Category: travel

The Most Fun and Unique Truck Stops Across America

the-most-fun-and-unique-truckstops-across-America

Truck stops in the early ‘40s first opened to offer diesel fuel which was difficult to find at regular gas stations.  With the development of the highway system, truck stops began popping up, catering to the needs truckers and travelers.

Truck stops have evolved and many are more than just a place to fuel up and get a bite to eat.  Most modern truck stops today offer showers, laundry facilities, TVs, and ample parking for drivers to park for the night.  While some may consist of only fuel pumps, a fast food joint, and a place to park, others are elaborate food, shopping, and entertainment complexes that have become fun destinations for everyone.

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South of the Border

This Mexican-themed truck stop is located not near the Mexican border as you would think but instead is off of I-95 in Hamer, South Carolina near its border with North Carolina.  Pedro the Bandito invites travelers to enjoy the amusement park, a round of mini-golf, or to check out its reptile exhibit and its dinosaur (and other) statues that are located around the sprawling property.

Iowa 80 Truck Stop

This truck stop claims to be the World’s Largest Truck Stop.  It was opened in 1964 in Walcott, Iowa and has grown to be the size of a small city.  Besides ample shopping, it has a trucking museum that has a multitude of trucks on display from the early 1900s onward, as well as an impressive collection of antique toy trucks.  Amenities for drivers include a barbershop, chiropractor, dentist, dog wash, library, movie theater, and a gym.

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Alamo Casino and Travel Center

Aside from the typical amenities and truck services for drivers, this travel center located in Sparks, NV has great food, a motel, bar, and a casino.  You may want to extend your visit. One thing’s for sure―you’ll remember the Alamo!

Morris Travel Center

This stop in Morris, IL features R Place Restaurant, a slice of home with a fresh bakery and a restaurant full of comfort foods such as hearty breakfasts, pot roast, fried chicken, steaks, and of course, burgers.  For the adventurous eater, there’s the Ethyl Burger, a cheeseburger with all the fixin’s that weighs 4 lbs. If you finish it in less than an hour, it’s on the house.  You may even get a hat if you survive.

The Czech Stop

Located right off I-35 in West, TX, the Czech Stop offers hungry travelers top-notch Kolaches as well as other traditional baked goods.  If you’re looking for a quick meal, they also offer ham and sausage pastries and sandwiches too.

For drivers, finding unique stops can drive away the boredom and can be a reminder of why they were drawn to a life on the road to begin with.  If driving a truck is the life for you, Trucker Search can help you find a great company. Post your resume or search companies looking for drivers to join their teams. Start your new career in trucking by visiting Trucker Search today.

Sources:

https://www.sobpedro.com

https://iowa80truckstop.com

http://www.thealamo.com

https://www.ta-petro.com/amenities/restaurants/r-place-restaurant-morris-il-60450

http://www.czechstop.net/about-us/

 

The Move Over Law Can Save Your Life

the-move-over-law

In 1994, South Carolina paramedic James D. Garcia was tending to an injured person on the side of the highway when he was struck and injured by a passing motorist.  Surprisingly, Garcia was listed at fault which prompted him to fight to create a law, requiring passing vehicles to move over for the safety of emergency responders.  Since then, all 50 states have adopted Move Over Laws to protect emergency workers.

What Is a Move Over Law?

Move Over Laws require motorists to slow down to a reasonable speed and if it’s safe to do so, to change lanes to create a buffer if there is an emergency such as a breakdown or an accident.  Some states have Move Over Laws that are more specific than others like Wyoming which requires drivers to move over and reduce their speed to 20 MPH below the posted speed limit. Failure to comply with the Move Over Law varies from state to state but could include a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 30 days in jail.  A complete list of Move Over Laws and their penalties for each state can be found on AAA’s website here.

Why We Need Move Over Laws

An example of why this law is so important occurred one night in early January in Hawaii when 43-year-old tow truck driver Aaron Malama was struck and killed while helping a driver whose vehicle had broken down on the freeway.  According to police, Malama was hooking up the vehicle when he was hit and later died at the hospital from his injuries.  Move Over Laws were implemented to protect emergency workers such as police officers, firefighters, and ambulance workers but some states have added other responders to the list such as tow truck drivers.  According to the Emergency Responder Safety Institute, 6-8 fire rescue and EMS workers are killed each year in emergency situations where vehicles are passing too close.  For police officers, the number of deaths is higher with 10-12 officers being killed each year. For 2019, there were a total of 44 fatalities during roadside emergencies and consisted of:

  • 18 law enforcement officers
  • 14 tow truck drivers
  • 2 mobile mechanics
  • 9 fire/EMS workers

These statistics don’t include the many emergency workers who are injured each year by passing vehicles.

Laws Aren’t Enough

The only complaint that police and emergency responders have about the law is that few seem to know about it.  Too many people don’t know there is such a law. Currently, there is no federal body in charge of tracking the statistics or getting the word out on the Move Over Laws, so it needs to be done on the state level.

