There is a great big gem in Iowa that is a destination for truckers, whether they are on duty and passing through, or on vacation and want to visit the World’s Largest Truckstop. It’s located on the I-80 in Walcott, Iowa and it is definitely a place you want to visit. At least once.
The Iowa 80 was built and then opened in 1964. Since that time, the truck stop has maintained its 24/7 schedule, and has not closed their doors in the past 56 years. It looks like a small city, and some have called it a ‘Trucker’s Disneyland’, and when you see the list of services provided, you’ll probably agree.
The Iowa 80 serves an average of 5,000 customers per day. It is also a social place, where generations of local and interstate truckers have stopped; and everyone seems to have a memory or two about the place. In the 56 years they have been in business, they have served over 18 million eggs and over 3 million cups of coffee to their trucking patrons.
They also apparently use 775 rolls of toilet paper per month, which equates to 55 miles every single month. That’s a lot of bathroom traffic, but apparently, they have it covered, because it’s part of the job when you see more than 5,000 visitors to your truck stop every day. And somehow, the bathroom and showers are always clean.
Services Provided for CDL Truckers at the Iowa 80 Truck Stop
Now, we’ve been in business since 1983 and we’d like to think that when you’ve visited one truckstop, you’ve seen them all. But newer truck stop and rest areas that are being built today (while they are impressive) cannot even compare to the amazing and thoughtful amenities provided at the World’s Largest Truckstop.
If you are driving your rig, here are some of those great services:
- A full-service Barber Shop.
- A chiropractor (no, we aren’t kidding).
- A walk-in dental office.
- A dog-o-mat. Think of it as a laundromat for your dog.
- A library. You can grab a paper, read your book, or use your laptop in total quiet.
- Laundry facility.
- Fifteen fuel stations.
- Movie theater and social room for truckers only.
- A great gym for work outs, and private spa showers.
- A truck wash station and service center.
- Convenience store and eight different restaurants.
While the World’s Biggest Truck Stop does get busy, you are almost always guaranteed to find parking, because the Iowa 80 has over 900 designated truck spots! And if you need to weigh-in, they even have CAT scales right beside the fuel center.
As far as providing truckers with some of the comforts of home, the truckers lounge features leather seats, and a fireplace where drivers can relax and unwind. Need to get your physical to renew your CDL credentials? No problem! The chiropractor’s office also provides Department of Transportation physicals for truck drivers.
For trucks that require diesel exhaust fluid, the Iowa 80 provides pumps for bulk DEF dispensing. The service center can handle oil changes to tire rotations, and vehicle checks and diagnostics.
Who Founded the World’s Largest Truckstop in Iowa?
It was a small and unremarkable building made out of white enamel, but it stood out on the highway and it was located in the best spot, right at Exit 284. Bill Moon was the founder, and he took over direct management of the Iowa 80 in 1965. Back then, it was owned by Standard Oil (Amoco), and when they decided to sell the location, Bill and his wife Carolyn gathered their finances (and some borrowed from friends and family) to purchase the gas station. At that time, he had been managing the location for twenty years.
Bill Moon loved trucking, and more importantly, he really cared about the community. He understood how hard the job was, and exactly what truckers needed from a truck stop to revitalize. Slowly but surely over the years, he continued to expand and add every single amenity that a trucker would need on the road. The Moon family made time to talk personally to truckers as they expanded their business, and the family still enjoys friendships with truckers that have lasted for decades.
Preserving the History of Trucking and Giving Back to the Community
Because of the rich history and the importance of this truck stop to both local and interstate truckers, in 2008 Bill Moon built a museum to showcase all the memorabilia of the famous truck stop. Over the years, the family also collected antique trucks, so visitors can truly take a walk-through history to see how much technology and the trucking industry have changed.
For many truckers, the Iowa 80 is like a home away from home, and a family. Every year the truck stop hosts a special event, called the ‘Walcott Truckers Jamboree’. The three-day event celebrates the trucking industry and the men and women who drive America’s economy every day in a big rig. The 2018 event gathered 44,000 attendees, who enjoy music, great food and social with other drivers and families in the trucking industry.
If you are looking to visit the Iowa 80 (The World’s Largest Truckstop) you can visit them website, or GPS to 755 W. Iowa 80 Rd. I-80, Exit 284, Walcott, Iowa. Or call the truck stop for more information about their facilities and services for truckers, at: (563) 284-6961.
Have you ever visited the Iowa 80? What are some of your memories? Share your comments with our team at Canal Cartage in Houston.
Photo: The Muncipal