A milestone of 7,200 locations entered has been achieved. More information on more locations.
TruckStopReport.com was conceived over 10 years ago. I worked on it occasionally but did not get serious until about 6 years ago. The problem was, I also operated a Postal and Shipping center full time and so my time to work on the site was restricted. To make matters worse for the project – I kept changing my own specifications. I wanted online available services (restaurants, diners, shopping, etc) adjacent to truck stops and initially I was only entering those amenities immediately adjacent. Over time, I started entering more stuff: bowling alleys, movie theaters, medical offices, pharmacies and others – but I also increased my radius outward to about 2/10 a mile. This resulted in substantially more research time per location.
Then a friend pointed out that I should be more detailed in my descriptions – even though the information was contained in the ‘visual’ charts. She stressed that people were more likely to to take note of the amenities available if it was written out. Again, more time to complete the data entry of each location.
In the middle of all these changes along with my already 50 hour work week, in December 2008, I was admitted to the hospital with End Stage Renal Disease – kidney failure. That resulted in me starting dialysis 3 days a week, 4 hours a day (plus setup and post treatment times and travel times) over 20 more hours of obligations. Plus, a side affect of dialysis is that it can be mentally and physically draining. This reduced my available time to work on TruckStopReport even more. But I pressed on – slowly.
In July, 2013, I received a letter from my businesses’ property owner that he planned to raise my rents by 50% plus add several additional conditions onto the lease. I refused. He gave me 30 day notice to get out. Having wanted to close the business for years anyway – that became my exit plan. While I was not able to sell the business and recover all of the cost in the equipment/customer base/business goodwill, I was able to get a small amount of money and more importantly – get out. This would allow me to focus on my health and on TruckStopReport.com.
For the most part, I did little on the site during July as I was busy packing and closing the business. Having not taken even a 4 day weekend in over 9 years, I opted to take about 4 weeks off (3 weeks of August, 1 week in September) – travel a little and visit family, and sleep a lot! On September 5, I was again connected to the internet and able to begin to focus on my passion – making truckstopreport.com the most complete listing of truckers’ amenities services. More locations, and more locations verified to be truck assessable. More amenities in the immediate area for truckers looking for services or needing to relax for a few hours waiting for a dock time, or being forced to be down long enough to reset their HOS clock.
I know I have a loyal fan following and I know that it is growing. That is a great personal reward – to look at my stats reports and see indications of returning visitors. I will continue to make the site more complete and add additional services/features over time. Many people send me updates and corrections on a regular basis and I hope that will continue. I always planned for TruckStopReport.com to involve the people (truckers, RVers, and the general traveling public) allowing the site to always be not only the most detailed – but the most up to date, unlike printed books that are old by the time they are even printed.
John Carter / Editor