What You Can Do

As a driver, you’ve seen many emergency vehicles helping motorists on the side of the highways and may have seen some close calls for responders.  You may have even found yourself broken down on the side of the highway and are well aware of the dangers while stopped on a fast-moving road. It’s not always easy to change lanes, especially when you’re driving a truck in heavy traffic but when you see those lights, slow down and try your best to safely move over to leave a lane between you and the accident.  It may prompt other drivers to do the same. Get the word out! A safety law is useless if no one knows about it. You may just save a life.

Trucker Search is a tool you need if you’re looking for employment opportunities in the trucking industry.  On Trucker Search’s website, you can post your résumé (which is a short form application) as well as search the ever-expanding database of companies looking for drivers and job postings.  It’s a great resource for any driver starting in the trucking industry.

Sources:

http://www.ourdigitalmags.com/article/A+Margin+of+Safety%3A+Raising+“Move+Over”+Compliance+Rates/1857597/0/article.html

https://drivinglaws.aaa.com/tag/move-over-law/

https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2020/01/13/friends-pay-tribute-tow-truck-driver-killed-crash-boost-awareness-about-move-over-law/

https://www.moveoveramerica.com

https://www.respondersafety.com/Struck-By-Incidents/2019-ERSI-StruckByVehicle-Fatality-Report.aspx

https://www.kvue.com/article/news/local/you-can-kill-somebody-officials-think-many-drivers-dont-know-about-the-move-over-law/269-a1426c45-d131-4c71-8f5a-c73110e0b6a9

 

Taking Your Kid on the Road

taking-your-kid-on-the-road

Many truck drivers bring a spouse with them on the road and it can be effective in fighting loneliness during long hours behind the wheel and it can also help them stay connected as a couple. Having a spouse with a CDL is an added bonus because he or she can take on some of the driving.  But what about children? Should a child be taken on the road? 

First, if you drive for a carrier, you obviously must abide by their policies and requirements. Some carriers won’t allow extra riders due to insurance restrictions.  Others will but may require you to sign a waiver that states that the company is not legally responsible for the child. If you own your truck, you have your own insurance policy and should make sure that your passengers will be covered by insurance if anything should occur on the road requiring medical help. 

Safety 

If your child is going to accompany you on the road, you must ensure their safety at all times.  The safest place for your child is in the passenger seat of the truck restrained with a seat belt, car seat, or booster seat depending on the age of the child.  Tractor trailer trucks usually don’t have an air bag on the passenger’s side so even a rear-facing seat shouldn’t be a problem but you should make sure before strapping your child in.  There are also safety harnesses that attach to the bunk so your child can be on the bunk without the danger of falling off. 

A child is great company and the time together will allow you to bond with them but will it be a distraction while you’re driving?  Remember, safety is most important for you, your child, and everyone else on the road. 

Truck stops can be dangerous places for children and they need to be watched closely in the busy parking lots and in the stranger-filled truck stop itself.  They should never play or run in a truck stop parking lot or be left alone.

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Source: Michael Anderson (Photographer)

Education 

If you’re planning to take your child on the road, how will your kiddos get an education? There are online class options for homeschooling but you’ll need to have a reliable wifi connection to do so. 

Another consideration for your child’s education is how his or her social needs will be met. Much of the education we get in school has nothing to do with the curriculum but rather what we learn from interacting with the other children. Empathy, coping skills, and how to compromise and reason are just a few of the things we learn from peer interactions.  Of course, seeing the country provides its own unique education too.

Vacations or summertime can be the optimum time to bring your kid on the road because you don’t have to worry about their schooling. 

Exercise

Everyone needs to exercise but it’s essential for young, developing bodies and you need to make time every day for your child to do more than just stretch their legs. Stop at parks and playgrounds. Get a gym membership.  The YMCA and most national gym chains allow you to work out at any of their locations nationwide. 

trucker-family

Routine 

While life on the road is an adventure, children need some kind of routine.  Education time, mealtimes, and bedtimes may be difficult to fit into your schedule but it’s best for your child’s development. 

Regular meal times should include healthy foods. It’s not always easy to find healthy options on the road so be sure to keep your truck stocked with healthy foods from the grocery store. Entertainment 

Let’s face it, long hours on the highway are boring, especially if you’re a kid. Make sure there are plenty of things to keep them occupied like puzzle books, a tablet, a smartphone, books, and drawing pads. There are lots of ideas on the internet of games you can play on the road like road sign bingo that are fun and can help you pass the time too. 

Considerations 

Life on the road can be dangerous. Aside from busy truck stops, there are the inherent dangers of driving on the road all day or night.  There are accidents―not just the possibility of being in one yourself but also of witnessing one or seeing the aftermath of one. These things can be traumatic for a child. Think about the things you’ve seen or experienced before you consider bringing your child along. 

Ask yourself whether or not this is what your child wants.  If being stuck in a truck all day is going to make your child miserable, it’s not going to be a good experience for either of you. 

Look at your schedule. Will there be time for extra stops and for you to be able to give your child enough attention? 

When you bring your child on the road you’re not a babysitter you’re the caretaker. You must give your child everything he or she needs to thrive. If all the right precautions are made, taking your child on the road can be a bonding experience where you can make memories that last a lifetime. 

Trucker Search is the only tool you need if you’re looking to work for a great company. On Trucker Search’s website, you can post your résumés and search the comprehensive database of driving jobs available.