truckstops

Willie’s Place to be Willie’s no more

Perhaps you've heard the news. On Jan. 31, the Willie's Place truckstop in Carl's Corner, Texas, will reportedly see it's last day under current ownership. The stop filed for bankruptcy last year, and since then efforts to refinance a large loan with a New Jersey bank have failed, resulting in the impending transfer of ownership to SBL Capital Funding. I talked with a former waitress in the truckstop's restaurant who still works the bar at the Whiskey ...

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Truck stop operators Sapp Bros. pen autobiography

Sapp Bros. Travel Centers' Bill and Lee Sapp have penned their collective autobiography, out now from Addicus. The book follows from their youth among seven Sapp children in southeastern Nebraska to the near-present, with the Sapp Bros. name a veritable legend among longtime haulers, particularly in the Upper Midwest. In the year 1971, Bill and Lee, with brothers Dean and Ray, after success selling GMC trucks in Omaha, Neb., built their first truck stop before Interstate 80 ...

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Tony ‘the truck stop tiger’ — calls from the driver community to uncage him

Nearly two years have passed since I first wrote about efforts by animal-rights activists (post from January 2009 originally on old Channel 19 blog home on Blogger.com) to require Gross Tete, La., Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin to relocate the caged Bengal-Siberian tiger on the site of stop. It's been there as an attraction to curiosity seekers for years, and several predecessor tigers have made the stop a sort of institution along I-10 in the ...

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Novelist takes literary achievement to the truckstop

Beyond the spotlight of trucking industry news in July this year a novelist was hard at work promoting a book, her first, in which one of four main characters is a long-hauler turned local delivery driver struggling to maintain a connection to his son. What's more is where the writer was promoting the novel. Making three stops from July 23-39 between Salt Lake City, Utah, and Portland, Ore., Barbara Richardson (pictured; not her truck) put down 1,750 ...

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‘Nice mouse, driver’

The folks at Avant Garde Gifts, LLC, offer the MotorMouse, a computer mouse of wireless design and in varying colors -- and that looks like a sports car, as you can see (that the Porsche 911 you recognize). As company reps have it, it might well be a "great gift" for car lovers at Christmastime or for a birthday, is "perfect for the office or at-home use, and it's a guaranteed conversation starter." Indeed: imagine the ...

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Models of efficiency: Introducing Fikes O/O Scott Grenerth

Finley, Ohio-based owner-operator Scott Grenerth, 40, I met in Nashville the day I ran with Jazzy Jordan (she's nearing Statesville, N.C., now -- go go go!). He was in the area headed to a pickup and brought his cycle out (pictured) to ride along as we ran. Turned out he was in the area frequently, and he's lately discovered the great Shelby Bottoms Greenway, which runs along the Cumberland River for several miles from Shelby Park, with a bridge ...

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Long-haul quilting bee

This blog, in addition my Exit Only column in Truckers News, has been in part devoted to the off-highway pursuits of the nation's haulers. It'd be impossible for me to count the drivers I've talked to engaged in advocacy, trucking image-buiding efforts, music, arts, new-media activities and so much more. But the Wall Street Journal has just scooped me big-time by highlighting a driver pursuit that might be about as far away from your father's downtime activity as is possible. ...

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Saying goodbye to Michigan’s Te-Khi and Tekon independent truckstops

Soft freight and high fuel got you down? You're not alone. Though business for the nation's truckers has picked up since the extremely slow period we all saw last year, difficulties continue for many, and for two independent truckstops in Michigan the pressures were just too much. Writing in the Battle Creek Enquirer, Andy Fitzpatrick told a story today at once of long-running business difficulties brought to the breaking point and rich, well-remembered history.   The Te-Khi Travel Court ...

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Word from the Magic Man: ‘Let’s get this show on the road’

In the November issue of Truckers News, my editor and colleague Randy Grider wrote about Michael Mooney (pictured) in his lead column, "Magic Man." Mooney, a performer based in Cartersville, Ga., is deft with all manner of magician's tricks, but he also has a compelling story to tell, which he never misses the opportunity to do. One of his regular haunts, the TravelCenters of America location in Cartersville, offers plenty such opportunity, in addition to what he views ...

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Best coffee on the road?

The Knoxville News-Sentinel newspaper reports that Pilot Travel Centers is launching several new marketing campaigns in our new year, including not only a new Facebook fan page but an extension of the one suggested by the image included here. As News-Sentinel reporters put it, "The company’s fleet of 325 tanker trucks now display the message 'Best Coffee on the Interstate' on the back panel of their trailers, a nod to recent recognition from the readers ...

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