Van Operator Survey 2012

Road Trip Tips Infographic 167 responses from Atlas van operators across North America were received, representing at least 37 states in the U.S. and 7 Canadian provinces.
How long have you been a van operator with Atlas?
(167 respondents)
         5%   Less than 1 year
  16%   1-3 years
  16%   4-6 years
  8%   7-9 years
  28%   10-15 years
  27%   16 years or more
How many weeks per year do you spend on the road?
(167 respondents)
         20%   Less than 20 weeks
  18%   20-30 weeks
  29%   31-40 weeks
  32%   More than 40 weeks


How many miles per year do you normally drive your truck?
(167 respondents)
         22%   Less than 50,000
  36%   50,000-74,999
  29%   75,000-99,999
  8%   100,000-124,999
  5%   125,000 or more


Why did you choose to join Atlas as a van operator?
(166 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
         45%   Atlas Agency
         33%   Company reputation
  28%   Driver respect
         28%   Money/Miles
         25%   Family/friend influence
  23%   Advancement opportunities
         17%   Referral/recommendation
         14%   Equipment
  13%   Home time
         5%   Agent joined Atlas
  4%   Other (Atlas business approach/family business, love job/like company, career options, etc.)


Would you recommend Atlas to friends or colleagues on the road?
(167 respondents)
         93%   Yes
  7%   No


What is the best part of being a van operator?
(167 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
         69%   Meeting/working with people from across the country
  51%   Entrepreneurship (run own business)
  49%   Freedom of the highway (not working in an office)
         18%   Being a part of the trucking community
  6%   Other (tour country/see US, job satisfaction, challenge, downtime, money, etc.)


What is your level of satisfaction with being an Atlas van operator?
(167 respondents)
         40%   Extremely satisfied — I love my job!
  44%   Reasonably satisfied — life's good!
  8%   Somewhat satisfied — OK overall
         7%   Could be better
  1%   Other


How often do you stay at a hotel while traveling for work?
(167 respondents)
         9%   Daily
  20%   2-3 times a week
  8%   Once a week
  22%   2-3 times a month
  31%   12 times a year or less
  8%   Never
  2%   Other (all the time, when I have to, etc.)


What are the most important factor(s) when choosing a hotel at which to stay?
(166 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
  87%   Truck parking/access
         55%   Price
  48%   Quality
  46%   Location
  21%   Perks (i.e. free breakfast, Internet access)
  3%   Other (pet friendly, rewards program, clean, etc.)


While on the road, which hotel chain is your favorite place to stop for the night?
(165 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
         45%   Super 8
  41%   Days Inn
  31%   Best Western
  25%   Quality Inn
  22%   Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express
  21%   Motel 6
  18%   Econo Lodge
  12%   Red Roof Inn
  11%   Hampton Inn
  10%   Other (Comfort Inn, Drury, La Quinta, Baymont, Hilton Garden Inn, Travel Lodge, etc.)


When you're on the road, which of the following do you use?
(167 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
         60%   Smartphone
         58%   GPS
         56%   Cell phone
  53%   Laptop
  47%   Internet/email
  36%   CB radio
  5%   IdleAir


Of smartphone users, what OS do you use?
(100 respondents)
         51%   Apple iOS (iPhone)
         44%   Android OS (multiple brands)
         7%   RIM Blackberry OS


What cell service/wireless network provider do you use?
(163 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
         44%   Verizon Wireless
         34%   AT&T
         16%   Sprint
         2%   T-Mobile
         2%   U.S. Cellular
         1%   TracFone
         7%   Other (Rogers, Bell, Alliant, Virgin Mobile)


