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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – More than 100 TravelCenters of America (TA) and Petro Stopping Center customers were invited to a Driver Council luncheon last week at the Mid-America Truck Show to learn of the new programs and services at the chains' locations.
The event -- hosted by Tom O'Brien, managing director, president and CEO of TA -- illustrated how these new features will increase drivers speed and efficiency, reward them with better amenities and elevate the overall customer experience of the TA and Petro brands, according to the company.
"Drivers are experiencing changes in the truck stop landscape that diminish services and add fees for things they used to get for free. As operators of two premier full-service truck stop brands, we have introduced programs and services that do just the opposite. We are elevating the bar on service to the professional truck driver." O'Brien said in a statement.
New elements for the truck stop locations include new showers, fueling efficiency measures, a new rewards card, and quick and healthy eating choices.
In addition, guests experienced a surprise appearance of John Ratzenberger, formerly of "Cheers," "Toy Story" I & II and "Made in America" fame. During the event, Ratzenberger previewed a social media video series for TA that will highlight the uniqueness of TA and Petro locations regarding the products and services offered, the company stated.
"John is not your typical Hollywood type. He came from very humble roots and appreciates the hard work of our truck driving customer and our employees who serve them." O'Brien said in a separate statement. "He brings energy, wit and insight that we hope will help inform viewers across the country that we are an excellent choice for stopping while on the interstate and inform the general public about what truck stops and truckers are all about. We wish to try to contribute a grass-roots education effort to foster the respect and admiration we have for the American trucker to others. By employing these videos on our web site, Facebook pages and YouTube links, we can spread the word via today's hottest communication venues."
During the series, Ratzenberger serves as a "man on the highway" who visits TA and Petro locations, informs viewers of the amenities and services offered, and meets customers and employees.
"I was drawn to TA and Petro because they have more amenities and services than most anyone else who is positioned on the interstate." Ratzenberger said in a statement. "TA and Petro serve one of the hardest-working professionals known – the professional truck driver. Having come from a family with trucking roots – my father drove truck – I respect what they do for all customers and welcome the chance to share that story to viewers across the country."
A first series of three six- to eight-minute videos is being handled by Magnetic North Films of St. Louis. The first video premiered at the Mid-America Truck Show here.
Senior management from TA and Petro conduct Driver Councils throughout the year across their sites in order to stay close to driver issues and concerns.
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