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Semi Suite Life

By on July 1, 2016
suite

Onboard cooking improves health, saves money

During his lifetime, James Conley has held dozens of jobs. Since starting his current OTR driving job with C.R. England in July 2014, the South Carolina native’s life has taken some turns for the better.

His wife, Christina, started riding shotgun in January 2015. She had been a preschool teacher and assistant facility director for eight years. An April 2015 move to C.R. England Dedicated provided an opportunity to haul PODS® storage units long distance. Though seldom there, the Vacaville, CA residents are enjoying a semi suite life on the road, which has taken them to or through every state in the lower 48.

Their interstate and intrastate California PODS-loads involve residential as well as commercial containers of varying sizes hauled from and delivered to PODS’ hub locations. The PODZILLA® hydraulic lift system handles the heavy lifting. Others make the local pickups that consolidate loads and handle the deliveries at one or more drop-off points. Loads are usually less than 60,000 pounds. Sometimes, empty containers are delivered to hubs that need them or are dropped at a maintenance facility for repairs or upgrades.

Benefits of Onboard Cooking

Onboard cooking is a growing phenomenon among a wide range of professional drivers. James and Christina cited almost all of the following factors in their decision to make the switch to onboard cooking.

  1. Help lose weight
  2. Eat a more balanced diet
  3. Eat fresh foods, no preservatives
  4. Reduce salt and sugar intake
  5. Avoid unhealthy foods
  6. Achieve a better protein/carbohydrate balance
  7. Expand the variety of foods
  8. Prepare foods to suit personal tastes
  9. Plan menus ahead and avoid temptations
  10. Substantial cost savings

suite-2“Both of us had a desire to improve the balance in our diets,” said Christina. “We can do so much with a refrigerator, a small outdoor grill, a lunchbox cooker and a rice steamer that handles just about everything else. We typically plan for a week at a time, three meals a day. The typical stock-up trip to a grocery store along the Interstate runs about $120 for the two of us. Since we both love salads, the fresh salad bar at a Country Pride® or Iron Skillet® restaurant supplements some meals. There’s even the opportunity to buy items by the pound from the homemade soup and fresh salad bar to use for cooking. For a fresh snack we may pick up Good2Go fresh fruit and veggie cups from a Travel Store. They’re great for something quick on the road.”

“When we treat ourselves to a sit-down meal, it’s usually at a TA-Petro location,” said James. “Or if we’re hungry for a top-quality sandwich, you can’t beat the selection at an O’Deli’s restaurant. Even though we brew our own coffee onboard, a cup of World Blends® coffee is a real treat. On occasion, we enjoy a Sbarro pizza.”

The Meat of the Story

suite-3During an overnight stay at Petro Gary, Indiana, the Conleys were observed in action. The on-board menu included a lean rib eye for James and a chicken breast for Christina. The entrees were supplemented by steamed rice and crisp salads from the Iron Skillet homemade soup and fresh salad bar. James handled the grilling, while Christina prepared the rice. The onboard dinner conversation turned to other things the Conley’s like about TA-Petro locations.

Topics ranged from the always-fresh, well-maintained showers and the attendants who take pride in their work, the ease of parking using Plan2Park and Reserve-It!®, TA Truck Service for PMs, and RoadSquad™ for roadside emergency needs. The convenience of the TruckSmart® Mobile App for checking availabilities and making reservations is greatly appreciated. Country Stores are a favorite, particularly for gift shopping, and the ease of redeeming points on the UltraONE® Club member kiosks.

If you would like to learn more about the life on the road enjoyed by James and Christina Conley, pick up some tasty recipes for onboard cooking and watch preparation videos, simply join the more than 2,000 followers already connected at Semi Suite Life on Facebook. You’ll find tips from Christina and quips from James that will help you share their experiences. You can find more cooking ideas and tips on the Big Trucks Cooking Facebook page.

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One Comment

  1. beverly conroy

    July 8, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    What an awesome Story, I love following you guys on Facebook! I get to see the country through your lens! Thank you!

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