America’s Best Truck Stops For Truckers

Big Rig Semi Truck on the roadAs any seasoned highway hero will tell you, not all truck stops are created equal.  While many will suffice for pit stop purposes, there are a few with amenities that make it feel like a little home away from home.  Whether it’s extra attractions like a museum or casino, or perhaps they just make a mean tuna melt, there are all kinds of reasons a truck stop might become a part of your favorite places to stop.  That being said, there are a few that nearly ever trucker can agree on – here are the top 5 rest stops for truck drivers:

Iowa 80 (Walcott, IA)

The holy grail of great truck stops is hands down Iowa 80. Widely known as the most popular rest stop in America, it also claims the title of largest. Inside you’ll find a one stop shop for all the things you need when living life on the road: need a haircut? Visit the barbershop.  Have a backache or need an adjustment? Hit up the chiropractor. That pesky bad tooth acting up again? Swing by the dentist. And there’s tons more! From dog washes to a library and movie theater, this truck stop has it all.

Whiskey Pete’s (Prim, NV)

Now some might say this doesn’t qualify as a truck stop, but considering its popularity with many a highway hero, we say it does. In actuality, Whiskey Pete’s is a casino, that also happens to house a Flying J. Complete with hotel, roller coaster and even the wrecked car of Bonnie and Clyde, this truck stop is sure to provide a few hours of entertainment on top of your usual trucker amenities.

South of the Border (Harner, SC)

Truly a unique experience, South of the Border has quite a few attractions that should not be missed.  Not only do they boast 6 different restaurants, they also have the largest indoor reptile exhibit in the United States and a small amusement park for kids.  On top of that, they’ve got four different gifts shops, including one that specializes in fireworks and rockets. And not to worry – if you’re looking for just the necessities, they’ve got a pantry shop with everything you need.

Little America (Little America, WY)

If you’re looking for a little pampering and R&R, Little America has you covered. Known as one of the more luxurious truck stops, Little America has a 24 hour travel center and a hotel with generously discounted trucker rates. Rig need some TLC? Visit the Little America Garage for mechanic services while you relax in the trucker lounge with complimentary wifi.

Trails Travel Center (Albert Lea, MN)

With over 300 truck parking spots, the Trails Travel Center is known for being one of the most accommodating truck stops in America. Catch a flick at their movie theater, say a prayer in their chapel or clean your clothes at their public laundromat – no matter what you need, Trails Travel Center has you covered. But hospitality isn’t its only claim to fame – it’s also well known for its Viking décor.

As seasoned vets of the road, which truck stops would you have added to this list? Which one is your favorite truck stop?

Tips to Avoid Trucking Burnout

Trucking is a tough job, and it’s easy for drivers to face burnout given their grueling work schedule and constant pressure to deliver. On top that, truckers are often alone, away from family, and dealing with a whole host of issues not typical of any other job (weather, accidents, etc.). Understandably, this can hamper ones motivation to stick with it and getting through rough spots isn’t always easy, especially for those looking to get motivated from external sources.

The good news is that there are a few ways to avoid trucking burnout and to maintain your motivation. These tips come from seasoned veterans of the industry who’ve had to shake it up a time or two. Here are a few ways that you can shake off the monotony, and refocus your passion for trucking:

Adjust your mindset

Motivation is rarely going to come in external form – at least, not in one that many would respond to. Nagging dispatchers, upset supervisors and unhappy clients are not the kind of motivation you want to encounter – so adjust your mindset.  Your work ethic and ability to work independently is most likely what attracted you to trucking in the first place, so re-center your thoughts and remember that motivation comes from within.  Remember why you started it all and remember what you hoped to accomplish at the very beginning. At the end of the day, take the initiative to do excellent work, and your success as a trucker and your happiness will follow.

Set small goals

Sometimes motivation can be hard to achieve because you aren’t sure what your goals are. And if you do have goals, sometimes the end goal is either too big, or too far way.  Breaking down your goals to more achievable steps so you get the behavior benefit of accomplishment is one of the most rewarding ways to motivate yourself. For example, let’s say you got into trucking to help you achieve some financial goals and to pay off debt.  Rather than working towards your overall debt amount, tackle one debt at a time and break it down into smaller steps so you can really see the progress and get the behavioral benefit of working your way to the top.

Change it up

Sometimes a loss of motivation can mean your routine has become too routine. What sounded great when you started out may not be the best suited for your life at present, so changing up your type of trucking may help re-focus your dedication to trucking.  Drive OTR all the time? Try gigs that keep you closer to home.  Need a change of scenery? Get into long-haul trucking and travel the nation! There really are so many options when it comes to types of trucking, so don’t let yourself get stuck in a rut – change it up sometimes to challenge yourself and supplement your will to succeed.

Many of our readers have been truckers for a long time – what other tips would you provide for those looking to avoid burnout?

Top Slow Cooker Recipes For Truckers

Top Slow Cooker Recipes For Truckers

Eating healthy on the road can be difficult – most of your food choices that are convenient and cheap consist of fat, sugar, salt and loads of preservatives that leave you feeling sluggish and sleepy. Add in a hefty bill for dining out all of the time, and you’re looking at a less than positive situation.  While healthier choices are hard to come by, sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands and make your meals yourself.  This can be tricky as a trucker, because you have limited space, limited cooking options and even more limited space options.  But, we’re happy to report there is an easy way to solve this problem – Get a slow cooker.

Slow cookers are smart for truckers for a number of reasons:

  1. You can cook your meal and drive at the same time!
  2. Slow cooker meals often require little prep-work
  3. Slow cooker meals make for great leftovers
  4. Slow cooker meals can often be prepped ahead of time, so you can simply toss the ingredients in and go

Now, not all slow cooker recipes are rated for the road, as they might require too much prep work, assembly and so on.  So, below you’ll find our favorite slow cooker recipes that are particularly suited for life on the road, as they’re easy to prepare, require little prep and are amazing as leftovers.

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

This Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas recipe is the simplified lazy version of fajitas. You still get all the delicious flavors without as much hassle! Plus, it’s great as leftovers, and can be eaten as tacos, nachos, or thrown onto a bed of lettuce and made into a salad.

Slow Cooker Green Pepper Steak

A super versatile dish, this Slow Cooker Green Pepper Steak recipe is perfect for serving over a bed of lettuce, or atop  a mound of white rice.  Either way you go, the flavors here only get better with time, so cook plenty for leftovers.

Slow Cooker Chili

Chili is one of those dishes that everyone likes – and is super easy to prepare! This Slow Cooker Chili recipe is awesome for a quick, healthy meal that is sure to warm your belly, and leave you satisfied. Stock full of protein, fiber and all kinds of healthy ingredients, this recipe is perfect for those of you looking to stay fit.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Nothing could be simpler than this classic Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe.  It’s only got five ingredients, none of which need to be prepped, and evolves into a delicious dish that will quickly become a staple in your slow cooker routine. Pro tip – low and slow results in a significantly more tender and flavorful dish, so get this one set in the morning and plan to enjoy at dinner time.

Slow Cooker Crack Chicken

Dinner practically prepares itself with this super easy Slow Cooker Crack Chicken recipe. Definitely an indulgence, this recipe is incredibly easy to throw together, and has only 7 ingredients.  The beauty of this dish? The versatility.  Serve this chicken on tortillas, sandwich rolls, atop a bed of lettuce or even on a baked potato, and you’ll have an amazingly flavorful dinner that will have you wanting more!

These are just a few of our favorite dishes to prepare while on the road – what are some of your go-to recipes when you’re driving OTR?