Truck World - 50 Years of Serving America’s Truckers

Steve Pollock
September 2021

HUBBARD, OH… Truck World is “Old School”, the way truck stops used to be, designed, and built to service trucks and drivers – a full-service truck stop with a complete compliment of driver services and amenities.

Truck World was established in 1971 by Gary Burke and his mentor/Uncle Ed Yasechko, a few years after the opening of Interstate 80, on 38 acres off exit 234 in Hubbard, Ohio.  The land was purchased from the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company as well as several smaller companies.  Initially, the truck stop consisted of a small 24’x24’ building that housed Red Carpet Fuel Service and T/W Permits, a few diesel pumps and a small restaurant that was opened in an old Jehovah’s Witness Church on the property.  It quickly became a popular stop for truckers traveling I-80.  Located just a couple of miles west of the Ohio-Pennsylvania State Line, T/W Permits supplied a vital service, providing permits for oversize and overweight loads at a time when they [the permits] were difficult and time consuming to obtain. 

1971 was about the same time that  Truck World, Inc owner, Gary Burke, began his career in the truck stop industry.  Gary was a Naval Aviator stationed on the Kitty Hawk Aircraft Carrier, flying F-4 Phantom Jets.  Gary served from 1967-1971 before helping to establish Truck World shortly after his discharge from the Navy.  To this day, Gary maintains his Pilot’s license and owns his own plane.  A grass landing strip and hangar were built on the Truck World property to accommodate the company owned Helio Courier  airplane and would later be used to host several hot air balloon events.

By the mid 1970s, America was seeing shopping malls pop up all over the country, a new concept that placed multiple businesses and services under one roof providing ease of shopping for consumers.  With business growing, the need for a larger, more comprehensive truck stop facility became necessary, and in 1977 construction began on the “Truck World Mall”, which was completed and opened in 1978.  The Truck World Mall remains unique to this day as the only truck stop in the world to be built with the mall concept. The Truck World Mall was literally built around the Red Carpet Fuel Service building, which was later dismantled when the truck stop opened for business.

While some of the vendors inside the mall have changed over the years, they still provide all the services required by Professional Truck Drivers.  Current tenants inside the Truck World Mall include The Globe Restaurant, a full-service sit-down restaurant that has become famous for not only the good home cooked meals prepared fresh on the premises, but also for their Prime Rib dinner. Other shops inside the mall include  JoJo’s Truckers Store; Mr. Tool; Maverick’s Hot Dog Stand; TW Newsstand and Tobacco; Erin’s Pub; Tango Whiskey Games of Skill; two additional game rooms; Truck World’s Fuel Desk; and Roadside WellCare. There is a full-service Travelodge Motel adjacent to the truck stop as well.

Nearly as famous as the Truck World Mall is, so is Truck World Blvd., the street that connects the Truck World complex where drivers will find a Burger King; S&H Used Truck Parts; a Certified Scale; Flynn’s Commercial Tire Center and Road Service; Blue Beacon Truck Wash; RaDa Truck Repair and Mobile Road Service; TRAC ThermoKing; trucking companies Crossett and Hurricane Express, as well as freight agents for Mercer Transportation and American Transport.  In addition, Frito-Lay has a terminal and T&D Landscaping is headquartered on the complex as well as a Dunkin’ Donuts; Gas Station/C-Store and a carwash.

Across the interstate, drivers will find authorized Detroit Diesel and Cummins parts and repairs as well as a full-service Kenworth dealer.  Just minutes away are International Harvester, Freightliner, Western Star, Mack/Volvo, Caterpillar, and several truck parts suppliers – just about everything you and your truck will ever need.

One thing that has remained the same over the years, is Truck World’s commitment to their customers to provide clean facilities that have been  continually upgraded and improved.  CEO Gary Burke stated, “We have always been constantly and consistently improving our facilities, upgrading to the latest technologies, and not only providing clean, modern facilities for our customers, but also a safe place to park their truck.  By continually reinvesting in Truck World, we have been able to continue to serve our customers for the past 50 years.”  When asked about the most significant changes to the trucking industry he has seen, Gary said, “Communications and technology has driven change in the trucking industry.  I believe the biggest changes are yet to come with the adaption of electric, hybrid and alternative fueled vehicles, which will require truck stops to adapt to fueling the next generation of trucks.”

Some of the more recent improvements at Truck World have been the addition and modernization of the fuel pumps.  A second fueling canopy was added, bringing the capacity to 22 diesel pumps, half of which are equipped with DEF pumps as well. All the pumps were upgraded to modern high-speed pumps at the time.  Truck World has just finished a massive paving project, completely repaving the truck parking areas and Truck World Blvd.   With the addition of two turning lanes, congestion has been alleviated for trucks leaving the facility as well as those using Truck World Blvd.  Truck World has the capacity to park over 200 trucks and the parking spaces have all been repainted, with most providing drive-in, drive-out (no backing up) as well as wider spaces (15’x80’), which are about 3’ wider than most standard truck parking spaces.

Truck World, Inc is still a closely held family-owned business and is committed to stay the same well into the future.  The company has not only continued to improve the facilities over the years, but also opened a second Truck World location 4 years ago on I-76, Bailey Rd. exit and a third location on I-90 in Conneaut, Ohio in 2020.  The company also owns convenience stores/gas stations in Girard, Poland and Boardman, Ohio.  Truck World locations have their own branded restaurants, known as “Maverick’s Bistro”, that offer fresh food prepared daily and sit-down dining.

While the two other Truck World locations are streamlined and not as large as the original, one thing is consistent, the company has some of the cleanest and most modern showers and restrooms in the trucking industry. These facilities are meticulously kept sparkling clean.  Truck World has also implemented a frequent fueler program honored at all locations, which gives cash back to fueling customers on all fuel purchases.  They also have “Your Wheels Keep Turning And So Will Ours”, which is a program that has a monthly drawing for a chance to win 25,000 points, which are redeemable at Truck World locations.

In the formative years, Truck World held Truckers Expos, an early version of today’s “truck shows”, with vendors, food, prizes, and entertainment.  There were hot air balloons and even a huge crane with a suspended Kenworth tractor hanging.  While the format has changed somewhat, Truck World still hosts annual Driver Appreciation Events at all three locations in the month of August.  Drivers receive free meals, handouts, and prizes , as a “Thank You” for their business. Truck World Hubbard also hosted two bands this year, Disco Inferno and Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers.

If you are getting tired of the same ole, same old of the big chain truck stops, visit Truck World and experience what trucks stops used to be – a place for Truckers and their trucks!  You can’t miss them!  They are right on I-80 Exit 234 in Hubbard, Ohio, just a couple miles west of the Ohio-Pennsylvania Stateline.