Photo: Brittany Palmer
A pharmacy at White's Travel Center in Raphine, VA., serves truckers and local customers.

Truck stops adapt to health push, changing job demands

Nov. 15, 2018
Travel plazas are looking at every aspects of their businesses to help truckers stay on tight schedules.

Being out on the road for long stretches of time makes it hard enough to stay healthy. Add in obstacles from traffic congestion and a shortage of truck parking to tight delivery windows, and it becomes that much more difficult.

All of these issues are only further amplified by the electronic logging device mandate requiring truck stops to focus on the “speed of service,” said Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman, vice president of public affairs for NATSO

“Whereas 20 years ago, a retail operator sought to bring a driver into their location and have them spend as much time as possible in the store, today’s retailers are working to get drivers in and out as quickly and efficiently as possible so that drivers can maximize their on-duty time,” she said.

As a result, retailers are putting freshly made, ready-to-eat food options closer to the front of the store to ensure that drivers don’t have to search for what they want.

Wlazlowski Neuman added that when choosing a new franchise food option, truck stops carefully consider the amount of time it takes to order and serve the food. She said changes are extending outside the stops, with retailers evaluating the positioning of fuel islands to make sure trucks can get in and out quickly.

“Some even are adding technology at the fuel island to allow drivers to preorder products and services inside, so that they can be prepared while the driver is refueling,” Wlazlowski Neuman said.

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