As a truck driver, what are the best truck stops in the US (Pilot, Flying J, Love’s, TA, etc.)?

As a truck driver, what are the best truck stops in the US (Pilot, Flying J, Love’s, TA, etc.)?

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  1. When my husband and I were driving as a team, the company we worked for supplied a gas card that we could use at Pilot and Flying J. The only TA that was authorized was the one on the road into Seattle, WA. We only stopped once at a Loves to have a tire changed. They all are about the same. Most times all we wanted was a place to park for the night. We did do a 34 hour reset at the motel across from the TA in Washington. To eat and fuel, we would go over to the TA. We usually stopped at the Pilot or Flying J. They were nice places usually. A lot of times we ate on the truck. But if we had to fuel and we had a choice, we’d stop at the one that had a Denny’s. Just to have a place to sit down and eat. No fast food if we could help it. There was a Pilot in Oregon with a motel next door we liked. All the motel rooms were little A framed. Excellent restaurant at the motel too. Treated us great.
    Most times it was Pilot/Flying J because we knew what to expect. They all had pretty much the same.

  2. I prefer Petro myself. Decent food, good amenities and, most importantly, I’ve rarely seen a Petro in which you could not eventually find parking. They usually have huge lots compared to everyone else.
    Flying J usually comes in second for me. Decent amenities, okay parking lots.
    Pilot/Love’s are the bottom of the barrel for me. Smallish, oddly-configured parking which usually fills up before sundown. Usually no amenities (like a TV lounge or CB shop). These places are known as “Shit-n-Gits” : they just want you to fuel, buy something and get the f_ck out of here. But I will give credit where it’s due: Love’s easily has the best fuel rewards program in the business, and their facilities are usually clean.

  3. Mostly they are all about the same. When I was Over The Road It usually depended on where I was in the country. Back then Flying J’s had the best fuel price and there I got driver reward $ and free showers. I used the reward $ to buy the buffet. I think they redid their restaurants. I usually stop at Pilot/ Love’s/ TA based on the fast food and available parking. What I found out early on was the best places eat at were the restaurants that had truck parking. Many times I would pull in 1 hour before closing, eat, then sleep there. I would leave hours before they opened.
    Now days most drivers have to let their E.L.D. (Electronic Logging Device) determine the best truck stop, at least that day.

  4. You ask an interesting question, in truck stops there really is not a “good, better or best ” the question is do they satisfy a need, provide fuel at a reasonable cost, provide the comforts I need as a driver, and am I able to get in and out in a timely basis. Give the food I want and services that I need.
    If was to state my absolute favorite truck stop it would be a full service Petro truck stop. their services are just better for the dollar, their stores are stocked with a larger variety of supplies that I want. their food in their restaurants are in my opinion superior to any tother truck stop.

  5. My favorite of the national chains was Petro. Better food I think, but particularly the hamburger steak. That and eggs was my breakfast. Flying J and TA are very similar in all regards. They both have sit down restaurants and it’s ok food. I always preferred to come in and sit down and relax. Pilot and Love’s only have fast-food. They’re usually associated with a McDonalds, Burger King, and that sort of food. I’d use those mainly as coffee stops, not to eat. Pilot used to have the best coffee, but I was recently on a road trip in the US and stopped at all the old haunts. Wasn’t impressed with Pilot coffee anymore. Some of these franchise stores are owned privately and the restaurants there have great food (but there are few of those and I don’t remember where). The I80 truck stop (largest in the world) has a great restaurant, shops and facilities.

  6. I am not a truck driver, but over the course of many years I have stopped in at all of these places, and Road Rangers.
    Maybe I should start paying more attention.

  7. When I was an OTR driver in the mid-nineties; you knew without a doubt which places to stay away from. That was the ‘76’ truck stops – especially in the Northeast. Now with most companies merged or merging together; it’s a toss up.
    ‘Love’s’ used to be one of the best; so was ‘Petro.’ Now Petro has merged with TA; Pilot has merged with Flying J. Most Pilot truck stops have had; and still have rotten parking. Love’s is still just Love’s, but the quality has dropped since the nineties.
    To be honest without being too long winded; you won’t find real nice truck stops these days until you go West of the Mississippi. Most of the real nice ones then are very large; have great parking; food and security. And they are independently owned; not part of the sucky chain companies.

