Truck Stops Are for More Than Just Truckers!
For More Than Just Truckers
When the first truck stops started popping up in the 1940s, they were bare bones affairs that filled a driver's three basic travel needs -- fuel, food and a bathroom - but didn't offer much else. But things started to change with the construction of the interstate highway system in the 1950s. As the network of interstate highways expanded across the country, more goods started moving by truck. Today, the trucking industry moves nearly 70% of the nation's freight tonnage, an astounding 9 billion tons of freight a year.
Trucks Move America
According to the American Trucking Associations, moving that kind of tonnage puts 3 million heavy-duty tractor trailers and more than 3 million professional drivers on America's highways every year. Truck stops started evolving to serve the needs of all those road warriors. Parking places for trucks were added along with showers, sleeping rooms and cafes for road-weary drivers. Truck stops gradually went from a clutch of diesel pumps to today's full-service plazas that function as trucker mini malls with general stores, medical services, bowling alleys, movie theaters, national chain restaurants and more.
The interstate highway system also introduced a new era of mobility in America. With post-war Detroit cranking out cars to fuel the new American dream, cars started elbowing into big rig territory. Road trips and family vacations flooded highways with four-wheelers and traveling Americans started following truckers into truck stops.
Truck Plazas for All!
By the 1970s, truck stops found their core heavy-haul truck customers augmented by a steady stream of cars and RVs. The name change from truck stop to travel plaza was a way to welcome this influx of new customers. The steady revenue we provide still makes truckers top dogs at truck stops, but those puppies in the four-wheelers are yapping at our heels. Best we all learn to get along and stay safe when we pull in for a pit stop.
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