McPherson, KS, USA
Flying J in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is conveniently located on the south side of Interstate 40. Unfortunately they are in the middle of a remodel that seems to be taking precedence over customer service. I was there on the evening of September 22, 2010, and witnessed a Keystone Kops re-enactment. Apparently they are not only doing major interior work on the main building, they’ve chosen to undertake diesel pump work at the same time. Except they didn’t bother putting up any traffic-control devices, thus allowing the big-rig refueling lanes to become a tangled nightmare of drivers jockeying for the few pump lanes that remained operational. Several gave up and left.
If that wasn’t a big enough hassle, the Denny’s restaurant on site had inadequate staffing and a table of very rowdy folks that thought everyone in the place should be able to hear their spirited conversations and overly boisterous laughter. No one on staff could be bothered to ask these inconsiderate folks to tone it down.
There are lots of truck stops to choose from. The only thing that really puts a place above the others is customer service, plain and simple. The Flying J in Albuquerque was lacking in this regard, at least when I was there. And I likely won’t be back in the foreseeable future.
And here’s a couple of complaints that virtually every truck stop I visit is guilty of:
1) Why is it that there is no way to tell if the parking area is full until you’ve toured the whole thing? Not only is that a waste of time, but I bet the drivers already parked don’t appreciate having a searching truck go by every few minutes.
2) How come there are no areas set aside for drivers who don’t idle an engine? Why can’t truck stops come up with a way to accommodate those drivers who don’t need to run an APU or the main engine all night long? It would be nice to get a night’s rest without the truck next door spewing noise and exhaust at you. When the outside temperature is mild, what is the point of running your engine all night?
Now I know why so many of us choose to park along the side of the road, in rest areas, or in closed weigh stations.