When you’re a professional HGV driver, there are certain things you get a good feel for. One of those is the state of service stations, and which ones are worth stopping at vs which ones are better avoided. Since you will be forced to spend at least some time in them to meet your mandated break times, it’s an important part of being a driver. And as a team of current and ex drivers ourselves, we understand how tricky it can be to find somewhere you like. So we’ve rounded up our top 4 truck stops from around the UK, to give new drivers some inspiration.
Let’s start with the best, which is undeniably the Formula. It’s often held up as an example of what modern service stations should be, and a target for new stops to aim for. Sleek and stylish, the rooms all feature a black and red colour palette that makes you feel like you’re in a luxury hotel – not a truck stop! It comes with all the basic amenities you would expect – showers, restaurants and good parking, but that’s’ not the attractive part. Where Formula really shines is in providing luxury touches for little to no extra cost. Things like relaxation lounges, shower and laundry facilities, fitness rooms and games rooms, along with 24-hour manned security and 36 CCTV cameras for the car park alone. You could not be safer or better taken care of here.
The Hollies is one of the more famous trucks stops in the UK, mainly because it is one of the oldest. It’s also played host to several celebrities over the years, including Tom Jones and Bernard Manning, not to mention thousands of HGV drivers from all over the world. But don’t be fooled, it’s not a crumbling old mess. In fact, it’s had a lot of renovation and modernisation done, making it quite the comfy place to stay. It now has a very large, secure parking facility, a range of food options to suit any taste, and some of the highest service standards we’ve ever seen. They really can’t do enough for you! The Hollies is definitely one that should be on every driver’s to-visit list.
The Red Lion is the perfect mix of food, drink and all the modern conveniences you could possibly want for a flying overnight stay. Security-wise there is a full 24-hour security team with infrared CCTV to keep you and your cargo safe, parking there is cheap, and there is a full café bar for you to spend your time in. The menu is nice and varied too, with mixed grills, traditional pub food and healthy options to sate your appetite and keep you going on the next leg of your journey. If you’re staying longer than a single meal, you can also enjoy a full TV and drinks package including football, darts, pool and even horse racing. Perfect for kicking back and relaxing before you hit the road again.
Leeming Bar is one of those stops that most drivers have heard of, if not visited at some point over the years. It’s frequently referred to as one of the most popular truck stops in the UK, mainly because it has such a homely, welcoming atmosphere. Visiting Leeming Bar you feel like you’re popping to your local pub for dinner and then falling into your own bed afterwards. Perfect for an extra-long journey where you need a few creature comforts, and very reasonable prices as well!
But why are truck stops so important? Because they give you a place to kick back and relax when you aren’t driving. As a professional HGV driver you are required to take a series of breaks, on a schedule, and to last for a set amount of time. Not taking these breaks (including overnight rest) can land you in serious hot water, facing fines and even suspension – so knowing where the best places to stop that won’t have you itching to be back on the road is pretty important. And no, pulling over on the hard shoulder to take a nap also isn’t a good idea – as one unfortunate driver found out when he tried to sneakily prepare his lunch on the side of the M25!
To find out more about starting your career as an HGV driver this year, just get in touch with the team today.