A new ranking of truck stops gives all of the top marks to independently operated businesses, most of which are east of the Mississippi River.
The list was based on research by Hale Trailer Brake & Wheel Inc., which is based in Jessup, Pennsylvania. The ranking is based primarily on five criteria: online reviews (e.g. Yelp), proximity to a national monument, food availability, amenities (e.g. showers), and unique attractions.
The results of the ranking are:
- Iowa 80 – Walcott, Iowa
- Kenly 95 Petro – Kenly, North Carolina
- Flynn’s Truck Plaza – Shrewsbury, Massachusetts
- Busy Bee Travel Center – Live Oak, Florida
- Big Horn Travel Center – Fort Worth, Texas
- Keystone Restaurant & Truck Stop – Loretto, Pennsylvania
- Jubitz Travel Center – Portland, Oregon
- I-40 Travel Center – Ozark, Arkansas
- South of the Border – Hamer, Soth Carolina
- Dysart’s Truck Stop – Hermon, Maine
- Beckley/Tamarack Travel Plaza – Beckley, West Virginia
- Little America Travel Center – Little America, Wyoming
- Chesapeake House Travel Plaza – Cecil County, Maryland
- 301 Travel Center – Middletown, Deleware
- Noble’s Restaurant and Truck Stop – Corinth, Kentucky
This list compares to another ranking of truck stops released recently by the Trucker Path app. This one asked app users to rank independent and chain truck stops separately. The results found:
Independent Truck Stops
1st Place — Bert’s Travel Plaza, Wellsville, Kansas
2nd Place — Big Apple Travel Center, Joplin, Missouri
3rd Place – Boise Stage Stop, Boise, Idaho
4th Place — Russell’s Endee Truck and Travel Center, Glenrio, New Mexico
5th Place — Truck World Truck Stop, Hubbard. Ohio
Chain Truck Stops
1st Place – Pilot Travel Center #1, Mill Hall Pennsylvania
2nd Place – Love’s Travel Stop #812, Bliss, Idaho
3rd Place – Rocky Mountain Truck Centers of Little America, Green River, Wyoming
4th Place – TA Oakley #91, Oakley, Kansas
5th Place – Love’s Travel Stop #814, Hamilton, Alabama
More than one million app users weighed in on this annual evaluation.
Criteria for Hale's ranking
Each score in Hale's rating is based on a five-star ranking with the overall rank being devised of four categories. Here’s the breakdown of the four primary categories (plus a bonus category) and the individual factors for each:
- Online Review Score – This data was compiled from the average truck stop review data across the following review platforms:
- Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor
- National Monument Vicinity Score – Data was pulled from Google Maps to identify the total number of national parks/monuments in a 20–mile radius to determine activity scores.
- Food Offering Score – Following our scoring guide, this is how we calculated food scores:1 – Only processed, shelf-stable snacks and drinks
- 1 – Only processed, shelf-stable snacks and drinks
- 2 – Fresh + processed food
- 3 – Including everything from 1 & 2 + 1 fast food/chain restaurant
- 4 – Including everything from 1-3 +2 fast food/chain restaurant
- 5 – Including everything from 1-4 + 1 independent restaurant
- Amenity Offering Score – Similar to the food offering score, this category helped classify the rank for the truck stop based on the amenities offered:
- 1 – Only public bathrooms
- 3 – 24hr showers + truck wash
- 5 – Everything from 1-4, + laundromat, gym, movie theater, attached hotel, WiFi, etc.
- Unique Attraction Bonus Score – This is a bonus category that can add up to 1 point to the total score. We considered this score based on any unique, one of a kind experiences that truck stop may offer.
* Note: Total scores reflect a weighted average, so it will be slightly different from the true average of the scoring factors.