Making the Most of Your Layover
One of the facts of life as an expediter is the (often long) wait time between loads. So, if you're going to have to sit for a while, you might as well enjoy and make the most of that layover, right?
What should you look for in an ideal layover destination? EO spoke with veteran team expediters Bob and Linda Caffee and Tom and Tina Evans to get their advice and learn about their favorite layover hot spots.
As you evaluate prospective layover locations, keep these questions in mind.
1. Does the city offer good freight opportunities?
"The bigger cities usually have the best freight," says Linda Caffee. "But a city that works well in getting freight for a refrigerated truck may not work well for a dry box. So ask other drivers that operate trucks similar to yours what a good area of freight would be for the same carrier. One area may offer good freight with a company but be dead for another."
2. Does the location offer safe parking?
Wherever you park, make sure you're in a safe area, with sufficient surveillance and security or police presence.
3. How are a truck stop's amenities?
Says Caffee: "We look for a one-stop truck stop, with everything we need right there, such as laundry, showers, and restaurants."
4. What is there to do in that area?
If you're going to have to spend a day or two (or longer) in an area before your next load, find a place that offers plenty of things to do to help pass the time.
Now that you know what to look for, what are some examples of great layover destinations? The Caffees and Evanses rate their Top 4 hot spots.
Bob and Linda Caffee's Hot Spots
"Our favorite layover spots have good lots and are safe and clean, with plenty of amenities and things to do in the surrounding area," says Linda Caffee.
1. Petro -- Ontario, California
Address: 4325 E Guasti Rd, Ontario, CA 91761
Phone: (909) 390-7800
Caffee's Comments: "Good weather; usually an easy walk to shopping and movies; and many choices for eating."
2. Petro -- Raphine, Virginia
Address: 2440 Raphine Rd, Raphine, VA 24472
Phone: (540) 377-2111
Caffee's Comments: "Great location, with a movie theater, doctor clinic, and park with stream for walking. It's also near a lot of freight opportunities."
3. Petro -- Las Vegas, Nevada
Address: 6595 N Hollywood Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89115
Phone: (702) 632-2640
Caffee's Comments: "Right at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and there is always something going on there. Decent area for freight."
4. Petro -- Joplin, Missouri
Address: 4240 Highway 43, Joplin, MO 64804
Phone: (417) 624-3400
Caffee's Comments: "It's a nice truck stop with a lot of amenities - embroidery and items for the truck. It's also within walking distance of a chrome shop and graphics shop."
Tom and Tina Evans' Hotspots
"We have found our favorites to be the places that we have gotten to know really well," says Tom Evans. "It helps to take the time to drive around and get familiar with the roads and communities that you like to stop at. This makes getting things done on the road much easier because you know where stuff is and how to get there"
1. Load One (motor carrier) -- Taylor, Michigan
Address: 13221 Inkster Rd, Taylor, MI 48180
Phone: (800) 957-4698
Evans' Comments: "Our carrier Load One, located in Taylor, has become like a second home for us, and we've gotten to know the area where we can plan to do things when in town because we know where everything is located."
2. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas
Evans' Comments: "We park at friends' places or Walmarts or a few parking lots we know of. One place is the old Dallas Cowboys parking lot by where the old stadium was and the other is a large indoor flea market parking lot. Both have local police patrols on a regular basis."
3. TA -- Laredo, Texas
Address: 1010 Beltway Pkwy, Laredo, TX 78045
Phone: (956) 724-2016
Evans' Comments: "Good weather and my wife likes the shopping!"
4. Greenville, South Carolina
Evans' Comments: "We just like this area in general. There are nice people, and it's easy to get around. Also, there are plenty of places to park that are truck-friendly other than truckstops. Like the other cities, we know the area well."
What are Your Favorite Layover Destinations?
What do you look for in a layover spot? What are your top destinations -- and why? Share your thoughts in the comments.