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BusinessFuelTrucking

Pilot Flying J launches fuel network targeting small carriers

Industry leader plans 250 One9 fueling locations in 2020

Pilot Flying J is targeting small trucking fleets with a new fueling network aligned with brands like Marathon Oil’s Speedway commercial fueling locations.

“The truck stop industry as a whole has focused on larger and midsized companies,” Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam said on a conference call Tuesday, Nov. 19. “We feel like the smaller companies and owner-operators have been underserved by the truck stop companies.”

The One9 Fuel Network is named after Channel 19, the primary citizens band (CB) radio channel used by professional drivers across North America.

“These smaller trucking companies are really struggling to make it economically,” Haslam said. Offering credit, reasonably priced fuel, loyalty for their drivers and a large network “will help these smaller companies not only survive but thrive,” he said.

Pilot Flying J is targeting small trucking fleets with a new fueling network aligned with brands like Marathon Oil’s Speedway commercial fueling locations. (Image: Pilot Flying J)

The new network will include 160 Speedway Commercial Fueling stores in the Midwest and Southeast, 108 of which will be online by the end of the year. Each has two to four diesel fueling lanes.

The fuel marketing agreement with Speedway is an extension of Pilot Flying J’s long-standing relationship with Marathon (NYSE: MRO).

“It will be a slow buildout as we get all of the Speedways tied into our technology,” Haslam said. “We’ll hit the ground running full speed the first week in January.”

Other brands include Mr. Fuel in Illinois and Mississippi, Pride Travel Stop in Arizona and three Stamart convenience and travel centers in North Dakota. Pilot Flying J will purchase some of the locations and manage others in partnership.

One9 will have 250 locations by the end of 2020 joining 750 Pilot Flying J outlets.

“We will look at any truck stop out there that is interested in selling or partnering with us as a potential addition,” Haslam said. “Our instincts are that we’ll end up with several different brands under the One9 network.”

Some of the smaller locations will help Pilot Flying J draw closer to distribution centers that are popping up along U.S. routes as e-commerce grows short-haul and regional trucking and contributes to shorter distances for long-haul drivers.

“It is a substantial opportunity for us to grow,” Haslam said. “It will give us different types of truck stops, in markets not big enough to build a Pilot or Flying J.”

Truck parking

Providing a safe place for drivers to rest is a Flying J and Pilot priority. The company added more than 1,000 truck parking spaces in 2019 for more than 75,000 spaces in 44 states and six Canadian provinces.

“I think that’s more than our two leading competitors combined,” Haslam said. “We’re doing everything we can to help alleviate the pain the companies and the drivers face every day and every night in terms of finding a parking place.”

Finding safe truck parking ranked No. 5 for the second consecutive year on the 2019 Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry compiled by the American Transportation Research Institute.

Pilot Flying J will add 40 to 120 parking spaces at the new One9 Network locations.

“It will vary widely,” Haslam said. “A lot of these will be smaller stops that will have limited capacity in terms of parking.”

Overall growth

Pilot Flying J grew its primary business by 15 locations in Arizona, California, Illinois, Oregon, Texas and Washington during 2019. Plans call for 30 new locations in 2020 and 2021.

Knoxville, Tennessee-based Pilot Flying J ranks No. 14 on the Forbes list of America’s largest private companies. It rebuilt three locations this year and upgraded 20 others. It added 16 new truck care shops that offer emergency service repairs and preventive maintenance.

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Alan Adler

Alan Adler is a Detroit-based award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press, the Detroit Free Press and most recently as Detroit Bureau Chief for Trucks.com. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.

7 Comments

  1. How about something out in on highway 77 south between Encino,Tx and Harlingen,Tx, I’m sure there is some property that can be purchased to have a really nice place along that route.

  2. Please be very careful I used a Speedway in Cincinnati and it held a hundred and eighty of my dollars for 5 days and I only got $45 in fuel

  3. Hope we get free parking and lower price on fuel otherwise, what’s the point?…. If you trying to help the small carrier and O/OP PLEASE GO ALL THE WAY! .(10-4).

  4. Charging to park after buying on the average of 500.00 dollars of fuel is Petty and sleepy! If a driver uses reward points to pay for the spot it costs on the average of 4500.00 worth of fuel purchased to park for a single night! Terrible just terrible!

  5. Ok
    How much to park at these upgraded facilities?
    How many handicapped parking spots?
    All this brought to you by the company that suckered us all into end of year rebates and defaulted sending all 10 of its top executives to federal prison. WTF

  6. All they are doing is taking over the competition and raising prices, I have been fueling at speedway sinçe they open a good number of truck diesel lanes. Speedway price was about 10 cents a gallon less than a pilot flying j plus my fuel card gave me more of a discount than than pilot.flying j . And most of the speedways don’t have overnight truck parking some have no parking at all. In my opinion pilot flying j announcement of helping small truckers is BS. Plus they started this 2 weeks ago at some speedways without any advance notice.

  7. Like u said its Its very bad out here its the brokers is more of the problem 500 miles for 500 dollars is crazy

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