NRF Member Spotlight: Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores

The innovative company is helping the trucking industry go green

Amid supply chain challenges and increased online shopping, the trucking industry played a crucial role during the pandemic — making sure essential workers got personal protective equipment and other necessities while ensuring Americans under stay-at-home orders received the products they needed. No matter what they are delivering, truck drivers are a critical piece of the supply chain that helps keep retailers moving forward.

NRF member Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores has been supporting drivers since 1964. It has a nationwide network of over 560 Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores that provide professional truck drivers and motorists with 24-hour access to clean and safe places to purchase fuel, travel items and more. We connected with Shane Wharton, president of Love’s Travel Stops, to discuss its recent green energy partnerships and innovations to support drivers on the road.

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Love’s recently invested in green energy partnerships. What are the main goals of these partnerships?

Love’s is committed to reducing carbon emissions on the road. Trillium, Love’s alternative and renewable fueling company, designs and builds innovative energy solutions including CNG, hydrogen, electric vehicle charging, solar installation and on-site electricity generation.

This year, Trillium entered an agreement with Circle K to provide renewable natural gas to Circle K’s fleet. That expanded upon a 2020 supply partnership in which Musket, Love’s commodity trading and logistics arm, and Circle K created a joint purchasing agreement that allowed Circle K to maximize fuel sourcing flexibility. Separately, Musket entered a joint venture with Cargill to form Heartwell Renewables. Once the facility is complete in 2023, it will produce renewable diesel, a green fuel experiencing strong, rising demand.

Speedco and Love's Truck Care locations are committed to supporting the safety of professional drivers. What types of innovations are being developed to help these drivers and why is it important?

Our Tire Pass system allows drivers to conveniently check their tires' pressure and tread depth and receive a visual safety check of tires, brakes and air systems at our locations. This helps drivers be safe and legal and improves their fuel economy.

Love’s also has the safest and highest quality retread program in the commercial tire business, with six tire retread plants and distribution centers. We offer a lifetime warranty on products and have a 13-step manufacturing process that includes five separate product inspections. We’re the only retread manufacturer in the commercial industry with a complete system to ensure the quality and safety of the tire and driver.

We know time is money for drivers, so our goal is to get them on the road safely and quickly.

Can you give any details about recent community initiatives?

Love’s has over 33,000 employees in 41 states committed to supporting the communities where they live and work. Each store uses an annual donation budget that supports a local nonprofit. The company also donates to several organizations throughout the year, including its annual United Way employee campaign and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals campaign. Recently, Love’s donated $100,000 to the St. Christopher Truckers Fund, supporting our core customers — professional truck drivers and their families — during difficult times.

What is your company's favorite thing about being an NRF member?

It’s important to have several resources to hear from trusted experts and colleagues on specific issues related to Love’s lines of business so we can keep our customers happy. NRF also has a well-respected and well-rounded voice in Washington, D.C., that represents all retailers.

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