The trucking industry is one of the biggest and leading income generating sectors in the United States. It involves the haulage of goods from one destination to the other. Regardless of the country of production, this has not deterred people from using this industry for their needs, as individuals require trucks to move goods from seaports to their various destinations such as distribution centers, homes, as well as stores.
As a result of this, it was essential to provide truck stops for these truckers. The history of Iowa 80 truck stop dates back to 1964 when it was opened for business as a standard station. During this period, the interstate highway was far from accomplishment and only a few such as the Mile marker 284 were functioning. Regarded as the world’s largest truck stops in history, The Iowa 80 truck stop was the first major truck stop at Walcott exit.
A company known as Standard Oil constructed and opened the truck stop. In 1965, Bill Moon was given an opportunity to take over the administration of the truck stop when the lessee in charge left. He was a motivated man who had worked in Korea, then furthered in his education to college on the G.I. Bill. He studied chemistry as a way of attaining an improved approach to life.
Bill always considered Iowa 80 his personal project and he was excited to be presented with an opportunity to take over its management. The truck stops thrived under Bill’s administration and in 1984, Bill Moon acquired the truck stop from Amoco. He made his friend, Tom Campbell a partner.
Between 1969 and 1977, Bill Moon accomplished another feat creating Truckomatic, a truck wash company and also the CAT Scale Company. Truckomatic is currently known as Truckomat and it operates in 11 states with 12 locations. His scale company was the first of its kind in history. It was an automated, full-length scale that could conveniently weigh both trailer and truck at the same time.
In 1978, Bill nurtured the idea of celebrating the American truckers and after so much perseverance and planning, the first Walcott Truckers Jamboree was born in 1979. Till date, this Jamboree is the largest event for truckers in the world. The 2-day event not only honored truckers, but also served as an exhibition ground for dealers to display their rigs to thousands of people.
Annually, the truck stop is patronized by over 64 million customers. This figure is twenty times greater than Iowa's total population. Over 20 percent of the population are long-haul commercial truckers that search for place to eat, do their laundry or even have a meal when travelling and decide to sleep for the night.
Over a period of time, the Iowa 80 TA Truck Stop has experienced series of noteworthy development projects to be recognized as the largest truck stop in the world. The truck stop comprises the following:
- Kitchen referred to as ‘the Iowa 80 kitchen’
- Restaurant that can hold a capacity of 300 people
- Barber’s shop
- Warehouse for truckers
- Dentist and
- Food court
Recently, the truck stop ventured into the mail order business. The Iowa 80 catalog was created in 1997. Nowadays, truckers now order for a variety of product from the Iowa truckstop, even if Walcott is not their route.
Although Moon died in 1992, his family still runs the truck stop with their primary aim being customer satisfaction and uninterrupted development to prove it.