- Father and son share a love of life on the road, even if it makes visits rare
- This driver always makes time to mentor the next generation — whether at home or on the road
- This driver helps rookie truckers learn the ropes
- Home-schooling in a truck means the country is a classroom
- This driver sees the world through Google Glass
- A career trucker brings his tales of the road to people in hospice
- How driver Paul Sedlak finds motivation to reach his fitness goals
- I Love Trucking: More than a job, driving is a way of life
- Big Rig Books: Driver delivers books to underprivileged kids
- Driver Chris Jackson captures moments of beauty on the road
Petro Salina in Kansas offers drivers a little indulgence and a lot of charm
You can’t talk about Petro Salina without mentioning the luxurious platinum showers. Drivers rave about them for good reason. They are deluxe. First, the shower room is huge (“You could hold a square dance in one,” says store and fuel GM Phil Mullis), so husband and wife teams can share the space without getting in each other’s way. There are TVs set behind the mirrors, so if one spouse is waiting for another, they won’t get bored. And then there are the showers themselves.
“Basically it’s like standing under a rainfall,” Mullis says. “The showerhead is two feet long and one foot wide. You can adjust the water pattern. And we keep them spotless.”
The showers rival those found in any five-star hotel and are matched by the attention to customer service found throughout the location. But while the platinum showers are awfully fancy, the way customers are greeted and helped reflects simple, down-home friendliness.
“We try to make this a home away from home for drivers,” Mullis says. “When they walk through the door, they are greeted warmly and almost immediately get into conversations with the staff. It’s like a group of brothers and sisters getting together, joking around and having fun. We’re a growing location, but we’ll always have that homey feel.”
When Starbucks opened on-site, it was the only one within a 100-mile radius, so it was an immediate hit with highway travelers. All the baristas undergo two weeks of training to get the coffee drinks just right and have the certification to prove it. “In the summer we’re known as Frappuccino City,” says restaurant GM Steve Sudermann. “We sell it like crazy.”
A brand-new Iron Skillet sits across from the travel store building, serving up all the restaurant favorites, including StayFit options. The store offers a wide selection of fresh fruits and vegetables and homemade meals to go — would you believe that cauliflower is a favorite? And the Starbucks offers pastries and sandwiches to go, too.
Truck service arrives
A four-bay truck service center is scheduled to open in March, with RoadSquad emergency roadside service available along with it.
Country group Lady Antebellum dropped in after playing a concert nearby, and tour buses bearing well-known musicians often stop to fuel up before heading out to their next gig. “We’ve also seen NASCAR transporters and college sports team buses,” says Mullis.