JOPLIN, Mo. — Petro, Flying J, and Love’s — they’re all popular spots to stop for truckers on a long haul across the country. Joplin has its fair share, a number that is growing.
“You know, when you think about trying to park you know, 60-70 foot long truck, you just can’t do that anywhere,” said Greg Orr, CFI President.
Just one of the challenges for a trucker on a long haul.
They need to eat. But many times the rig may need repairs – or the driver a shower… not something every gas station offers.
” When you think about today, across the United States, we don’t have enough truck stops or parking for a lot of our drivers,” said Orr.
But there will soon be a new option in the Joplin area. Construction is underway on a future Road Ranger truck stop at Exit 13 on Interstate 44. It will sit just across Prigmor Avenue to the east of the existing Big Apple Travel Center.
“They’re like any other business. You know, you go down the road. You see a lot of auto dealerships right next to each other. There’s advantages to certain locations and regardless of the competition, they know that’s going to be a good spot for them and a lot of people are going to stop in that area,” said Travis Stephens, Joplin Chamber.
Advantages like the number of cars and trucks passing by on I-44, more than 40,000 a day. The site is Just a couple of miles from Flying J and Quik Trip on the east side of Joplin, and there’s also Petro and Love’s on the west side of town.
Joplin’s Chamber of Commerce president says there’s a reason there are so many nearby.
“I think it’s the natural location of our proximity to two major interstates where I ride it across even another state into another state. There’s a lot of advantages for transportation truck stops, that sort of thing,”
Stephens adds the addition is good for truckers… and good for the local economy.
“So the great thing about these truck stops are that a lot of people driving down the highway will stop. They’ll get their snacks, some drink, some gas, and then they’re on their way and they leave behind a little bit of tax revenue for the residents of Joplin. Without ever having to need any of the job and services. So it’s definitely a plus for the community,” he said.