Thinking Ahead

By on July 8, 2011
RoadKing Mag

The truck service team at the Lake Station, Ind. TA doesn’t just take care of the rigs that come through. They take care of the drivers too.

“A few months ago we had a customer who got really sick and we had to take him to the hospital,” says Robert Coffman, truck service general manager. “We made several trips back and forth to see him and make sure things were OK.”

The TA crew did even more than that. They made sure this driver had everything out of his truck that he needed during his stay. They even took care of his two dogs during the three weeks he was in the hospital.

“I think everyone, as a team, did a great job taking care of him,” says Coffman.

Shop skills
The truck service center at Lake Station recently became part of the Automotive Service Excellence’s (ASE) Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition Program, meaning that 75 percent or more of the service center’s technicians are ASE certified. The ASE strives to uphold quality service in the automotive industry by testing the skill level and knowledge of service professionals. To remain certified, technicians are retested every five years.

“We’re constantly continuing our training and bettering our crew every day,” says Coffman. “It’s really about making sure we are doing the best job we can for drivers.”

Made to order
If you’ve ever walked in the door at home and your mom had your favorite dinner sitting on the table, then you’ll like the service at the Lake Station quick service restaurants. Both Subway® general manager Shannon Shearer and Popeyes® general manager Danielle Prosser treat their customers just like family. As soon as a driver they know is spotted, their favorite meal is ordered up and in the works.

“They’re on the road all day. We might be the only people they talk to in a day,” says Prosser. “We care about them and want them to know they’re taken care of here.”

Special days
You can tell which sport is still in season by a quick glance at the staff of the all-you-can-eat Buckhorn™ restaurant. For big games they are certain to sport jerseys supporting their favorite Chicago teams, from the Cubs to the Bulls to the Blackhawks.

But you don’t have to be an athlete to score attention. No special occasion goes uncelebrated if possible.

“The girls make sure they know our regulars’ birthdays. One of our drivers came in not too long ago and we had a cake and gifts for him,” says general manager Paula Gruble. “He was so happy and surprised.”

Bright spot
Everything looks a little brighter at the Lake Station TA, thanks to a bit of paint and other upgrades.

New landscaping was added outside the main building and new fuel islands offer DEF by the container at the pump. There are also all-new showers and bathrooms that the TA crew keep spotless.

The bright and shiny surroundings are matched by the atmosphere.

“Drivers come here because it’s clean and it’s a good place to stop before they get to Chicago,” says store general manager Patty McCormick. “We laugh and have fun and make it exciting here. We want to make it a nice place to come and to want to come back to.”


The Basics
Lake Station, Ind. TA

Where: I-80/I-94, Exit 15B
Phone: (219) 962-6552
Fax: (219) 962-4573
Showers: 12
Truck Parking Spaces: 252
Truck Service Bays: 6
Restaurant: Buckhorn, Subway, Popeyes

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One Comment

  1. Lee

    August 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    “Care” is only spread by people with care in thier hearts….this group has set the bench mark for the others around them! Thanks for your support and I don’t know any of you there or the recipient of your care but being a survivor of cancer and having a support group such as family and friends , is more often than not as good for the recipient as the medications and medical attention given!!!!

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