If someone were to ask a non-trucker where the largest truckstop in the world was located, I’ll bet most would guess somewhere near a major US city, such as New York City or Los Angeles. But any experienced trucker could tell you that the World’s Largest Truckstop is the Iowa 80 in Walcott, Iowa. If you’ve haven’t visited this trucker heaven yet, you need to put it on your bucket list.
The Iowa 80 has been serving truckers 24/7 continuously since 1964 and it has grown and expanded to become everything a trucker could need (and let’s be honest, some things we just want!).
Your truck will think it’s in heaven too…
Believe it or not, the Iowa 80 truck stop has 900 parking spots to choose from. Yes, you heard that right; 900. If your truck requires service or needs repairs you can call on the Truck Service Center and their roadside assistance 24/7.
Once you’ve got Big Mama back up and running, make her happy by topping off the tanks in one of 15 fuel bays and then give her a good scrubbing at the 24/7 Truckomat truck wash. While you’re there, be sure to take Brutus the Mighty Warrior Chihuahua to the Dogomat pet wash so both your babies will be squeaky clean.
You could always use the CAT scale while you’re there, but you might want to be careful about that. Anything named Big Mama might be a bit sensitive about her weight. 😉
Once you get parked in one of the 900 parking spots, head on into the Iowa 80 main building to get some new bling for your big metal baby. The first thing you’ll likely notice when coming into the driver’s entrance is that there’s a full size tractor-trailer in there! And what’s that? Two more bobtails towards the back of the Super Truck Showroom! Wow!
Have you ever coveted a cool accessory on another driver’s truck? Well, you’ll likely be able to find whatever you’re looking for in the Iowa 80 semi truck accessories area. Truck vent visors? Yep, and plenty to choose from.
There is a huge selection of everything from gear shift knobs to mud flaps to chrome parts and accessories. And be sure to throw some chrome axle covers into the cart to make Big Mama look super-sexy!
How about some of those fancy money-saving led marker lights? The Super Truck Showroom has so many LED light displays that I momentarily thought I was at a Motley Crue concert!
Point is, you’ll never see a more complete set of chrome parts, accessories, and cool stuff for your truck than you will at the Iowa 80 Super Truck Showroom.
Look at all those driver amenities!
Now it’s time to baby ourselves. Priorities first; let’s get that pesky exercising out of the way in the 24/7 fitness room. Ouch! I threw my back out on the weight machine because I think I’m tougher than I really am (something every aging trucker could admit to if they only would). Good thing there’s a licensed chiropractor at the Iowa 80! May as well get that nearly expired DOT physical done while you’re there.
Now obviously you have to go back to the fitness room to finish up your workout, right. UGH! Now I slipped on the elliptical machine and chipped a tooth! What to do? Easy; just head down the hallway to Interstate Dental. Yes seriously. A dentist in a truck stop. How cool is that?
Now that you’ve finally finished your workout, go knock that smelly funk off your bod in one of 24 immaculate shower rooms. Next, toss your sweaty workout clothes into one of 13 washers and 16 dryers.
While you’re waiting for your clothes to finish, take advantage of the barber shop and then go chat with some drivers in the Driver Den, watch a movie in the large Movie Theater, or check out the Gift Shop to pick up some souvenirs for the spouse and kiddies.
Or stop in at the Custom Shop and have some spiffy new DOT numbers for Big Mama or have a custom embroidered shirt or hat made for yourself. So many things for a driver to do!
But of course, a trucker’s favorite thing to do is eat. And hey, you did already do a quick workout so you deserve it, right?
So many food choices, you’ll have a hard time deciding!
Let’s start with the Iowa 80 Kitchen, which is open 24/7 and features breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets. If you’re in a hurry late at night, the Wendy’s restaurant is also open 24/7.
Your choices really open up if you get there during normal hours. In the food court you’ll find Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Blimpie, Dairy Queen/Orange Julius, and Caribou Coffee/Einstein Bros. Bagels, where you’d be a fool not to order a Campfire Mocha (S’mores flavored)!
Notice anything odd about that list? NO SUBWAY! HOORAY!
Other fun things to do at Iowa 80…
If you’re a fan of old trucks, be sure to stop into the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum located adjacent to the the truck stop. They’ve got some really cool trucks in there. After seeing what truckers in the past used to drive, you might think twice before complaining about your air ride seat not having enough lumbar support!
Another cool thing Iowa 80 does is host the Truckers Jamboree for three days every summer. You’ll find antique truck shows, the Super Trucks Beauty Contest, the Iowa Pork Chop Cookout, carnival games, live country music, Trucker Olympics, fireworks, and over 175 exhibits. Even cooler, admission and parking is free.
The next Trucker Jamboree is July 11-13, 2019 so be sure to mark your calendar and get Big Mama pointed toward Iowa.
Something for every trucker…
So you can now see why I call the Iowa 80 truck stop a “trucker heaven.” It’s got everything your average trucker could need or want and it’s all in one place. If you haven’t been there to experience it yet, well, what are you waiting for? Jump on I-80 in Iowa and get off at at exit 284.
If you don’t see the Iowa 80 from the exit ramp, please turn your truck keys in ASAP, cuz you’re friggin’ blind as a bat!