A Fitting Honor

Robert Lake
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Carolyn Moon, Iowa 80 Group Chairperson, received the 2002 Distinguished Member Award from NATSO, which represents the truckstop and travel plaza industry, at its annual trade show in Orlando, Fla., in February.

Moon, a pioneer in the world of technology, became the first woman to enter the engineering and programming department at Boeing Aircraft in Wichita, Kan., after working with Lockheed designing missiles. Moon and her husband Bill purchased the Iowa 80 Truckstop in 1984 and expanded it into the world’s largest truckstop. Many of their innovative concepts, such as private showers and separate driver areas, became standard amenities in truckstops.

In 1977, the Moons put their math and science degrees to work by introducing the first totally automated, full-length platform scale – CAT Scales. Before the CAT Scale, drivers had to rely on coin-operated axle scales where the truck and trailer had to be weighed separately, and the measurements were mostly unreliable. There are now over 875 CAT Scale locations throughout the United States and Canada.

In 1989, Iowa 80 added its renowned store and three years later the Moons expanded the fuel center and became a Truckstops of America franchise.

By 1984 the truckstop was expanded and today many drivers describe it as a small trucker city.
Anyone who’s ever attended the Walcott Truckers Jamboree and enjoyed the famous pork chop cookout, Super Truck Beauty Contest, live entertainment and antique truck display have the Moon family to thank. In fact, the event was started by the family as a way to thank truckers for their hard work and dedication to the industry.

Moon has guided the Iowa 80 Group since her husband died in 1992. The family recently broke ground on the Trucking Hall of Fame as a tribute to him, and when it opens in 2005 it will showcase 27 vehicles at a time, many of them from Bill’s private collection of trucks and trailers.

“From chairing the Public Awareness Committee to serving as a member of the Long Range Planning and the Government Affairs Committees, Carolyn has been an invaluable asset to the association. She is truly a role model for our industry,” said NATSO President William Fay at the awards presentation.

It’s nice to know there are folks out there putting their time, energy, talents and resources into helping the industry make life on the road more comfortable.