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Jon Osburn and OOIDA’s tour truck, the Spirit of the American Trucker, are taking a break. We’ll let you know when they’re back on the road. Meanwhile, you can still join OOIDA at a $10 discount by calling (816) 229-5791 and mentioning our show. See the full Spirit Schedule. Air date: June 24, 2018.

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Remember who made you what you are

Sometimes, you just don’t know what will make people upset. And you never know who’s going to have some interesting insight to set the record straight.

A while back, we ran a story about how Love’s Truck Stops are adding hotels to some of their locations.

That report raised some ire among some truckers, who said that if the company had land available, it should add truck parking.

Scott Sargent, an OOIDA life member from Holmen, Wis., took a different view.

“One thing that we all need to remember is that trucks are not the only vehicles out here on the highway,” Scott said. “While we have a unique set of needs and circumstances that have to be filled for hours of service, many of these places, if you look at them, are not all truck stops, but travel centers.

“Recreational vehicles and just four-wheelers who happen to be traveling from one destination to another use these travel centers,” Scott continued. “If they were strictly truck stops, there would be no gas pumps at them – it would just be diesel islands.”

Scott’s point of view is valid, but a lot kinder than many in trucking toward other users of truck stops, or truck stops that cater too much to that crowd.

I cannot count the number of times that I’ve heard from people upset because an RV has taken up truck parking spaces, leaving truckers to the entrance ramps, shoulders, or wherever else they can find a place to just pull over.

But in the end, Scott has a point. This is a private business that is serving more than one group of customers. And just as truckers don’t like people telling them how to run their business, well, fair is fair.

“We need to remember that others of the motoring public are using these areas for refueling, for food,” Scott said. “And if there’s a hotel next to it, (those motorists) would be using the motel.”

We do need to give Love’s credit, however, for one important thing. They have added more truck parking in more locations this past year or two than virtually any other company.

Would I like to see more? Sure. But credit where credit is due.

What’s more, the Love’s locations often are more numerous while also being more geographically dispersed.

In plain English, I mean that they add a little parking and a stop here, another one up the road, another up the road from that. None amounts to a massive amount of parking, but it gives truckers more parking in more places, and therefore more chances to find a spot where they actually are.

While Love’s and other truck stops expand, however, they should also remember who the customers are who made their businesses possible.

Hint: It’s not RVers. It’s truckers.

Yes, they have every right to serve those RVs and cars, but if it weren’t for truckers, they’d be a completely different type of operation; I believe it’s called a “convenience store.”

I suspect those are not as profitable, or these companies would not continue to build truck stops.

Many of them do remember, and do their best by their customers. Many more need to do a better job.


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