By Tom O’Brien, President & CEO
This is the time of year we often take stock of what is good and valuable in our lives and give thanks for those things. The spirit of the season brings out the best in us as we make an extra effort to lend a hand or offer a kind word to others.
At TA and Petro locations, we have seen that sense of brotherhood among drivers up close. Truckers help each other out. That was exceptionally clear this year during fundraising drives for the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF), which offers financial help to drivers dealing with medical issues. TA and Petro customers reached into their pockets without hesitation and as a result, SCF was able to help more drivers. On that note, our 2011 Band Together for SCF campaign will begin in mid-November. We ask that you again open your hearts to help your fellow drivers in need.
We thank you for your generosity to SCF, and for choosing TA or Petro when you take a break from the road. The best way we know to show our thanks is by finding ways to make your time with us both relaxing and fulfilling. When it’s clear that we can offer a service at our locations that will make life on the road a bit more pleasant for you, we have acted.
Recently, we designated pet areas at all of our locations, so four-legged travel companions can get some outdoor time. Our travel stores have a wider range of pet products on the shelves.
StayFit continues to expand, with 11 more fitness rooms available to UltraONE™ members, for a total of 21. We have 120 sites with walking trails — maps are available at these locations.
We have been focused on renovating our showers, but we don’t leave it there. TA and Petro teamed up with Ecolab to create the UltraFresh cleaning process. We offer you not only the nicest showers, but also the cleanest, freshest smelling showers on the open road.
I won’t claim to be a substitute for Santa, but this holiday season I can offer you the gift of time. If you have an iPhone® or Android™ smartphone, download our free TruckSmart app. The Instant Shower feature allows you to schedule a shower from your phone instead of the kiosk. Drivers tell us this feature saves them 20-30 minutes each time.
And just like Santa, I am happy to hear your wishes for TA and Petro improvements this holiday. Please offer your suggestions on our Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. I promise you that we will do our best to not only meet, but to exceed your expectations.
TA and Petro want to make sure drivers feel safe in our parking lots. So with the StaySafe lot monitoring program we are working with local law enforcement agencies at all of our locations to eliminate illegal or suspicious activity from our parking lots. Lot signs with the phone number for local authorities are being posted at all sites. We ask drivers to call and report any illegal activity they see. With the combined work of our site general managers and drivers, together we can make drivers feel safe and welcome.
Band Together for SCF
Nothing will complete your outfit like a blue or green wristband. From Nov. 15 – Dec. 15, each $1 donation to support the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF) will get you a blue band at any TA and a green band at any Petro.
SCF offers financial help to drivers who are dealing with health issues.
Last year, your generosity to Band Together raised $211,115 for SCF, and another $3,300 at MATS. Our goal this year: $220,000. So pick up your bands, visit the SCF website to donate at www.truckersfund.com or call them at (877) 332-GIVE.
Tuesday afternoons at the Ontario East TA Travel Center in California can get a little rowdy. Up to 30 adorable hounds are on hand for the Musical Truckin’ Dogs Adoption program, where drivers can enjoy a concert and rescue a dog.
Founder Susanne Spirit has been singing at the TA for more than three years. For the past two years she has brought along shelter dogs that are scheduled to be put down, asking drivers to adopt them.
“If a driver has their CDL, that tells you a lot about their character,” says Spirit. “We coach them on what to expect to make sure a dog is a good fit for them.”
Since drivers usually aren’t geared up for a furry travel companion, she also supplies a week’s worth of everything a new pet parent will need including leashes, collars, bowls and more. Each dog is up to date on its shots and spayed or neutered.
Drivers interested in adopting a Musical Truckin’ Dog can come by the Ontario East TA on Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m. or visit www.musicaltruckindogs.com.
Many drivers travel with their dogs or cats, and those four-legged passengers are always welcome at TA and Petro locations. Now all travel centers in the TA and Petro network have designated pet areas set aside, where drivers can let their furry pals frolic and get some fresh air.
Though dogs and cats are not allowed inside, pet owners can find a good selection of foods, treats and other pet products on the store shelves.
Visit the New Petros
There is now a full-service Petro in Brazil, Ind., on I-70 off Exit 23. Formerly Steel City, the location has been upgraded to live up to the standards that drivers expect from Petro. The 102-space parking lot has been resurfaced and striped, and the restaurant is now an Iron Skillet, with the menu items that have been drivers’ favorites for years. In Gary, Ind., at I-90/I-84, Exit 9, another former Steel City is now a Petro. Stay tuned for details about updates planned for this site.
More Places to StayFit
UltraONE™ members can find even more locations to keep up with an exercise routine, with 11 new StayFit fitness rooms opening across the country. There are now 21 locations with fitness rooms that include a recumbent bike, elliptical cross-trainer, dual adjustable pulley resistance equipment or an adjustable sit-up board, weight scale, folding gym mat, shelving to store gym bags during a workout and wall-mounted TVs to keep exercisers entertained.
Additionally, mapped walking trails are available to all customers at 120 locations. Just look for the StayFit logo, and ask the store cashier for a trail map.
TA and Petro Locations with StayFit Fitness Rooms
Portland, Ore. TA I-5, Exit 278
Redding, Calif. TA I-5, Knighton Rd.
Santa Nella, Calif. Petro State Hwy 152 & State Hwy 33
Wheeler Ridge, Calif. Petro I-5, Laval Rd. W.
Bordentown, N.J. Petro I-295, Exit 57; NJ Tpk Exit 7
Baltimore South, Md. TA I-95 & Rt. 175, Exit 41A
Manning, S.C. TA I-95 & SR 261, Exit 119
Vero Beach, Fla. TA I-95 & State Rte 60, Exit 147
Sparks, Nev. Petro I-80, Exit 21
Salt Lake City, Utah TA I-80, Exit 99
Cheyenne, Wyo. TA I-80, Exit 377
Grand Island, Neb. TA I-80, Exit 305
Lake Station, Ind. TA I-80/I-94, Exit 15B
Girard, Ohio Petro I-80 Exit 226
Bloomsburg, Pa. TA I-80, Exit 232
Barstow, Calif. TA I-15, Exit 178
Albuquerque, N.M. TA I-40E, Exit 159A, I-40W, Exit 159D
Greensboro, N.C. TA I-85/I-40 & Hwy 61 Exit 138
Nashville, Tenn. TA I-24, James Robertson Pkwy, Exit 48
Oklahoma City West, Okla. TA I-40, Exit 140
West Memphis, Ark. TA I-40, Exit 260