Truckers News

May 2011

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butt. There’s been nothing out there to find hotels that can accommo- date me.” From hotshot haulers on longer- than-average runs to owner-opera- tors pulling oversize loads who often have to sit on weekends waiting for permits, Fuller noted, many truckers could benefit from an online search tool for hotels with parking space for big rigs. Knowing such a source didn’t exist, he “started building the system, contacting hotel chains, and working to build a database,” he says. He partnered with Focus MX ( in Pennsylvania for website design assistance. The site, www.Hotels 4Truckers. com, was launched on Jan. 27, Full- er’s birthday — “a little birthday gift to myself,” he says. Today there are more than 2,000 hotels in the sys- tem. Properties can accommodate at least one 75-foot-long tractor-trailer. Fuller cross-references data provided by the hotel with Google Maps im- ages to confirm sufficient space ex- ists before adding any entry into the system. Oversize team owner-operators Randy Moyano and Ann Burt, based near Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., have been using the site to effectively elimi- nate “useless phone calls,” says Burt, searching for accommodations. “It’s a service that’s been needed for a long time,” she says. The couple’s four-axle 1998 Peter- bilt 379 and three-axle RGN lowboy with a flip axle that extends overall length to 90 feet, when loaded, can be a headache to park. The 379 has a sleeper, Burt says. “We don’t always get a hotel. But if it’s going to be over a weekend, we’ll opt for a hotel if the price is right.” For $10 a year, paid members gain access to deep discounts Full- er has negotiated with Wyndham Hotel Group (12 brands including Super 8, Travelodge and Days Inn), Motel 6, Red Roof Inn and America’s Best Value Inn. Membership is limited to Class A and B CDL holders, though any- one can use the nonpaid version of the site to search for hotels. Other membership perks include access to chains’ commercial driver rates di- rectly, without the need to call for confirmation. “We’ve set it up so that hotels can publish special messages to drivers there, too,” says Fuller. Most of the hotels in the da- tabase today offer economy lodg- ing, but Fuller is working at adding mid-price accommodations in the $125-a-night range. Members and nonmember users alike can help build the site by sending intelligence via the “Recommend a Location” menu near the bottom of the home page. Burt says the site offers extensive coverage. “So far, I haven’t put in a city that they didn’t have at least a few listings for,” she says. Fuller is continually updating and modifying the site, using his laptop computer from his “mobile office” in the back of his truck or in- side a hotel room. Trucker Party In The The Best Country! July 14, 11 am - 9 pm July 15, 9 am - 9 pm Free Admission & Parking, Rain or Shine Over 100 Antique Trucks from 1908 Over 200 Exhibits! Open Thursday 11am-7pm; Friday 9am-7pm Super Truck Beauty Contest (Register Online) Lights at Night Competition Thursday Night 1-1/2" Thick Famous Iowa Pork Chop Cookout Fireworks Thursday Night Celebrating America’s Truckers For 32 Years! Brought to you by: ® Sponsored by: Iowa 80 TA Truckstop  Circle 351 on Reader Service Card or visit MAY 2011 TRUCKERS NEWS 29

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