Channel 19

Todd Dills

Too big for Texas?

| September 13, 2012

Sounds absurd, I know, but two pieces of news this week have sort of begged the question.

1. The first, from the Wall Street Journal on a new mega-convenience store between Austin and San Antonio in New Braunfels, details a roadside spot that seems tailor made for the state — much hay is made of 80-some-odd toilets and other outsize features there, including 60 fuel pumps and a farmer’s market on-site.

So much for getting fresh produce on the road. Though the stop would seem tailor made for truckers looking for a spacious rest, too, there’s a problem: contrary to conclusions you may draw from the truck in the above thumbnail of a photo by WSJ writer Miguel Bustillo (click through it for the full story), no big rigs are allowed at Buc-ee’s rest stop unless they’re making deliveries.

“18-wheelers are barred because [owner Arch ‘Beaver’ Aplin] says they gum up parking-lot traffic,” Bustillo writes.

Buc-ee’s is located off I-35 at Farm-to-Market Road 306.

2. The second item you may have seen right here on Bill Graves at the American Trucking Association is saying some things are indeed just too big — even for Texas. Graves is urging Texas to reconsider its new 85 mph speed limit on a “privately managed stretch of State Highway 130,” also between Austin and San Antone.

Sure you know well what’s on Graves’ mind (four-wheeler blizzard, anyone?): Not many a hauler I know out there is going to go that speed, after all, given fuel well upward of $4/gal.

Do you think it may set a precedent other states are likely to follow?

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