When you're on the road, how often do you have access to the following:
a) Email
(163 respondents)
         77%   Daily
  7%   2-3 times a week
  4%   Once a week
  1%   2-3 times a month
  10%   Never
  1%   Other


b) Internet
(162 respondents)
         75%   Daily
  9%   2-3 times a week
  4%   Once a week
  1%   2-3 times a month
  9%   Never
  1%   Other


c) Social Networking (Facebook, etc.)
(135 respondents)
         56%   Daily
  6%   2-3 times a week
  3%   Once a week
  4%   2-3 times a month
  30%   Never
  1%   Other


d) Computer
(155 respondents)
         65%   Daily
  13%   2-3 times a week
  5%   Once a week
  3%   2-3 times a month
  14%   Never
  1%   Other


While on the road, where are your favorite scenic spots at which to stop or appreciate the view that might be missed by less seasoned travelers?
(117 respondents - some of the more interesting spots below!)
         Northwestern U.S.
  Clear Fork River in Western Montana
  Coeur d'Alane, Idaho
  Columbia Gorge along I-84 in Oregon
  Columbia River in Washington
  Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
  Kalispell, Montana
  Multnomah Falls, Oregon
  Roger's Pass, Montana
  Scenic View Pendleton, Oregon
  Snake River
  Snowqualimi Summit in Washington state (Rest stop on I-90)
  Spring in Montana. The sky really is bigger!!
  Washington State Ferries
  Southwestern U.S.
  101 Coastal Highway in California
  Castle Rock, Colorado
  Crossing into Colorado at Raton Pass
  Donner Pass in California
  Grand Canyon
  Great Salt Desert in Utah
  Hemit, California
  Hill on I-40 East overlooking Albuquerque, New Mexico
  Hoover Dam
  Lake Powell, Arizona
  Little America, Flagstaff, Arizona
  Rest stop on NB I-5 at Mt Shasta, California
  Riudoso, New Mexico
  Texas Hill Country
  US 66 stops in Arizona and California
  Midwestern U.S.
  Picture Rock - Upper Peninsula of Michigan
  View from the St. Louis Arch
         Southeastern U.S.
  Black Mountain, North Carolina
  Blowing Rock, North Carolina
  Blue Ridge Mountains
  Fancy Gap I-77 at the Virginia, North Carolina Border
  Florida Overseas Highway
  National Harbor in Washington, DC
  Hot Springs, Arkansas
  Kelly Mountain, West Virginia
  Lookout Mountain in Tennessee
  Outer Banks, North Carolina
  Ruby Falls in Tennessee
  USCG Blackthorn Memorial - Tampa, Florida
  Northeastern U.S.
  Fall Foliage in Connecticut, New York
  Mountains of Pennsylvania - great views
  Lake Placid, New York
  Cities along I-95
  Banff, Alberta
  Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
  Drumheller Area, Alberta
  Hell's Gate, British Columbia
  Kicking Horse Resort, British Columbia
  Malihat Drive, British Columbia
  Setting Lake at sunset in Northern Manitoba
  Terry Fox Monument, Thunder Bay, Ontario
  Vancouver Island Ferry


What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
(163 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
         37%   Subway
  23%   Wendy's
  20%   Taco Bell
  18%   Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)
  17%   Arby's
  17%   McDonald's
  13%   Hardee's
  7%   Burger King
  10%   Other (A&W, Popeye's, Chipolte, Panera, Sonic, Church's Fried Chicken, In-n-Out, Steak & Shake, etc.)
  9%   I don't eat fast food.


Which antacid gets rid of heartburn the quickest?
(158 respondents)
         34%   Tums
  19%   Rolaids
  13%   Pepcid
  11%   Zantac
  4%   Mylanta
  3%   Pepto-Bismol
  3%   Other (Prilosec, Baking Soda, Gaviscon, Prevacid)
  28%   N/A


What is your favorite snack while on the road?
(159 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
         48%   Fresh fruit
  30%   Planter's Peanuts/Mixed nuts
  13%   M&M's
  13%   Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
  11%   Doritos
  10%   Lay's Potato Chips
  8%   Little Debbie Snack Cakes/Cookies
  16%   Other (trail mix, beef jerky, granola bars, pretzels, candy, yogurt, sandwiches, veggies, etc.)


