Thursday we took the first load out of, you guessed it, Laredo. Even though we covered 1270 miles in 24 hrs we didn’t make it in time to deliver near Indianapolis,In on Friday, so we had to sit and wait. Normally we would be able to relay off that load for one that would keep us moving, but not this time. Not wanting to let that get us down, we parked in the biggest truck stop in Indy, and settled in for the weekend.
After calling a few friends that we knew locally, there was no one able to come around at the last minute to rescue us from a weekend of chores and boredom. So, there we sat. You might be thinking why don’t we rent a car, see the sights. Well let me explain why they build truckstops where they do. Outside of the necessity to comply with zoning in commercial areas, they are almost never in the better parts of town. Property values and complaining neighbors have closed almost every truckstop that was within walking distance of anything worth doing. Sure there are exceptions like the Petro truckstop in Slidell, La. Just off the south side of I-12 is the Petro, while on the north side of that same exit is a Shopping Mall with a movie theater. Your still going to walk a half mile to get there, but its still better than nothing. Now out of fairness and objective reporting, I need to point out that many truckstops in Louisiana have a casino on the property, however I don’t personally recommend them. like I said, the norm is in an industrial park, or on the outskirts of town, to far from anything useful.
I digress, like most people truckers have similar needs to take up their spare time. We have all the necessities of life such as laundry, house cleaning, hair cuts, shopping, etc. The biggest difference is we pay more for these services and have fewer options. I will never understand why a truckstop chain will park 500 trucks, have 25 showers, but only 2-4 washing machines that we all have to share, and oftentimes wait for the privilege to spend 2.00 to wash and 2.00 to dry each and every load.
This time we were fortunate. The truckstop of choice did not have pay parking like the ones on the east and west coast have. Many of these pay lots charge 10 to 20 dollars a day for parking. If you don’t want to pay after the first 3 hours being free, you need to buy 25 dollars in goods or services to cover the parking fee. If you want internet for your computer like I do, well that’s another 4.75 per day. If the place is fortunate enough to have a sit down restaurant, that’s another 10-15 dollars per meal plus tips. After all that, its easy to understand when fuel was around a dollar per gallon why I would just go home from as far as 500 miles away. I figured, spend 100 and be home by Saturday, or spend 150 to stay where I was. I always went home. Company drivers never had that choice, and with fuel hovering around 4.00 per gallon I don’t either anymore. So here we sit thinking what I would give for someone with a car.