by Kerstan Szczepański
Off of exit 284 of Interstate 80 in Walcott, Iowa, is 225 acres, 75 developed; the home to the largest truckstop in the world: The Iowa 80 Truckstop.
Bill Moon found the spot for Standard Oil in 1964. The oil company wanted to build a truckstop along the still-under-construction Interstate 80. A year later, Bill took on management of the location. Then in 1984, Standard’s successor, Amoco, put the stop up for sale. Bill and his wife, Carolyn, borrowed against everything they owned and bought Iowa 80. The truckstop has been in the Moon family ever since.
In 58 years, the Iowa 80 has been open 24/7, never closing due to weather, national crisis or 28 remodels and expansions. It has 900 parking spots, 100,000 square feet of retail space, and the 300-seat Iowa Kitchen (open 24 hours!). The food court has a 24-hour Wendy’s as well as Dairy Queen & Orange Julius, Blimpies, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Chester’s Chicken, and Caribou Coffee. Retail includes a convenience store, gift shop, custom embroidery and vinyl shop, and the Iowa 80 Super Truck Showroom, which has books, dvds and more chrome and trucking accessories than you can believe. Want a tour of truck history? Check out the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum, showcasing Bill Moon’s collection of antique trucks and trucking memorabilia. Download the app to get an audio recording for each of the well over 100 trucks on display.
For your truck there’s a fuel center with 42 gas islands, and 16 diesel lanes. There’s also a 24-hour 7-bay truck service center, a 3-bay Truckomat truck wash, coin operated vacuums, and a CAT scale, which will keep your vehicle running, looking sharp and within regulations.
And for the trucker there’s even more. There are 24 private showers to clean and refresh. Need a haircut or shave? Try the barber shop. Clean your clothes in the laundry room before or after deadlifting in the workout room. Socialize in the truckers tv lounge, or request a dvd from the showroom and play it in the 60-seat movie theater. Or grab some quiet time in the library. Got a sore back from those long drives? Visit the chiropractor. A dental emergency? No problem, see the dentist. Canine companion riding shotgun needs a bath? Head to the Dogomat Pet Wash. There’s even a chargepoint and Tesla Fast Charger.
That’s an awful lot of service. But you need that when you have 5,000 customers a day.
Even non-truckers will want to visit the Iowa 80. A good time to visit is in mid-July for the Walcott Truckers Jamboree. There were 44,000 in attendance in 2021! Don’t miss the Iowa Pork Chop cookout, the Super Trucks Beauty Contest, Truckers Olympics, fireworks, live music, antique truck display and 175 other exhibits.
The Iowa 80 Truckstop. Largest doesn’t even begin to describe it.