Everybody loves perks, you know freebies that you get for purchasing something else. Unfortunately, freebies are never free.

Recently one of the big three Travel Centers in America changed their loyalty program in regards to truckers and their diesel fuel purchases. These changes upset quite a few drivers as they lost some of their perks they were enjoying previously. Travel Centers are in business to sell fuel and other goods for profit. One of the biggest sticking points from drivers regarding the new changes at this particular Travel Center chain was their shower credits for purchasing fuel.

Usually if a driver goes to this truck stop and purchases fuel, they would need to buy 60 gallons to receive a complimentary credit towards a shower, however if you purchase more than the 60 gallons you still only received one credit, many would take advantage of that system and purchase 60 gallons at a time, then another 60 gallons and in the end receive two complimentary showers versus just one for a single purchase of 120 gallons.

Keep in mind these are complementary showers, the Travel Centers do not have to give you anything other than the fuel you paid for at the time of purchase. If they give you a shower for buying their fuel it is a bonus. It is extra. It is not something you paid for but was more than likely factored into the price of the fuel at a certain number of gallons by the travel center. Showers are not free, there are the costs to cover the expenses of building the showers, maintaining the showers, cleaning in the showers, installing a computer system and an app to make it easier for you to get your shower, to launder all of the linens used for your shower, water, sewer, etc., all of those things were included in the price of the fuel to provide you with one complimentary shower. At some point if you take advantage of the system, the system has to be changed.

Shower credits that expire was another big issue for some of the more loyal members of this particular chain. At a certain fueling level, loyal patrons previously would have shower credits that did not expire, however that is changed and now they have an expiration date. One of the biggest complaints I've heard about this was that they couldn't build up 10 shower credits and then go on vacation and come back and still have shower credits to use. My question is when you come back to work, will you not be purchasing fuel again to get another shower credit which they are willing to give you for 60 gallons of fuel? Why is there a need to hoard shower credits?

Another change to their loyalty program also pertains to shower credits. Previously, if you fueled at least 60 gallons then you would get 1 shower credit, and you could fuel more than once a day to get additional credits. Under the new rules of their loyalty program, only 1 shower credit will be given for all fuel purchases totaling more than 60 gallons in 24 hours. My guess is this was to curb the practice of only fueling enough at one time to get the perk of a shower credit, and repeating it a few times a day.

Whatever you opinions of the new loyalty program are, a couple of things seems certain, showers are an important item for many drivers on the road and showers cost Travel Centers to provide them.

Perks are good but they are never free. Someone always has to pay the price for them one way or another.

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Greg Huggins

Greg has been in the trucking industry since the late 1980s. After spending 25+ years as an owner operator with United Van Lines, he leased to Landstar Express America in 2014. Greg is always trying to learn something new and share what he has learned with others.

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