Whether it's a "Mom and Pop" diner, or particular franchise location, what is the best restaurant in America?
(121 respondents - top responses)
         1st   Iron Skillet /Petro Truck Stops
  2nd   Cracker Barrel / Golden Corral / Longhorn Steakhouse / Outback Steakhouse (4 way tie)
  3rd   Red Lobster
  4th   Austin's Steakhouse / Buffalo Wild Wings / Chili's / Ernie's Truckstop / Texas Roadhouse (5 way tie)


When I'm on the road and have the radio on, most likely I am listening to (style):
(163 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
  44%   Classic 60's, 70's & 80's
  44%   Talk/News/Sports radio
  42%   Rock and Roll
         35%   Country
  12%   Christian
  11%   Pop/Top 40
  10%   National Public Radio
  9%   R&B/Rap/Hip-Hop
  8%   Jazz/Blues
  5%   Other (weather, instrumental/easy listening, old time radio, story books, etc.)


When I'm on the road and have the radio on, most likely I am listening to (system):
(159 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
         55%   Satellite radio
  53%   FM/AM stations
  24%   iPod/MP3 player
  6%   Other (CD player, computer, Internet, iPad, etc.)


What are you doing to be more eco-friendly while on the road?
(157 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
  47%   Throw aluminum, glass and plastic containers in recycle bins
         46%   Use PrePass
  39%   Use reusable drink containers
  31%   Use reusable grocery bags
  29%   Use generator/APU
  16%   Use biodiesel fuel
  12%   Use IdleAir
  5%   Other (never/barely idle truck, use Espar heater, reuse packing material when practical, etc.)


Who builds the best tractor?
(161 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
         30%   Kenworth
  27%   Peterbilt
  27%   Freightliner
  26%   Volvo
  7%   International
  5%   Western Star
  1%   Other (Mack)


Who makes the best tires?
(160 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
         44%   Bridgestone
  41%   Michelin
  16%   Goodyear
  12%   Yokohama
  11%   BF Goodrich
  4%   Firestone
  3%   Other (Continental, Kelly/Springfield, General)


Which brand of motor oil do you use most often?
(162 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
         47%   Shell ROTELLA
  33%   Mobil Delvac
  13%   Chevron Delo
  8%   Castrol
  4%   Penzoil
  4%   Valvoline
  2%   Other (Lucas, oil additives)


What is your favorite truck stop chain?
(163 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
         39%   Petro
  36%   Flying J
  32%   Pilot
  29%   TA (Truckstops of America)
  24%   Love's
  2%   AMBEST
  4%   Other (Wilco/Hess, Husky, Irving Big Stop, Little America, Sapp Brothers)


While on the road, how many times have you stopped to aid another motorist?
(163 respondents)
         48%   Once or twice
  28%   3 to 10 times
  16%   More than 10 times
  8%   I have never aided another motorist


Which state has the best rest stops?
(153 respondents - top 3 responses)
         24%   Florida
  14%   Ohio
  12%   Texas


Who has the best coffee?
(162 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
         35%   Dunkin' Donuts
  23%   Truckstops/Gas stations
  18%   Starbucks
  12%   McDonald's
  4%   Tim Horton's
  3%   Other (homemade, 7-11, Panera, Quick Check, Waffle House)
  18%   N/A


You've had your morning coffee, what do you drink the rest of the day?
(163 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
         71%   Water
  21%   Gatorade/Sports drinks
  18%   Tea
  13%   Pepsi/Diet Pepsi
  12%   Mountain Dew/Diet Mountain Dew
  12%   Coke/Diet Coke
  10%   Juice/Fruit drinks
  9%   Other (more coffee, Dr. Pepper, energy drinks, Sprite, Sunkist, ginger ale, V8, Tropicana, etc.)


What is the most difficult part of life on the road?
(161 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
         57%   Eating right
  32%   DOT hours of service regulations
  30%   Exercise
  27%   Staying in touch with family
  24%   Paperwork
  22%   Keeping on top of finances
  13%   Work schedule
  11%   Getting my mail
  14%   Other (being away from family, traffic/other drivers, living in truck, etc.)


