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- This driver always makes time to mentor the next generation — whether at home or on the road
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- This driver sees the world through Google Glass
- A career trucker brings his tales of the road to people in hospice
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TA Wildwood keeps finding new ways to impress customers
If you’ve been on the road for awhile and are looking for a friendly face or two, then TA Wildwood in Florida is calling your name. The newly renovated, full-service travel plaza keeps its sights on customer service and providing that homey feel for all who enter its doors.
Located along Interstate 75 just south of Ocala, TA Wildwood is a popular stopping point, according to field manager Walter Fouche.
“It’s the last stop on I-75 before people get on the Florida Turnpike,” he says. “That’s probably the No. 1 reason why the traffic is so heavy.”
All those drivers are now seeing a bright and refreshed space. A $1 million renovation touched just about every inch of the location.
New LED lighting in the travel store and fuel desk make it seem as though sunlight is pouring in at all times. A wall was knocked down in the store to create a roomier atmosphere for customers as they stroll the aisles to shop. The restaurant dining room, bar and salad bar all got makeovers, too. Drivers have been commenting on how bright and cheery everything looks.
But the restroom renovations really have people talking. They have been modernized with motion sensors in the toilets. The floors and walls have beautiful new tile, and the staff regularly places fresh flowers in the bathroom to enhance that beauty.
“Drivers really seem to love our new restrooms,” store general manager Timothy Collins says. “We had a lady tell us that the Plaza Hotel in New York doesn’t even have flowers as pretty!”
An UltraMobile Verizon Wireless store is now on-site, so drivers can easily take care of their phone needs on the road. Plus they can get back on the highway quicker than ever with DEF dispensed at the pump.
TA Wildwood pumps close to 1 million gallons of diesel each month, making it one of the busiest TAs in the region. But the staff always tries to make each customer’s visit a memorable one. Almost all of the employees working at the fuel desk have been at the location for more than 10 years and know most of the drivers by name.
“Whatever service they need, we try to help them with it,” says lead fuel desk cashier Connie Johnson, who has worked at TA Wildwood for 23 years. “We try to go out of our way for them.”
Collins agrees. “I would say we’re known best for our friendly staff. I hear a lot of drivers talk about how nice and pleasant our people are. It’s almost like coming home for them.”
TA Wildwood, FL
Where: I-75 at SR 44, exit 329
Phone: (352) 748-2501
Fax: (352) 748-2390
Truck Parking Spaces: 170
Truck Service Bays: 5
Restaurants: Pizza Hut, Popeyes, Subway