  8. Personally I prefer Loves. The facilities are usually clean. The staff is always polite. I usually have the feeling of being appreciated as a customer and professional driver. Some TA locations are good. My worst experience usually occurs at Pilot/ Flying J. These facilities are not very clean. I think they are understaffed. So of all of the truck stops, I would say that Loves does the best job in taking care of the professional drivers.

  9. In my opinion:
    These are all chains. Mom and Pop places are getting rarer every day.
    Pilot/Flying J (now rebranded as PIlot Companies) have the best coffee and food choices in the C-store. Their restaurants are a combination fast food, Denny’s or IHOP. The counter service is atrociously slow. Typically the original Pilots had limited parking. Showers are adequate.
    Loves are getting better. More of them are popping up. Clean. Counter service still isn’t quick. Fast food options for the most part. Nice showers.
    TA/Petro are the old dog on the scene. Their restaurants need serious updating. Country Pride (TA) and Iron Skillet (Petro) are the only originals left and some are switcing to chain restaurants or fast food fares. The C-stores are hit and miss when it comes to coffee and food choices. The showers (when updated), imo, are the best on the road.
    I fuel mostly at TA and Petro and will choose a Petro over TA. Depending on prices, I do buy fuel and stop at Flying Js because I don’t mind Denny’s fo a change in menu.
    As mentioned, most prefer the truckstops they fuel at (due to company fuel card restrictions)

  10. I don’t really have a favorite of one ever the others. The ones I liked were the ones that had real restaurants where you sit down and a waitress comes to your table. I’m not a big fan of fast food type restaurants.

    Victor Allen’s

  11. My opinion they are all the same….. some are cleaner than others….. most sit down restaurants have given way to fast food or some other chain restaurant……I Hop….Fudruckers ….. Black Bear……I try and find the small independent stops…..We buy all our fuel at Pilot /Flyin J…. So I see good and bad everywhere……best of luck in your quest for knowledge……

    Eight O’Clock

  12. I always preferred Flying J’s. The reason is simple. I kept a big insulated mug ( Flying J’s, of course) full of Diet coke, anyway, I used to manage some convenience stores. I made sure the spouts on the soda machines were cleaned weekly. Soda tastes better and the syrup collects on those things like crazy. I cant remember how many stops I saw an employee washing them. Generally offered a free shower if I said I would wait. This must be a Flying J policy as it kept on happening. The food isn’t bad either. Just overpriced as all of them are. My best deal on Sunday if I was not home, was to hopefully find a Sunday buffet at a Shoney’s. Great breakfast buffet.

  13. This question is quite subjective because you can ask 10 different truck drivers the same question and you’ll get 20 different answers.
    Myself I like the mom and pop places like The Tennessean in Cornersville Tn, which is where I’m parked for the night, then there is the Motor Inn at the intersection of US33 and US127 in Mentor Ohio.
    If I want convenience and a quick dip off splash of fuel and a drink then dip back on, Pilot/flying J

  14. depends what you depends what you can sit as the best what is the best for you everybody has a preference for different best the best truck stop i spend a lot of time it was Jubitz portland oregon.

  15. When I am done with my ‘drive day’ (and that may not be in the day) If I am not near one of my favorite independents, I try for a TA/Petro. Most of them have a sit-down restaurant where I can relax for a good meal and they have the cleanest nicest showers and facilities.

  16. I like pilot flying j. Most of us like the one we can fuel at. Depending on what deals your company has you may be force to chose one over another. Most truck stops require fuel purchase to get a shower. Ta/peter sometimes need a fuel purchase just to park so if your company only fuels at pulpit/ flying j then your. Or gonna stop at ta petro.
    Fyi ta/Petro are same consonant. Flying j and pilot are the same company.
    As for the actual truck stop I prefer pilot flying j. More fast food available. Nicer showers. Cheaper prices in store. An app that gives you free stuff and allows you to fuel without pulling out card and typing in numbers.
    Flying j/pilot hamburger dogs and pizza is pretty good.
    As for loves there arnt enough around to be in their fuel network, so I wouldn’t get rewards or fuel discounts. There was nothing special either. I probably stopped at loves 3 or 4 times my entire career.

