5 Things That Can Make or Break a Truck Stop
The Definitive Guide to Choosing the Best Truckstop on the Road
At the end of a long drive, the last thing you want is to spend the night at a truck stop that leaves you counting down the hours until you can get back on the road. With Yelp, trucking forums, and Google reviews, there’s no reason to stop at a truck stop that leaves a lot to be desired.
These are the top five factors that can make you remember a truck stop—in a good way or a not-so-good way.
By far, the biggest make-or-break factor at a truck stop is its food. Good food leaves you feeling full, ready to rest, and able to take on the next leg of your route. Bad food can leave you running for the bathroom all night, which is terrible for your sleep—not to mention uncomfortable. And if the food is regularly bad, you’ll be running into the same queasy truckers every time you sprint to the bathroom. Check reviews for information on food quality. Is the food hot and freshly prepared? Is there plenty of it or do they regularly run out? Is it affordable or will it break the bank and make you rely on snacks for the rest of your trip?
On that note, bathrooms are a big priority at truck stops. If the truck stop has dozens of truckers checking in every night, a single-stall or two-stall bathroom isn’t going to cut it. Ideally, pick a truck stop with multiple bathrooms. You should be able to conveniently access one from wherever you park.
In addition to having enough bathrooms, a truck stop must have consistently clean bathrooms. Dirty bathrooms are a foolproof way to pick up stomach bugs, food-borne illnesses, and other fun things that can sidetrack you for days. Cleanliness is one of the main things people talk about interviews, so consider skipping a truck stop if the reviews complain about disgusting bathrooms.
Lighting and Safety
Truck stops should be a safe place to lay down your head for the night and not have to worry about waking up to half of your stuff gone. If you’re parking for the night, it’s especially important to look for truck stops with plenty of lighting and safety cameras throughout the parking area. Truck stops with burned-out lightbulbs or sparse lighting may attract those who will take whatever they can get their hands on.
Room for Parking
You’ve finally found the perfect truck stop on your regular route. The next time you head that way, you plan your route around that stop, making sure to stop there for the night, only to find that the parking area is completely packed with trucks. This is a pretty common occurrence, especially in metropolitan areas. If you find a great truck stop, you want to feel confident that you’ll be able to park there whenever you stop. Consider scouting out truck stops in rural areas or that are a little bit farther off the highway. A little extra driving may be worth the peace of mind you get from knowing you have a place to rest for the night.
If you bring your own entertainment on the road, this may not be important to you. However, it’s always nice to have options when you completed your miles for the day. Truck stops with TVs, comfortable seats, games, or casinos give you a chance to get out of the truck for a while and get some socializing in.
If you’ve ever found yourself at a terrible truck stop, make sure to do some planning for your next trip. By planning out your route and your daily miles, you can make sure you end up at a comfortable, safe place for the night.