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Petro Joplin never stops adding amenities and services for drivers

By on July 24, 2015
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From the very start, the Joplin 44 was a dream. More specifically, it was Bill Moon’s dream. The founder of Iowa 80 Truckstop was working for Standard Oil in the early 1960s, scouting and building truckstops on the new U.S. Interstate Highway system. He liked the looks of a spot at Exit 4 off Interstate 44, but the oil company wanted the land across the street. They built their center there, but over the next couple of decades Bill and Carolyn Moon began buying up land near the exit. They started building in the mid-1980s, and in October 1987 the Joplin 44 opened for business.

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Showroom sets the standard

Dreaming-Big-5    The Joplin 44 opened with a convenience store, trucker store, fuel center, Iron Skillet restaurant and 350 parking spaces (there are 450 now). Since then a Sleep Inn has been added, as well as the 15,000-square-foot Super Truck Showroom, which came online in 2010. With a muraled tractor-trailer, a bobtail on a turntable, an elevator, light wall and thousands of chrome accessories, it’s pretty hard to miss, says Joel Hamilton, general manager.

“We like to say that what a Bass Pro Shop is for sportsmen, this showroom is for truckers,” Hamilton says. “It’s got all the add-on and aftermarket products to dress up a truck and trailer.”

No waiting for showers

The main building at the Petro Joplin is about 31,000 square feet, which includes a TV lounge for professional drivers, a StayFit exercise room and full laundry facilities. And with 26 showers, there’s almost never a wait for an open one.

“Even if a driver doesn’t book ahead, he or she rarely ever has to wait since we have so many,” Hamilton notes.
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Gifts and more in store

Dreaming-Big-6“We’re a big place, and we’re ready to serve drivers who don’t get home much,” says Denise Lahman, gift shop manager. “We want to make sure they can pick up something nice if they need a gift.”

Lahman and her staff always bring in new merchandise so they’ve got what’s up-and-coming on display. There’s a full line of leather gear from a popular leather company, several lines of women’s clothing, as well as a huge variety of gifts.

Plenty to eat, all the time

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The Petro Joplin Iron Skillet stays busy all the time, and in addition to its menu and buffet offerings, drivers can also enjoy on-the-go items from the Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Blimpie and Caribou Coffee operations on-site.

Fuel stations, service bays stay busy

There are 12 diesel lanes for trucks, with DEF at each pump, a Truckomat Truck Wash, as well as a CAT Scale. In the shop, 18 mechanics and 12 lube techs handle everything from oil changes to repairs. “We’re always fully staffed so when we get busy, the truckers don’t have to wait,” says John Wood, service manager. “We’re working to get our oil-change time down to 60 minutes, and that would make us one of the fastest anywhere.”

Petro Joplin

Where: I-44 & Hwy 43, Exit 4
Phone: (417) 624-3400
Fax: (417) 673-0759
Truck Parking Spaces: 450
Private Showers: 26
Truck Service Bays: 5
Restaurants: Iron Skillet, Blimpie, Caribou Coffee, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell Express
Amenities: Barbershop, Pet Area, StayFit Fitness Room

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