Truck Stops Working to Help Drivers During COVID-19 Outbreaks
Updated: May 28
Amid the COVID-19 outbreaks across the nation, federal, state and local governments are taking precautions and closing places of large gatherings, which includes dine-in restaurants and fast food chains. That means, places to eat across truck stops are closing their dine-in areas, which is problematic to truck drivers on the road.
So far, at least 19 states have set restrictions on the number of people allowed in one establishment at a time or have closed the dine-in areas all together. Chain’s including McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Arby’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Chipotle, and KFC have closed their facilities to dine-in customers and are only offering services for carry out or drive through - which isn’t equipped for semi-trucks.
Truck stops understand this is a problematic and worrisome time for truck drivers on the road far from home. NATSO, the truck stop and travel plaza association, stated that although businesses will have to alter their services in this time, it is critical that they will remain open, providing food, fuel and other amenities, like showers, rest areas, and maintenance, to America’s truck drivers.
Below is important information on how major truck stops are staying open to aid truck drivers.
How are truck stops helping truck drivers?
All Flying J locations are open, and services like fuel, showers and restrooms are available to customers. A Flying J spokesperson stated, “Taking care of our guests and team members is Pilot Company’s most important priority … we are taking the COVID-19 situation seriously and are continuously reinforcing our best practices for cleaning and sanitation to minimize potential risks.”
Flying J updates:
Flying J is not experiencing any fuel issues at this time
Showers are still open for customers. Showers are being cleaned after each use with de-greaser, disinfectant, and floor cleaner.
All self-serve food is closed.
The food contact surfaces in locations that still allow dining seating, is being cleaned with food grade sanitizer.
Gaming rooms are being restricted to 3 participants at a time.
Commonly used areas and restrooms are frequently being cleaned with disinfectant.
A fresh cup policy has been implemented. A customer that wants to use their own mug/cup, is being asked to use a new cup to fill up their drink from the machine to their cup. Customers will only be charged for the refill.
Towels are being cleaned separately from service towels after each use.
Driver lounges are still open. Social distancing is strongly encouraged to drivers who are using the lounges.
Hand sanitizer is available for team member and guest usage. Team members are frequently washing their hands with soap and water.
Any team member who is showing symptoms of illness are required to stay home.
“Now, more than ever, it is important that we support each other and work together to overcome challenging times”
All fuel lanes remain open.
Showers remain open. Truck Drivers can still reserve them through the TA/Petro app. Showers are being cleaned with the highest-quality chemicals.
The buffets and soup and salad bars are temporarily closed. Dine-in restaurants remain open according to the states rulings. Carry-out and grab-and-go orders are available at all locations.
Cleaning frequency has been increased to all areas with common touch points.
Fitness centers and drivers lounges are temporarily closed.
All customers using a refillable mug is being asked to use a disposable cup, but only being charged the regular refill price.
Employees are frequently washing their hands and are being asked to stay home if feeling unwell.
Love’s stated that it has been “committed to providing safe, clean and well-maintained stops that help get our drivers back on the road quickly, and we’ll continue to make that our priority”. The spokesperson said that they have a developed task force that is providing its employees with education, guidance and resources, while monitoring the situation.
“The health and safety of our customers and team members is vitally important to use and because of this, we’ve put protocols in place so that we can maintain regular business when possible and keep our customers safe.”
Increased cleaning and disinfection efforts.
Added additional hand sanitizing stations.
Put a larger focus on hand washing for employees and customers.
Removed self-served condiment stations.
Added pre-packaged condiments for customers.
Restaurants at all Love’s facilities are carry-out or drive-through only. Showers remain open for customers. You can check for updates on the status at Love’s Truck Stops nationwide here.