If you want to know what's good, look for truckers
Even if you don’t have a veteran wheelman on hand to consult, you can always keep your eyes open for places that have attracted a lot of semis. It’s an old code, but it holds for a reason: A group of trucks parked at a restaurant or gas station is a good indication that it’s clean, safe, and reliably good.
Truck drivers are, unsurprisingly, fond of trucks stops like Walcott, Iowa’s I-80 stop, where most of these interviews took place. Many of the bigger stops will offer showers, mini-marts stuffed with DVDs and clothing and travel gear, small theaters, and in some cases even on-site dentists. “There’s a benefit to being in a place that has stuff you didn’t expect to need,” says Heather, who’s been driving on and off for a variety of companies for 25 years.
But even simpler, they offer a little room to maneuver. “Driving non-stop gets tough, but it’s even worse if you’re in a cramped little lot with no room to breathe,” says Connell. “If you’re in a parking lot with a lot of room, you’re less likely to get in a fender-bender.”
“If you see a place with a small parking lot, just keep on driving: They probably don’t care about their service or anything but taking your money,” adds driver Jim. “Small lots means their business is to get you in and get you out as quickly as possible. They don’t want our ass sitting there.”