- A driver builds up his own trucking business
- 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
TA Fultonville has a history of helpfulness
TA Fultonville has a long and interesting history. The building has housed everything from a silk-processing plant and warehouse to a motel. A recent rummage through its attic revealed a bit of trucking’s own storied past.
Barry Richards, TA’s executive vice president of operations, discovered some old poster boards with trucking company patches attached to them, and knew that he’d stumbled upon something unique.
“You could tell that the drivers had given them to someone here, and then they’d just pinned them to this board,” Richards recalls. “At the time it probably wasn’t that significant, but you don’t see guys driving around in uniforms any more, displaying their employers’ name embroidered on their shirt. I took them to one of our decorators, and she had them framed.”
The patches are just one way that TA Fultonville puts its unique history on display. Photographs of its heritage can be found all over — back to the area’s horse-and-buggy days. But there’s plenty that’s new, too: The showers and bathrooms have recently been remodeled, as has the television room.
“We’ve been working to upgrade what we have,” says Diane Pagan, store general manager. “We’re also adding some parking spaces, along with reserved parking, so we’ll have more room for drivers outside as well.”
Easier than the old days
A few decades back, the showers were in the basement, and were difficult to access.
Communication wasn’t all that easy either.
“There was a tower on the roof. After truckers fueled up they would radio up to them and the tower would have to communicate to the fuel desk how much to charge,” Pagan says. “It’s quite a bit better these days.”
Stories of times past are easy to come by at TA Fultonville, thanks to many long-term employees. Among them are maintenance porter John Rackmyer, who’s been onsite for 40 years; May Mattice, a fuel cashier for 35 years; and Sue White, who has been with the facility for 25 years.
Out in the shop, drivers find mechanics who are ready, willing and able to help with anything from routine maintenance to roadside repair, says Thomas Baynard, shop general manager.
“We have a lot of expertise, and welcome any and all work,” Baynard says. “We have master techs and ASE-certified techs. We’re ready for anything, especially after dealing with a lot of heat-related work during the hot spell we had in July.”
Port in a Storm
The Country Pride restaurant was a key player in rescue efforts twice in the past two years.
“When Hurricane Irene came through in 2011, myself and two of my staff were here for more than 24 hours,” Eric Hastings, assistant manager, says. “We only had seven or eight people in the whole building, but we kept everything up and running for more than 200 people stranded here on ‘TA Island.’ And last year, we fed all the firefighters, police and crews working on helping stranded people and clearing the roadways during and after some major flooding. Everybody really pulls together here. We really take care of our own, whether that’s the drivers or the people who live around us.”
TA Fultonville, NY
Where: I-90, Exit 28 (Riverside Drive)
Truck Parking Spaces: 121
Truck Service Bays: 2
Restaurant: Country Pride