Today, Howes announced the induction of Iowa 80, The World’s Largest Truckstop, into the Howes Hall of Fame. Located in Walcott, Iowa, the iconic truck stop has been serving truckers since 1964. The truck stop is Howes’ third induction into its inaugural class of 2020.
The Iowa 80 Truck Stop began as a single humble building, up and running before Interstate 80 was even completed. At the time, Iowa 80 founder Bill Moon, was responsible for finding land and building truck stops for Standard Oil. He located the spot for Iowa 80, and they built and opened it at what is now Exit 284 off Interstate 80. A year later, Bill took over management. As the years passed and Interstate 80 was completed, hundreds and then thousands of truckers and travelers stopped by Iowa 80 to fuel up or grab a bite to eat.
In 1984, after nearly 20 years of managing the place, Bill and his wife Carolyn finally succeeded in convincing Standard Oil (now Amoco) to sell to them the land and buildings of their beloved truck stop. These days, Iowa 80 is overseen by the second generation of the Moon Family. The Moon’s daughter, Delia Moon Meier, is the truck stop’s Senior Vice President.
“Iowa 80 is thrilled to receive this recognition from Howes,” says Delia. “Like Howes, we have a rich history of supporting drivers from all over. My father, Bill, loved to sit at the counter in the restaurant and talk to drivers about what would make their lives easier if Iowa 80 had it.”
Being able to purchase the facility gave the Moons the green light to remodel, update, and expand Iowa 80. Today, after more than 35 expansions and remodels, the truck stop houses 10 restaurant options, including 24-hour Iowa 80 Kitchen, a dentist, a barber shop, a chiropractor, a movie theater, and a workout room. There is also a giant convenience store, a custom embroidery and vinyl shop, 24 private showers, and laundry facilities.
In 1978, Bill was kicking around the idea of having some sort of appreciation celebration for his customers, the American truckers. After lots of planning and hard work, the first Walcott Truckers Jamboree was born in 1979. Last year, attendance hit a record 44,000 people. “Without truck drivers doing the job they do – especially in these trying times – our economy wouldn’t function. We appreciate their hard work. Even though we have to hold our event virtually this year, we still feel strongly about Celebrating America’s Truckers and are dedicated to doing so.” said Meier.
Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with 42 gas islands, 16 diesel lanes, a 7-bay truck service center, a 3-bay Truckomat truck wash, a certified CAT Scale, and a parking lot that can hold 900 trucks, Iowa 80 was a perfect addition to the Howes Hall of Fame. “At Howes, we really appreciate what it takes to keep drivers rolling. Iowa 80 does just that,” explains Erika Howes, Vice President of Business Development. “We participate in their Truckers Jamboree every year and we see what a true oasis the truck stop is for all types of drivers. We’re extremely excited to be able to welcome the location and all of its hard-working people to our Hall of Fame.”
Bill Moon had long dreamed of building a museum to display the antique trucks he had been collecting, and to show the history of American trucking. In 2005, the Moon family opened the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum in tribute to the late Bill Moon. Now, his truck stop has become a building block of that history in and of itself. “It is really amazing to have reached this milestone,” declares Delia. “We really appreciate the recognition from Howes, and feel so fortunate to have such wonderful, dedicated employees and loyal customers that make this possible. I’m truly honored, and my parents would have been as well.”
The Howes Hall of Fame was inspired, in part, by the company’s 100th Anniversary, which they are celebrating this year. It serves as a platform for Howes to thank and acknowledge all the great work that has, and does, go on in the trucking and agricultural industries. With the goal of recognizing unique achievements across a broad spectrum of categories, the Hall will provide a showcase that will live on for generations. The Howes Hall of Fame officially launched on March 26th, and can be viewed now at www.howesproducts.com/HOF.
For more information about Iowa 80, please visit www.iowa80truckstop.com.
Image used with permission of Howes / Iowa 80