general public. Some people don’t understand us at all. They can make you feel uneasy, and this shouldn’t happen to a trucker in a Truck Stop.

I was in a Truck Stop the other day when I heard a woman say, “they have showers here?” Mind you, this is a large truck stop – now called a travel plaza. The name itself is to make the traveler seem more welcome as he/she pulls in and spends that $30.00 on gas and $10.00 on cigs, and a drink. Not a TRUCK STOP where we go to spend $500.00 in fuel and $10.00 to $100.00 on fuel additives, oil, maybe a movie or an audio book, plus the junk food politely displayed for our taking.

Think about how much money is spent by you alone each day, THAT IS BUYING POWER!!

I spend $500.00 every day for fuel alone. Then food, smokes, junk foods, plus an audio book, or a DVD.

I like a dinner, a place to sit and get a bite, or sit and go over my paperwork with a cold drink. – Talk to some folks. I want friendly staff and a CLEAN well-stocked restroom. I DON’T want a subway sandwich, EVER!

A nice clean T.V. room and a nice clean laundry room with more than two machines that work would be nice. A back door to slip into after I’m parked instead of having to walk around front. It’s not being lazy here, I spend $500.00 a day, every day. Sometimes I just want to go in and use the restroom and not have to go thru all the four wheelers to do so. I want to brush my teeth and wash my face. I like a separate bathroom facility for us. Non-truck drivers do not understand our lives, and as a driver, I sometimes spend time in there. I don’t need all the stares, judgments, wonders, and I don’t want to feel rushed. (I know this is noted twice, but I feel it is that important).

Why do we have to walk around to the front past the back door of the restaurant with its smelly mops and garbage? It is a truck stop, not a car stop that allows trucks. There are so many places we as large vehicles can’t go and or not allowed into anymore. We shouldn’t have to sacrifice the TRUCK stops.

There are still a couple truck stops that have secluded areas and back doors (our front door) for us

We need a place to park at night to eat. Some of us still drive through the night. Most truck stops don’t have ANY food past 10:00 pm. The main restaurant is closed, you can’t even sit and have a cup of coffee at the counter anymore. We are a 24 hour a day, 365 day a year business.

There isn’t enough parking these days, so anyone driving at night is out of luck for a quick bite and a cup of joe with some friendly talk. We need a place to park so we can go in and get our CAT scale ticket without wasting a fuel island spot. Maybe a way to pay when you scale so we don’t have to go in at all to pick up the ticket, it would be nice.

We defiantly need more counter clerks for check out. How many times have you seen 7 to 10 people in line with one counter clerk? The fuel desk should be for fuel, com checks, and other trucker needs leaving a counter open for basic purchases.

There are many issues. Cleanliness is a huge one, friendly staff is another. Talk to your regular stops and write in to let the corporate boys what’s going on. Visit a noncorporate truck stop and let us know where the great food is.

You can get the corporate phone number or addresses anywhere, at the location or on the web. Note the store number for reference and be a secret shopper everywhere you go. We have lost the service part of customer service, yet we pay top dollar at the truck stops. You can make a difference here if we work together.

TRUCKING IS NOT JUST A PROFESSION; IT IS A WAY OF LIFE.