- 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
Four Decades of Service
Growing up, Don Thompson learned the truckstop business firsthand. His father owned one, and Thompson worked there during high school. In 1958, he followed in his dad’s footsteps and became a truckstop operator, and in 1969, he opened the Indianapolis West Travel Center in Clayton, Ind., which became a TA in 1997. “My dad eventually sold his truckstop and went into the motel business,” Thompson says with a laugh. “But I stuck with it.”
Nearly 50 years later, Thompson says he still loves the business, and hasn’t changed much about how he operates the stop. “The four walls are still the same, and we still do things pretty much the same way,” he says. And drivers aren’t complaining — they love the friendliness of the staff, the convenience of the location, and the top-quality service that the Clayton TA has always delivered.
A Convenient Stop
Located just 14 miles outside of Indianapolis, the Clayton TA provides a hassle-free option for drivers who need to stop, but dread getting caught in city traffic.
“We’re easy off, easy on,” Thompson says. “If drivers go into Indy, they might be off the interstate for 15-20 minutes in traffic. But here there is convenience getting in and out of the location.”
Bonds formed at Clayton are strong and long-lasting. More than once Thompson has noted the passing of a regular customer and sent flowers to the family.
A Love Connection
Working at the Clayton TA even sparked a lifelong romance. Perry and Trish McCubbins fell in love when they both worked at the truckstop as teens, and later married. Now they work side by side daily. “It seems like we’ve got a lot of family here,” Thompson says.
Years of Service
Much of the staff of the Clayton TA has worked together for years, which makes the travel center feel very much like a family. Store manager Trish McCubbins started working at Indy West 36 years ago, when her mom, Loretta, oversaw the store. General Manager Perry McCubbins has made Clayton his home for 32 years, and office manager Nancy Moore has put in 24 years. Several of the wait staff have served meals to drivers for 10 to 15 years.
Meet Llona Skadra
Waitress Llona Skadra has worked at Indy West’s Country Pride restaurant for six years. “I think it’s the personality of the waitresses and the service they provide that keeps the drivers coming back,” Thompson says. “Llona always has a smile and a happy-go-lucky attitude, and she can turn a tired, grumpy driver into a happy one before he leaves!”
Fun Facts About Indy
A few major companies that have their headquarters in Indianapolis include Eli Lilly, Wellpoint, Rolls Royce and American United Life. Nonprofit organizations Kiwanis International and the American Legion also make their home there.
“Indy” is the most common nickname for the city, but it’s also known as Naptown and the Circle City (for the landmark Monument Circle).
Famous Indianapolis natives include David Letterman, Jane Pauley, Dan Quayle and Subway spokesman Jared Fogle.
Where: I-70 & Slate Road 39, Exit 59
Phone: (317) 539-6515
Fax: (317) 539-5370
Truck Parking: 100
Truck Service Bays: 2
Restaurants: Country Pride, Noble Roman’s, Pizza Express
Other Amenities: CAT Scales, Freightliner Service Point, TripPak