George & Wendy Show

Wendy Parker

Shower report 2014

| July 02, 2014

We just went all the way across and back again, through what I believe to be the most beautiful country on earth. I’ve been across several times now, and each time I find a new respect and love for our homeland. We live in an awesome place, y’all.

That being said, the roads are pretty much a mess all over. Traffic between Arkansas and Tennessee on 40 will make you want to drive nails into your own eyeballs. I think I was about nine years old when they started the current mess in Arkansas, and I’m 46 now, so I guess they’ll be done with it about the time I leave the mortal coil. I know it’s ridiculous to gripe about the state of the roads, then turn around and gripe about the state of traffic while they’re fixing them, but seriously, what in the world is taking so long, Arkansas? For two years I’ve been a frequent traveler on 40, and I think I’ve actually seen human beings at work twice. Most of the time, it’s just orange barrels for miles, with no indication as to why the lanes are closed. It’s bizarre.

bathroom editAfter talking with several foreign drivers who are working here on visas, I have come to understand just how lucky we are when it comes to facilities for truckers on the highways. The roads may be pitiful, but at least we have places with showers readily available, unlike our colleagues who are on the road in Europe. And while there definitely isn’t enough parking available (especially since the new HOS have been imposed), we’re still in better shape than them.

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Being that I’m a connoisseur of public showers, I’m frequently asked by newbies on the road where they should stop to bathe. I’ve come to rely on one chain in particular for the most reliable pleasant experience. We stopped using Flying J for a while after the money scandal broke loose, but have since returned to them because something awful has apparently happened to Love’s. It used to be you could pretty much count on a clean shower and a good experience there, but for some reason, in the past year that has not been our reality. Five times in five different places across the country we used Love’s to shower this trip, and four of those times the staff was surly, the shower was dirty and the water was lukewarm.

I’m sure people are going to disagree with me, but it’s been my experience lately that Flying J and Pilot have the best showers and most agreeable staff. I don’t know if they pay more, or the working conditions are better, but every single time we used them this trip it was extremely pleasant and I felt like they really cared about whether or not we were clean and happy.

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We’re not paid by anyone to promote their showers or their stores, this is all just a matter of personal opinion. We use our shower credits, just like everyone else, and expect to have a decent place to wash ourselves. I understand how hard it is to remain pleasant and upbeat for $8 an hour; I did it for a long time as a nurse’s aide. I also understand the impact you can make on someone’s day with something as simple as a smile and a kind word. Those are free.

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"Here's to all the shower cleaners, clerks and stock personnel working in a truck stop today – thank you. We appreciate you and really do notice the job you're doing."

So for shower report 2014, I’m going to have to recommend the ol’ Hook. It was consistently better than average and I can’t even explain how much I appreciate better than average when it comes to showering away from home. Thanks to all the hard working, $8/hour employees out there who care enough to make it a good experience, I also can’t even explain how much I appreciate you. You do a difficult job for little pay and for the most part, you’re rocking it. Keep up the good work.

  • Scott Smith

    I think the one in Columbus Wi is pretty good. It is not a big truck stop nor one of the big name ones, but the showers are pretty nice there.

  • Zach Hoefs

    A distinction should be made between pilots and j’s with the new showers, vs the old showers. The new showers are, without a doubt, wonderful. Same with TA/ Petro. New = awesome. Sapp Bros has been on a tear with updating their showers and other facilities as well.

  • Steve

    I prefer the Petro for the salad bar and showers. TA second, but only for the showers.
    When I spot someone working hard, whether cleaning the showers or picking up the parking lot, I give them a 10, & tell them what they do is appreciated, it’s amazing how such a small gesture can brighten someones day.

  • grandpa5x

    I agree with you 100%, when i started driving my carrier only used ta for fuel and unluckily i seemed to spend more time in the NE where all TAs were old. I moved to a new carrier that only used the hook, wow the first time i used the shower i couldn’t believe the difference. The only problem was they were few and far between. But i agree pilots do have great showers but their lots are usually so small you cant get a parking spot.

  • Ken Keith

    I will tip a buck, if I don’t have to wait for a shower and let the folks know they have the most important job there. One hook that was just remodeled and needs to be redone is White Hall Virginia. Not enough room to change your mind. Hate the parking lot as well, way to small.

  • Jim Dos

    I use TA and Petro the most, but in the past used Loves. Most of my experiences have been very positive. I agree, always thank the staff for the job of keeping out shower experience top notch. It make my day brighter when i can clean up and have a fresh clean body to sleep in the bunk

  • crockett

    Been out here sie 1988. I used to pour bleach all over shower to clean . Untill I accidental got it all over my clothes. Now I use Lysol spray. Which is what all hospitals use. I never get sick. I dont get athletes feet. It kills all germs. Only takes 90 seconds. 1 bottle last a month. And it don’t ruin your clothes

  • Clark’s roadie

    I tip 3 to five dollars every time I shower and it is clean. I grew up very poor and empathize with those who work hard every day only to go home wondering how long the food will hold out. That being said I detest a lack of integrity. Meaning do your job or get on welfare. I don’t mind paying for you to stay home and not bother me if you’re only going to irk me every time I see your crap work.

  • guest

    Leaving a Tip is a good idea IF the shower room was Ok…that could ensure that most times they will be clean….good idea…a couple bucks from each driver would go along way as incentive.

  • guest

    The shower guy would Not be laughed at if he made Tips??

  • William

    I also leave a $3-$5.00 tip depending on how clean the showers are. Once I worked cleaning toilets, and know how it feels to be unappreciated.

  • manyguestprease

    A shower is a shower. Jesus Christ drivers, man up.

  • Del Ray Johnson

    Let me say it a different way in the form of a question, do you think I am going to pump $1,000 of diesel and relax in a dirty shower? Who does that! And if the showers are not clean is the food they are so anxious to sell us clean?

  • sthomas1957

    I’d have to say that, as a rule, Petro has the top showers, although obviously it varies from place to place. The Petro in Salina, Kansas probably has the best shower, especially if their on-wall T.V. is working.
    Sapp Bros. usually has some pretty good showers, too.