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The Best Layover Cities (and Why)

By Sean M. Lyden - Staff Writer
Posted Oct 16th 2017 10:27AM

One aspect of expedited trucking is that you’ll often have a day or two (or more) of downtime before you get your next load. So, if you’re having to layover anyway, what are some of the best spots to wait in between loads?

EO recently caught up with veteran expediters Sandi Putz, Sandy Goche and Stephen Halsted, Irene Riley, and Greg Huggins to get their recommendations on their favorite layover cities--and why.

Sandi Putz, Owner-Operator
Hollister, California
Why? “We discovered Casa De Fruta [in Hollister] a number of years ago. It started out as a “mom and pop” fruit stand. It’s now a tourist attraction and a lovely place to layover, offering truck parking, a large fruit stand, sit-down restaurant, winery, and gift shop. There’s also a small hotel with a pool and a camp ground. And they have scheduled weekend activities, such as tractor pulls and renaissance festivals. We try to stop there for a few days when we’re close by and have been there at least five to six times.”

Norfolk, Virginia
Why? “We were looking for a place to ride our bicycles and learned about First Landing State Park near Norfolk while researching online. We had dropped off a load in Norfolk and knew we would be there for the weekend. There are a lot of great areas in the park to ride our bikes. And in one spot there’s a boardwalk where you can walk out to a marshy area--which is perfect for bird watching. We also found out that if you have an electric hookup on your truck, you can get a campsite depending on available room. Our 40-ft truck would have fit, but at the time their lot was full. I would love to get back there to stay for a week.”

Sandy Goche and Stephen Halsted, Owner-Operators
Racine, Wisconsin
Why? “Great cheese shops galore. The O&H Danish Bakery in the Racine Petro is to die for, with homemade bread, Kringles, and other baked goods. It’s a great location for getting loads out of Chicago and Wisconsin area.”

Denver, Colorado
Why? “The Commerce City / Rick Ash TA is within walking distance of a shopping mall that has a Bass Pro shop with a Islamorada restaurant. And then there are the breathtaking views of the snow capped Rocky Mountains.”

Amarillo, Texas
Why? “Two excellent truck stops Evan Haston Petro and a TA. The Big Texan restaurant is a must place to eat. If you can eat a 72-oz steak with the timings in an hour, it’s free. It also has truck parking in back. And the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame is worth the stop if you like horses.”

Irene Riley, Driver
Dodge City, Alabama
Why? “We always enjoy staying at the Petro in Dodge City. The truck stop itself is clean, with great food and plenty of parking. The best thing for us is the church across the street--The Life Church. Anytime we're in the area, that's where we go.”

Ontario, California
Why? “We like the Petro in Ontario, California because, for just a short walk across the overpass, you have so many options--shopping, restaurants, movie theaters, nail and hair salons. And then there’s the great weather, most of the time.

Greg Huggins, Owner-Operator
Chicago, Illinois (and surrounding areas)
Why? “Chicago can be a great place for getting the next load, so staying close without staying in the Chicago area can be quite beneficial.”

Atlanta, Georgia area
Why? “Atlanta is the closest major metropolitan area to my home in Alabama. If I am laying over near Atlanta and have the time and log hours available, I can go home for a brief visit and still get back to work quickly. I'm not much of a sightseer when I am working, so if I must layover somewhere, I want to be as close to my next load opportunity as possible.”


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