How do you exercise while on the road?
(161 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
  79%   Moving furniture/Work
         27%   Walk/run at truck stops
  20%   Who has time for exercise?
  13%   Push-ups and sit-ups
  11%   Use the hotel gym
  9%   Use dumbbells
  6%   Other (local gyms/member, walk dog(s), mountain bike, resistance bands, yoga, etc.)


What is the most interesting or most unique thing you've ever loaded onto your truck?
(101 respondents - some of the more interesting items below!)
         1913 Model T
  25,000 lbs of Antiques
  28 Motorcycles
  4000 Year Old Mummy
  All Original 69 "Super Bee" Road Runner
  Animated Dinosaurs
  Antique British Phone Booth
  Declaration of Independence
  Egyptian Artifacts
  Elvis Presley's Mercedes Benz
  Enormous Genie Lamp
  Horse-drawn Fuel Wagon
  Hydrogen Car
  Jesus and the Twelve Apostles (life size wood sculptures)
  John Lennon's Steinway Concert Grand Piano
  Lens Going to Space
  Mazda Race Car
  Model of Mars Rover Opportunity
  Nemo the Fish
  Rocket Engines
  Shroud of Turin Exhibit
  Wedding Cake Display (with real frosting, under plexiglass case)
  Wells Fargo US Mail Stagecoach & Mail Cage


What are some of the most interesting types of people you have assisted in moving?
(142 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
         51%   Pro-Athletes
  26%   Actors/Actresses (TV/Movie/Stage)
  25%   Scientists
  14%   Singers/Musicians
  12%   Politicians
  12%   Authors
  11%   Regular "Everyday" People/All of Them
  9%   Religious Leaders
  5%   Comedians
  4%   International Leaders
  4%   Military
  11%   Other (Astronauts, CEOs/Presidents/VIPs, Engineers, Older folks, NFL Cheerleader, Professor, etc.)


Okay, you're finally off the road. What's your favorite pastime when you are not working?
(159 respondents - Exceeds 100% due to multiple responses)
         72%   Hang out with family/friends
  35%   Spend time on a favorite hobby (golf, motorcycles/ATV's, auto restoration, boating, sports, music, etc.)
  33%   Have a relaxing dinner
  25%   Go hunting or fishing
  23%   Go to a sporting event
  19%   Go to a movie
  16%   No contest...sleep!
  16%   Go on vacation
  8%   Other (reading, walking, relaxing, watching tv, working around house, yardwork, etc.)


When you take a well-deserved vacation, what is a favorite destination you visit that regular tourists might miss?
(118 respondents - perhaps not surprisingly, the #1 vacation spot listed was home - here are some of the other suggestions!)
    Alaska (Skagway, etc.)
    Blue Ridge Parkway
    Branson, Missouri
    Buffalo, New York
    Canada (Vancouver Island Interior, Victoria, British Columbia)
    Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico
    Carribean Islands with Beaches/Scuba Diving (Aruba, Dominican (Punta Cana), Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Nassau, Bahamas, Virgin Islands)
    Disney World
    El Salvador
    Europe (Ireland, Lampedusa-Italy, Paris-France, Tuscany-Italy)
    Florida (Key West, Orlando, Tampa, Beaches, etc.)
    Hawaii (Maui, etc.)
    Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Mexico (Acapulco, Cancun, Cabo, etc.)
    New York City
    Newport, Oregon
    Northern Michigan/Upper Penninsula (Snowboarding, Two Hearted River)
    Obihiro/Kushiro, Japan
    Ocean City, Maryland
    Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
    Pinehurst, South Carolina
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Shea Stadium (NYC)
    Smokey Mountains (Tennessee/North Carolina, Cades Cove)
    South Carolina (Hilton Head Island, Myrtle Beach)
    Surfside, Texas
    Topsail Beach, North Carolina
    Virginia Beach
    White Mountains (New Hampshire/Maine)
    Wilderness with Canoe & Tent
    Yellowstone Park

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