INCREASED COMPETITION: Keeping an Eye on Truck Terminals And Dealerships

Trucking companies are constantly working to attract and retain driv­ers, and many are focusing on their terminals and offerings as ways to improve the driver experience, which could decrease the number of services drivers seek out on the road.

Hotel Rooms

Late last year Werner Enterprises opened a My Place Hotel franchise in Lithia Springs, Georgia. The lo­cation opened its doors to Werner’s professional drivers before it wel­comed in travelers in the Atlanta area and features rooms designed specifi­cally for those with a commercial driver’s license.

Werner and My Place collaborated on the rooms, designing solutions and modifying the My Place pro­totype to include 50 double rooms made for Werner’s professional driv­ers.

Randy Kraft, vice president of terminal management for Werner, said the specially designed driver ac­commodations will improve drivers’ lodging options. Ron Rivett, CEO of My Place, said the new facility is the first of its kind.

“I’m certain that of all the truck­ing companies in the United States, this is the only one providing facili­ties like this for its drivers. It’s brand new, really nice, and I’m told by the staff in this company that they’re re­ally enjoying the rooms,” Rivett said.

Shortly following the hotel launch, Werner announced a 10- acre expansion of its terminal in Laredo, Texas, that it said would help increase driver satisfaction. The location added 110 trailer parking spots and service bays and the company purchased an addi­tional 20 acres for future expansion.

“This is one of many large-scale projects that are underway at multiple facilities across the country. It is also a direct result of our leadership team talking and listening to our profes­sional drivers and meeting their needs by providing them with the newest and safest equipment at the nicest fa­cilities in the industry,” Kraft said.

Multitude of Amenities

Some terminals, including Prime Inc.’s Pittston, Pennsylvania, loca­tion, offer drivers a multitude of amenities, including a café, driver lounge, a full-service salon and spa, fitness facility, laundry room, bunk­rooms, showers and more.

Large Truck Dealerships

Large truck dealerships could also pose a threat to truckstop and trav­el plaza operators, said Roger Cole, editor of NATSO’s Biz Brief and a past NATSO chairman. “When you look at Rush Enterprises, they have more than 100 dealer­ship locations around the country and more than 50 percent of their revenue is generated from repair,” Cole said, adding that the loca­tions have a lot of asphalt. “They have expanded the parking because of the service work they are doing. You wonder at what point they say, ‘We’re servicing trucks. We have the parking lots. Wouldn’t it make sense to drop a couple of fuel tanks in and sell fuel?’”

More and more businesses are expand­ing their services and creeping into territory that was once served primarily by the truckstop and travel plaza indus­try. Throughout the year, Stop Watch is examining specific groups that are entering this space, including dealer­ships, carriers’ distribution centers, big box retailers and turnpikes, how they’re changing and what NATSO members need to know about the category. Visit to see all of the articles.

via Business Feeds

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