Fitness Company Targets Truckers


Due to a hectic schedule, sedentary job and few healthy options for food while on the road, those with truck driving jobs can find it hard to stay fit. Snap Fitness, based in Chanhassen, Minn., is hoping to make a difference.

Founded in 2003, this world-wide gym chain is focusing on providing professional drivers the opportunity to work out. Beginning this fall, Snap Fitness will be opening almost 100 new branches around the country. Instead of leasing space in strip malls like they have done for their current 2,200 locations, the new sites will be placed in truck stops.

Pilot Travel Centers will help reach out to those in the country that are least likely to use the gym on a regular basis. Employees of trucking companies often see a monthly membership as a waste of money because of the amount of time they spend on the road. While drivers who log the greatest amount of time behind the wheel are the most likely to be overweight, even those with a lighter workload will still benefit from convenient access to exercise equipment.

Exercise programs will be optimized for the lifestyle and weight loss needs of professional drivers. The Las Vegas based Rolling Strong company has partnered with Snap Fitness to accomplish this task. Rolling Strong is a leading name in promoting driver fitness.

There have been several recent attempts within the trucking industry to improve the health of those who work for trucking companies. Truck stops are beginning to offer a selection of nutritious food choices. Foot paths are also being created in an attempt to encourage those working at truck driving jobs to get exercise when stopping for a break. However, the American Trucking Associations' manager of safety and security policy, Boyd Stephenson, says he does not know of any other fitness company expanding into truck stops like Snap Fitness.

Snap Fitness reported a revenue of $30 million in 2010 and that is expected to grow to $35 million for 2011. The company's CEO, Peter Taunton, says the opportunity to expand while helping truckers get healthy is a good investment. Currently, this privately held company employs 55 people and they are expected to hire more to staff some of the first truck stop locations which will be corporate owned.

Franchises make up the bulk of the Snap Fitness chain. Traditional store front franchises typically cost around $200,000. This includes the franchise fee, first month's rent, security deposit, property upgrades and equipment. Because the new locations will average 1,000 square feet instead of between 3,000 and 4,000 square feet, they will cost slightly less. People interested in owning one of the new franchises can apply at Pilot Travel Centers.