Longtime truckers may remember the Iowa 80 Truckstop as a small white building in the middle of Iowa cornfields just west of the Mississippi River.
This year, the Iowa 80 Truckstop celebrates its 45th year of serving America’s truckers.
The Iowa 80 Truckstop was built and opened by Standard Oil in 1964, before Interstate 80 was finished. The truck stop had two diesel pumps, one lube bay and a little restaurant operated by the Peel family.
In 1965, Bill Moon took over management of the Iowa 80 for Standard Oil.
“My father had an amazing ability to see things that others couldn’t,” said Delia Moon Meier. “He always said that Walcott was the perfect spot.”
The truck stop grew under Moon’s management, and in 1984 Bill Moon and his wife Carolyn purchased it from Amoco. The Moon family remodeled, updated and expanded the restaurant and store, adding state-of-the-art private showers and a driver’s area – a rarity at the time.
In 1989, Iowa 80 added a new store famous both for its chrome selection and for the 1918 Oldsmobile hoisted above the cashier island.
Just three years later, in 1992, Iowa 80 expanded its fuel center and became a Truckstops of America franchisee. This move gave the truck stop the opportunity to associate with a nationally recognized name and at the same time maintain its independence. Truckstops of America would also serve as a connection to the trucking fleets that had grown over the years. And one year later, Iowa 80 opened its TA Service Center.
In 2006, a new multimillion-dollar Super Truck Showroom was added. It houses more than 67,000 square feet of chrome, stainless, lights and other trucking accessories to browse. The Super Truck Showroom also includes three big rigs on display that sport the latest accessories. The showroom also features a wall of lights allowing drivers to see what every single type of available light looks like when it’s illuminated. The vinyl graphics, custom T-shirts, embroidery center and laser engraving all are housed in a one-stop Custom Shop where drivers can see their designs come to life.
An elevator from the Super Truck Showroom can take drivers to the third floor and one of its 24 private showers. Also on the third floor are a library, Driver’s Den, movie theater, barber shop, dentist, chiropractor, laundry facilities and a balcony where drivers can overlook the Super Truck Showroom and bask in the glory of all that is chrome and lights.
The expanded food court now includes Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut Express and Dairy Queen/Orange Julius. The convenience and gift stores have also undergone complete makeovers. “We are always looking to improve the Iowa 80 experience for our customers,” said Meier. “We’ve expanded Iowa 80 Truckstop 25 times in the last 45 years, and we’re not ready to slow down yet.”
2009 also will mark the 30th anniversary of the Walcott Truckers Jamboree, a celebration of drivers.
The Iowa 80 TA Truckstop is part of the Iowa 80 Group that also owns Joplin Petro Truckstop, in Joplin, MO; Oak Grove 70 Petro Truckstop, Oak Grove, MO; Kenly 95 TA Truckstop, Kenly NC. The group also owns Truckomats in North Little Rock, AR; Temple, GA; Effingham, IL; South Holland, IL; Indianapolis; Walcott, IA; Joplin, MO; Oak Grove, MO; Kenly NC; Hebron, OH; Oklahoma City; Laredo, TX; Wytheville, VA; the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum and CAT Scale Company.
For more information, visit iowa80.com.