Andrew Uviedo will tell you that finding parking is a big deal for today’s truck drivers.
As the general manager for the four year-old Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores facility in Natalia, TX, along I-35, he said that tractor-trailers start pulling into his location starting between 3 pm and 4 pm in the afternoon to secure one of his truck stop’s 150 slots for overnight parking.
And those that don’t get one of his spots or one at the other truck stops up and down I-35 will then spill out onto the highway on- and off-ramps to find parking space for their 10-hour off-duty period.
“My parking lot will be full but it’s still not enough,” he told American Trucker. “They’ll park on the access roads and the highway ramps, but it is still not enough.”
That’s why adding more parking spaces is becoming a major focal point for Love’s ongoing expansion efforts.
The company added 47 new stores this year across 20 states that included the addition of slightly more than 3,000 new truck-parking spaces.
“For new stores in 2017, we’re on track to match or outpace what we did in 2016,” Love’s spokesperson Kealey Dorian told Fleet Owner.
“For parking in 2017, it’s hard to tally because we don’t have completed site plans for all of our locations yet,” she said. “But approximately 3,100 new parking spaces in 2017 is a good estimate.”
Frank Love, co-CEO of Love’s, noted in a statement that after its 2016 expansion efforts are tallied up, the company now operates over 400 facilities across 40 states.
“We’re committed to serving our customers in as many ways as possible and part of that is adding more locations to provide services in areas where we didn’t offer coverage,” he added.
Other notable additions to Love’s chain of facilities in 2016 include:
- The opening of seven new hotels adjacent to Love’s travel stops, giving customers convenient access to a place to rest. Love’s now owns 11 hotels in eight states.
- Love’s now operates 65 compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling sites as part of its acquisition of Trillium CNG earlier this year.
- Musket Corp., the trading and logistics arm of the Love’s Family of Companies, opened seven diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) wholesale bulk rack terminals across the U.S, “strategically located” near Love’s stores to easily provide round-the-clock access to DEF, the company said.
- Love’s introduced three new restaurant concepts in 2016, bringing Love’s total number of quick service restaurant or “QSR” partners to 19. Love’s opened two Dunkin’ Donuts at its sites in Sikeston, MO, and Canaan, NY; IHOP Express restaurants are now featured at six Love’s locations; and its travel stop in Liberal, KS, now boasts Love’s first Taco John’s restaurant.