  17. I always preferred a sit down meal so I like TA/Pettro,fast foodis ok from time to time but to sit down have a decent meal and talk to other driver’s

  18. I prefer Petro as it usually is the easiest place to park and and most have a good restaurant followed next by TA. The newer Loves have good parking and the best rewards program. Pilot and Flying J are the worst in my opinion.

  19. To be honest I always preferred the old Ma and Pa truck stops. Out of the main chain truck stops I’m going to say Loves. If you just started driving odds are your going to end up filling up at one of the chain truck stops anyways.

  20. Sorry. I’m not a trucker so I wouldn’t know. I only transport vehicles here and there.
    I did ride to California with my friend who’s Dad was a Trucker when I was young. He told us girls Not to play on his CB radio, Never give out the truck’s first or last three numbers so no one could know what Semi we were in, and Not to leave his rig while he went inside the truck stop. I guess their are things called lot lizards. Those are not good or nice. That’s all I know

  21. I’d have to say the Pilot and Flying J, with Loves coming in in close second. The only problem with Love’s is that there’s not nearly as many of them So you would have to plan your trips much more carefully to catch all Love’s and get your fuel points. Also, if you’re going to eat at the truck stop you know that you’ll get some good quality food at a Pilot or Flying J that’s prepped right there on location.


  22. My favorite truck stops is Loves, Flying J, and Pilot. Most of these truck stops are pretty decent clean. Which is good to be in a truck stop than a nasty smelly rotten. The showers are good and the rest, I’ll give it a A+. I don’t go to any truck stops if it does looks nasty just by looking at the outside of the building. I’ll just pull in the parking lot and stay in my truck. But I’m mainly a huge fan of Loves and Flying J truck stops.

  23. As others have said, the big chains are all much the same. I can buy fuel anywhere, though my discount is generally deepest these days at flying pilot.
    I tend to avoid Love’s- until recent builds, their parking lots were essentially designed for 40’ trailers. In a world of 53’s, they were a PITA. Love’s is also more expensive than the other chains
    TA/Petro parking lots drive ne nuts: they are typically roomy enough- but half the spots require either you pull-through ( yeah, at 3 a.m.?) or a blind-side back. Why they lay out their lots like this is beyond me- they never answered my email about it. ( yes, there are a few that are laid out so most stalls are driver-side back, but not many)
    Flying Pilot— kinda half way between TA and Love’s. Lots are frequently a bit cramped, but usually all driver side back, and better prices than Love’s.
    over all, I still prefer TA/Petro as they ALWAYS have a shop capable of simple repairs and maintenance ( set aside the rare Petro:2 which don’t).
    There are other chains , of course, AMBest is probably next largest. Quality is… uneven. As a general rule, I’ll drive an extra hour to not hit an AMBest
    Roadies, Town Pump, and Coffee Cup are much smaller ( if Coffee Cup were a larger chain and had shops, they’d be my stop if choice)
    individual, non-chain, stops are, of course, hit or miss. And what you are expecting will determine your opinion at some of them. Example: the Pit Stop outside Burley ID. Gravel lot, room for about 30 trucks if you park sanely. No WiFi. Close the doors at 22:00 or so.. no showers. No shop. but some of the best milkshakes and grill food to be had
    I try to stop at one new “no name “ truck stop on each load. Every once in a while, I do find gold.

  24. It’s largely a matter of personal preference, and what you’re looking for. Sometimes what’s best for tonight isn’t what you’ll want tomorrow.
    I’ll add to other replies that there is often something to be said for the small independent truck stops. There is often less competition for parking spaces, food is sometimes better, prices lower. Some of them will still give you a free cup of coffee, and lots of them have free WiFi.

