Love's Travel Stops Starts Off 2014 With One of 30 New Sites

Opens Alabama travel center; Ohio "fast-fill" CNG location to open in summer

Published in CSP Daily News

Love's Moody, Alabama

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Travel center chain Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc. opened the first of 30 new stores planned for 2014 in Moody, Ala. It's the start of what the retailer calls an "unprecedented year of openings" that coincides with its 50th anniversary.

"As part of our promise to our customers, we will continue to examine needs in new parts of the country," said Greg Love, co-CEO of Love's. "The new location expands the company's presence along I-20 in Alabama to include locations on either side of Birmingham and it allows us to offer the 'Clean Places, Friendly Faces' Love's is known for to more drivers in Alabama."

The new Love's site, which opened this week, is open 24 hours a day and offers 85 truck parking spaces, Subway and McDonald's restaurants, coffee, snacks, fresh fruit, gift merchandise and other items and services for professional truck drivers. This includes bulk diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), which will be sold at all diesel lanes, RFID cardless fueling technology, CAT scales, and inside, showers and other amenities. A Love's Truck Tire Care center will open at the site later this month.

Meanwhile, in Burbank, Ohio, Love's is continuing its expansion of compressed natural gas (CNG) with the addition of a "fast-fill" CNG station slated to open in mid-summer 2014. The new site is targeted at Love's agreement to serve CNG to Dillon Transport, a Burr Ridge, Ill.-based distributor that is serving as the anchor tenant.

The partnership with Love's will allow Dillon Transport, which operates more than 400 trucks and 700 trailers nationwide, to fill up 20 CNG trucks in the Burbank area.

"Our fleet will operate 20 Peterbilt trucks paired with an Agility fuel system that will give us 500 miles of range," said Charles Musgrove, vice president of Dillon Transport. "We are planning for these trucks to run about three million miles per year and fuel at the Burbank Love's location. Natural gas has been a viable, cost-effective option for us as a transport fuel. We look forward to deploying more CNG trucks throughout our fleet across the nation."

The Burbank Love's site will be a public-access travel stop and offer heavy-duty CNG to all professional fleets and light-duty CNG to passenger vehicles.

"Love's is committed to bringing innovative solutions to its customers nationwide," said Bill Cashmareck, general manager of natural gas at Love's. "We are excited to work with Dillon Transport to bring CNG to a new market with Love's integrated in-lane solution designed for the over-the-road fleet."

He said that the Midwest is a strategic market for Love's as it expands its CNG offer, which features fast-fill technology to offer professional drivers a similar experience to filling up with diesel or DEF, or a fill rate of greater than 10 gallons per minute in all lanes. A driver could fill a 100-gallon-equivalent tank in 10 minutes or less, according to Love's.

The chain had previously announced it would expand CNG into 11 of its travel stops in Texas and Oklahoma, and purchase 55 CNG-powered trucks for its own fuel hauling fleet, Gemini Motor Transport, as part of that regional expansion.

In addition to Burbank, Love's will offer in-lane, fast-fill CNG at the following locations by the end of second-quarter 2014:

  • Dallas (I-35/I-20, Exit 466).
  • Rockwall (I-30, Exit 283).
  • Willis (I-45, Exit 95).
  • Houston (610 Loop, Exit 24A).
  • Katy (I-10, Exit 737).
  • San Antonio (I-35, Exit 144).
  • Seguin (I-10, Exit 604).
  • Amarillo (I-40, Exit 74).
  • Oklahoma City (I-40, Exit 140).
  • Oklahoma City (I-40, Exit 166).

Founded in 1964 by Tom Love, Love's is based in Oklahoma City. The family-owned and operated chain has more than 300 locations and 180 Love's Truck Tire Care centers in 39 states, and is growing at approximately 20 stores per year.