TravelCenters of America

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TravelCenters of America
Traded as NYSETA
Industry Truck stops
Founded 1972 (1972)
Founder Phil Saunders
Headquarters Westlake, Ohio, U.S.
Number of locations
249 (as of July 2014)
Area served
United States, Canada
Key people
  • Thomas M. O'Brien (CEO)
  • Andrew J. Rebholz (CFO)
Services Diesel fuel and gasoline, truck repair and maintenance, restaurants, convenience stores, driver amenities
Revenue US$6,166,200,000 (2008)
Owner National Auto/Truck Stops
Number of employees
Parent National Auto/Truck Stops
Divisions T/A, Petro Shopping Centers
Footnotes / references
Number of locations[1]

TravelCenters of America is the largest full-service travel center company in the United States. The majority of customers are truck drivers. The corporate headquarters is located in Westlake, Ohio. The company operates under its namesake brand and the Petro Stopping Centers brand, hence the name TA and Petro Shopping Centers. TravelCenters of America also owns the Minit Mart Foods Inc. and Quaker Steak & Lube brands.


TA was founded in 1972 by Phil Saunders under the name Truckstops of America. The chain was purchased later that year by the Ryder Corporation. The chain changed owners throughout the 1980s and 1990s. In 1984, TA was bought by Standard Oil of Ohio, which was bought by BP in 1987. BP later sold the chain to The Clipper Group in 1993. In 1997, Truckstops of America merged with the National Auto/Truck Stops chain, adding 112 sites, while changing its name to TravelCenters of America. Also that year, TA bought out the first chain of national truckstops, Union 76, and closed/sold most of the old truckstops. TA kept a few and changed them over to TA locations.[2]

TA acquired a few smaller chains of stores in 1998. On August 25, 1998, the company announced it would acquire 19 Burns Bros. Travel Stops and would close two of the locations.[3] TA also acquired the 16-location Travel Ports chain of truck stops in the Eastern United States.[2] In the early 2000s, TA became an international chain with the acquisition of a truck stop in Woodstock, Ontario near Highway 401. To this date, it is the only international location.[4]

On May 31, 2007, TravelCenters of America acquired rival Petro Stopping Centers[5][6] Much like the later merger between Pilot Travel Centers and Flying J, T/A has continued to use both the T/A and Petro brands, though some Petros were later sold to rival chains or had their franchise contracts eliminated if they were within competition of a T/A location.

On October 4, 2007 Land Line magazine reported that the company would spend $135 million to fix up its truck stops. The work was expected to be completed by the end of 2008.[7][needs update] In 2008, TA was listed as 395 on the Fortune 500 list. TA's main competitors include Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and Pilot Flying J.

The company launched a line of "Goasis" travel stops designed to cater to families and other non-professional drivers. The centers include family bathrooms and a wider range of food and beverage offerings.[8]

In mid-2014, TA acquired Minit Mart Foods Inc, a Kentucky-based chain of convenience stores from Fred Higgins for $67 million.[9] This launched TA's buying of small gas stations to gain numbers in stores. TA acquired 184 convenience stores in 2014 and 2015, most of them operating under the Minit Mart brand name. [10]

On November 16, 2015, the company acquired Quaker Steak & Lube immediately after Quaker Steak & Lube filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. TA plans to expand the company's chain of truck stops and it's standalone locations.[11] In late March 2016 it purchased Quality State Oil's "QMart Marketplace" 17-store chain of convenience stores based in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, which were immediately converted into Minit Mart locations.[12]


TA's core business is in fuel and truck repair service. TA truck stops also have restaurants, a convenience store, an office center, and paid WiFi. Some centers provide financial services, laundry, medical services, and even religious ministry. Regular (non-truck) motorists are also welcome at TA truck stops.

TA also operates standalone convenience stores, mostly under the MinitMart brand name. Most MinitMarts have gas stations. With the acquisition of Quaker Steak & Lube, TA is now in the business of operating standalone restaurants as well.

Truck service[edit]

Most, if not all of the TA truck stops offer truck services such as tire sales and service, alignments, electrical repair, and vehicle repair and diagnosis.[13]

Number of locations[edit]

Year Truck Stops
1972 6
1993 48
1998 146
2014 249




On February 27, 2006, Travelcenters of America, LLC faced a lawsuit about conspiring to refuse to process payment card transactions using the TCH electronic processing platform,[14] and paid a $5 million settlement.


  1. ^ "TA and Petro Stopping Centers Location and Amenities Guide". Travel Centers of America. 8 July 2014. Archived from the original (.xls) on 2 August 2014. [self-published source]
  2. ^ a b "Ta Travel Centers of America Timeline". Ta Travel Centers of America. Ta Travel Centers of America. August 22, 2002. Archived from the original on June 30, 2003. Retrieved May 8, 2015. 
  3. ^ "TravelCenters of America to Acquire Burns Bros. Travel Stops Expands Network in Western and Northwestern States" (Press release). Travel Centers of America. 25 August 1998. Archived from the original on December 2, 1998. [self-published source]
  4. ^ "TravelCenters - -". 2003-07-01. Archived from the original on July 1, 2003. Retrieved 2015-05-12. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "TravelCenters of America Acquires Petro" (Press release). PETRO Shopping Centers. 31 May 2007. Archived from the original on 15 August 2007. [self-published source]
  7. ^ "Daily News Archive: Land Line Magazine". Retrieved 2016-02-14. 
  8. ^ "Goasis". Archived from the original on 10 December 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2011. 
  9. ^ "Higgins Sells Minit Mart Stores". Retrieved 2015-10-10. 
  10. ^ "TravelCenters Acquires Quaker Steak & Lube Restaurant Chain". Convenience Store News. Retrieved 2015-12-10. 
  11. ^ "Bank says Quaker Steak in default on $4.3 million loan - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio". Retrieved 2016-02-14. 
  12. ^ Lintereur, Josh (31 March 2016). "Sheboygan-based QMart chain sold to Ohio firm". Sheboygan Press. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  13. ^ "Travel Centers of America". Retrieved 2016-02-14. 
  14. ^ "TravelCenters, Flying J End Antitrust Case".