If you are an experienced truck driver, you know that not all truck stops are created equal. In fact, some of them are outright terrible. When you are planning your route, it makes sense to do some research about the places you are planning to stop at. But even if you need to suddenly park somewhere and get a bite to eat or take a bathroom break, there are a few tips that can help you make the right choice.
- Check Out the Fuel prices
The highest cost you’ll incur at a truck stop is the fuel price. That’s why you need to start watching for the prices a long time before you start running out of gas. After passing a few stops, you’ll get a good idea about the average price in the area. Gather information about at least three of them to make a decision.
Plenty of truck stops offer some kinds of cash back program. The next time you stop to refuel, ask if they have loyalty cards that will help you save money in the long run. While $5-$10 might not seem worth the effort, in 5-10 months it can add up to a significant amount.
- Look for Truck Stop Chains
Large truck stop chains usually have a significant advantage over individually owned truck stops. Most likely, a chain will offer higher quality fuel which can be a deciding factor for most truckers. Chain stops offer membership cards so you can enjoy discounts and service benefits. Owners of chain truck stops are always ready to spend extra money to attract customers so the truckers get additional bonuses for using their services. Chain stops are usually larger and have wider parking areas.
- Ask About The Services
Nowadays, a truck stop is not limited to a gas station, a café, and a parking lot. The modern truck stops are offering a wide range of services such as truck wash, gym, laundry machines, bowling alleys, and even chiropractor services. You are more likely to find a longer list of services at a large chain truck stop. However, smaller individually-owned stops can offer a few interesting benefits, such as medical and dental services, free internet connection, and a big variety of tasty food.
- Look at the Parking Lot
A good truck stop has a big parking lot with wide spaces. Unfortunately, such stops might also be more expensive than smaller ones. However, a large parking lot is often the deciding factor for truckers since it can save you plenty of time and nerves. Even if you are a parking guru, a spacious parking lot can be a great advantage and give you peace of mind.
- Trust Your Intuition
After all the research is done, allow your intuition to guide you. Sometimes, your inner voice does a better job choosing a place to rest than your brain does. If you feel that you don’t like something about the way a truck stop looks, just go on to find another one. After all, there are thousands to choose from.