  25. Pilot and Loves are basically exactly the same layout. Except Loves has Tirepass which is great and they added it only a few years ago where they air up your tires and check the tread for only $5 while you fuel. The only reason I do not go to TA/Petro is because their third party fast food restaurants close at night which makes no sense. They have the best squeegees and the Petros usually have the largest parking lots in the area. Though from the fuel island you have to do a lot of walking to get one thing from inside the store whereas Pilots and Loves are smaller and have most of the things you need to get in and out quickly.
    I do not go to Flying J anymore but they have the best lounges and showers. They are best if you need to camp out and wait for a few days. Though that was back when I was a company driver and dispatch would leave me stranded for a nearly a week and I would go there. When I first became an owner operator I began going to fuel stations that had truck pumps like Mapco, QuikTrip, Cefco, and Speedway and they were great since no truckers were hardly ever there so I was in and out quickly.
    I only stopped going to them because now I have a massive fuel discount at Loves so I only go to Loves now. The odd thing I never noticed is how much cleaner the Loves are compared to the Pilot (Pee Lot). I just gotten use to the filth of a Pilot as a company driver that I didn’t realize how clean the Loves are.
    Before Pilot bought out the Hess truck stops, I used to like going to them because they were large and always had parking. The second Pilot slapped their sign up there they are beyond packed when the sun goes down. There are many places where you do not have a lot of choices on where to fuel/park though so you cannot be too picky unless you are like me and can go where you want when you want. Another thing I never noticed before when I was a company driver, are the badly designed super busy hard to get to off of slow highway truck stops offer the cheapest fuel. I sometimes go out of my way to save $60 per fill on fuel so I do not mind going to them now.


  26. There’s not a good brand of truck stops any more ta and flying j use to be pretty good as the years have gone by so has the quality of trk stops and cdl drives trucking industry has just about gone to hell in a hand basket

  27. I personally prefer Loves truck stops. There are a few pro and cons to each one or chain but for fuel rewards Loves is my go to place. In some cases companies require the driver to stop at specific places. This has to do with road taxes. The routes I run and a company that allows me the option to fuel just about any where I want..again Loves. If I want a sit down family style restaurant it has be a different place. Be safe out on the road and go see this beautiful country of ours.

  28. Hands down the Flying J have the best truck stops because of the food and with the coupons when you get at least 50 gallons of fuel you get coupons you can use to buy stuff in the store or the restaurant or showers. I ate very good but my favorite food in the restaurant was steak and shrimp and the cheesecake bought with coupons.


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  30. I would say Flying J. They usually have the biggest lots, and it’s usually easier to find parking there. But, I’d say that Petro’s usually have the best restaurants.

  31. TA- is dependent on where. A lot are over exposed and need extra maintenance.
    Petro- they need more maintenance than TA
    TA and Petro use to have restaurants like flying j. when pilot bought flying j all restaurants in them went to franchising or rented space for Corp fast food…..
    Pilot- has become a conglomerate with affliction to boot.. when Berkshire Hathaway invested in them and they had the large lawsuit about fuel rebates being different based on i believe nationality discrimination, and a few other things, i wrote how Berkshire Hathaway would have gotten a better return with Love’s. you can find that article on MAD MOTHER TRUCKER
    Love’s- is a great always nice, super clean, and i have asked others as well….and they usually get a 2 votes for every single vote of the other majors. hence, why i wrote the article when the decision was announced at Berkshire Hathaway.
    Now there are a few other chains like Sinclair’s, and everyone here in the states will argue for their favorite
    Iowa 80 is super cool– one of my must go’s
    Truckstops of Americas– i think thats its name there are two i always stopped at- Flagstaff AZ and Middle of nowhere WY….i always used the cut-through to go to Idaho at the next exit, because of the beautiful countryside….and theres a great steak house in Idaho before you jump on the go up to Boise….plus it took same time to run there and less miles than to go to salt lake City and run north….. this route is also where i ran over the largest skunk i still have ever seen– but thats another story for another time.


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