U.S. Xpress service centers offer an oasis for life on the road.
Life behind the wheel for U.S. Xpress drivers means covering thousands of miles each week, visiting a wide variety of shippers whose needs run the gamut from straightforward to complex, bedding down in their trucks, and going long stretches without the comforts of home.
Ensuring drivers can keep goods moving and have everything they need to get the job done is what driver service centers across the country are all about, said Nathan McClure, the director of driver services and terminal operations for U.S. Xpress.
“These drivers are out two weeks, three weeks at a time,” Nathan said. “We want them to have the comforts of home away from home.”
Amenities at a dozen centers all over the country include everything from dog runs, grills, gyms, and gaming stations to the essentials including shop services, hot showers, clean towels, and laundry rooms.
One of the most popular service center amenities, however, is one that recently returned after a two-year pause. Each Wednesday, team members from across the company rally to serve lunch and break bread with any driver who’s inclined to show up and grab a plate.
The Tunnel Hill, Georgia, center recently saw nearly 200 drivers come through to enjoy a meal and some face time with the folks they work with every day but don’t often see in person.
“They get to meet some of the people they’re always talking to, they get that connection to the teams supporting them, and we get to build those relationships with the drivers,” Nathan said.
Drivers and service center staff couldn’t miss a beat during the pandemic, staying on the roads and on-site while many of our office staff worked from home. Having the teams together again has been a welcome chance to reconnect.
Driver Tom Tune recently made a swing through the service center in Tunnel Hill, Georgia, with his riding buddy – a 125-pound Great Dane named Blue. The friendliness of the people at the center and the opportunity to walk into a familiar environment where he knows he and Blue can take a break keeps him coming back to Tunnel Hill, said Tom, who has been driving for about 10 years.
“People are glad to see you here,” he said, though he added his enormous, friendly dog might also be part of the welcome he always receives. “Blue loves anywhere he gets to interact with people.”
Providing drivers a place to rest, recharge, and take care of themselves is great for them and for the customers they serve, Nathan said. When drivers have a place that leaves them feeling prepared to tackle the challenges that may come their way — and life on the road is always full of challenges — they can spend more of their time keeping goods moving.
“From weather to traffic to scheduling issues, so many things can stack up against drivers out there,” Nathan said. “This is the place they can come relax and feel at home.”