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If you are in Texas - HDT's are not welcome at Buc-ees


Big5er

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I have never had an issue at any of the 10 or so different Buc-ees I have visited (numerous times each) until this morning when I stopped at the Buc-ees in Baytown. I went to top off my fuel tanks and general manager Jason came out and told me I had to leave (at the same time telling someone on the other end of his radio to shut off my pump). I inquired as to why I couldn't get fuel and he stated that Buc-ee's policy is "No 18 wheelers". I explained that I was registered as a motorhome (pointed out the license plates), towed only my personal travel trailer, had no airlines/gladhands for a trailer and no commercial hitch. I even showed him a picture of my whole rig while explaining that I was no different that the truck at the pump next to me (an F-450 which has the same number of tires, pulling a 3 axle toy hauler). He reiterated that Buc-ees policy is "No 18 wheelers" and that I "looked" like the picture (stick figure of a tractor and box trailer) on their signs. I asked that since he was the "General Manager" he couldn't make his own decision based on facts rather than what my truck "looked" like? He re-stated that I needed to leave their property. Well, Buc-ees $1.79 diesel wasn't worth arguing over, so I left. Obviously Bucc-ees General Managers are not capable of logic, only repeating the corporate line. I guess Raceway and $1.85 diesel it is.

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Carl, I understand that selling fuel at 20-25 cents a gallon cheaper than most stations, allowing commercial trucks to fuel would overrun their regular traffic. They cater to the tourist type crowds with their huge stores and food variety and use the cheap fuel to attract that crowd. Up until now, I have been one of those people. Buc-ees have big clean restrooms and are huge places, easy to get into when towing a travel trailer, great place to stop and stretch your legs etc. But, since their managers are obviously incapable of making a reasonable decision I will simply plan my stops elsewhere. While I enjoy saving a few cents on fuel, I am not a commercial driver and do not use the amount of fuel they do. That few cents in savings will not amount to much in the long run, just as losing my business will not amount to much of a loss to them. But threads like this, and conversations with friends and others might just reflect on how they are looked upon by a few others. In the long run this will not throw them into bankruptcy, but at the end of the year a few hundred or a few thousand dollars is still money lost to the competition.

Did you explain the obvious? That you didn't have 18 wheels?

LOL Rich, as I said, I even showed him a photograph of my whole rig. He wasn't interested in anything more than the fact that I "looked" like their stick figure drawing of an 18-wheeler. Judging by his lack of interest, I doubt he would have even cared how many wheels it had. :D

I remember someone saying "if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck" (or something like that).

And if you would bother to finish mis-quoting me, you would have seen that every time I use that line, I follow it up with the fact that we are NOT ducks and that we need to be prepared to prove that. The lack of interest from this General Manager who appeared to lack the capability to use his brain for anything other than spewing the "corporate policy" and who cared little for customer service was absolutely amazing. It is rare that you meet someone in the customer service industry with as little capacity for creative thinking. I have a puppy like this guy....she thinks of one thing and only one thing at a time. Hopefully she will outgrow this and be capable of multi-tasking once she matures. I am afraid this General Manager has passed that point and he failed miserably.

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"I am afraid this General Manager has passed that point and he failed miserably. "

 

 

The Peter Principle is an observation that the tendency in most organizational hierarchies, such as that of a corporation, is for every employee to rise in the hierarchy through promotion until they reach the levels of their respective incompetence.

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And if you would bother to finish mis-quoting me, you would have seen that every time I use that line, I follow it up with the fact that we are NOT ducks and that we need to be prepared to prove that. The lack of interest from this General Manager who appeared to lack the capability to use his brain for anything other than spewing the "corporate policy" and who cared little for customer service was absolutely amazing. It is rare that you meet someone in the customer service industry with as little capacity for creative thinking. I have a puppy like this guy....she thinks of one thing and only one thing at a time. Hopefully she will outgrow this and be capable of multi-tasking once she matures. I am afraid this General Manager has passed that point and he failed miserably.

 

No need to be so defensive. I was just pointing out what you had already surmised, that all this manager saw was a duck......and he wasn't interested in conversations to the contrary.

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I first noticed those signs at the Buc-ees in Wharton two years ago, where we often stopped (in the pickup) during our occasional trips back and forth between our home in the Valley and where we were staying in Spring. Presuming that the management and staff would react in a similar manner as the way that the Baytown folks did, I planned to avoid all Buc-ees when towing from that point forward, much to the disappointment of the DW, who loves them. I've also avoided fueling my pickup there when we've subsequently passed through "Buc-ees country", because if one of my vehicles isn't welcome somewhere, they lose all my business.

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Hmm.

 

These thing happen when people get a big head and are overzealous about enforcing rules whether they are relevant or not.

 

Iv'e run afoul of a few of these types myself.

 

A shame, i too like the big roomy stores with clean bathrooms.

 

I guess someone could ask the corporate office if their rule applies to rvs . . .

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Phil, I have stopped and fueled at many Buc-ees in the past. I've been to locations in Terrell, Madisonville, Luling, New Braunfels, Giddings and Baytown, just to name a few. I have fueled up next to pickup trucks pulling larger travel trailers and some very plush Prevost motorhomes. I have also seen plenty of commercial "hot shot" truck and trailer combinations. I have never been questioned at any of those locations until today. Actually I was not even "questioned" at this store. I was simply told to leave. I am not "an 18 wheeler" even with my travel trailer, having only 6 wheels on the HDT (same as any dually pickup) and only 4 on the trailer, nor am I a commercial vehicle so I never considered their sign was meant to prohibit me from fueling at their store. I have read many of their signs and I have gotten quite a chuckle from some of their signs in the dog walk area and I appreciate their attention to trying to keep that area clean.

As I said earlier, there are other places to get fuel and Dred has no brand loyalty in choosing a place to poop. Like you I will not visit their establishment in any vehicle from now on. My money and Dred's poo will simply be deposited elsewhere. Heaven forbid that I would chose to fuel up somewhere that I am not welcome. And after today, I'm fairly sure I don't want my dog to poop in their grass either.

I guess someone could ask the corporate office if their rule applies to rvs . . .

Like I said, I explained to him that I was registered as a motorhome, pulled only my personal travel trailer and he couldn't have cared less. I showed him a picture, pointing to the larger pickup and travel trailer next to me and asked why I was different. Being a Saturday, I don't imagine there is anyone in "corporate" that I could have reached that might have explained it to him. Since their General Managers have no common sense or the desire and ability to make a decision other than to recite "it is our company policy", I don't guess it really matters whether I am an RV or not. As he said, I looked like the imagine on their sign. How can you argue with someone with such a limited range of ability. In all fairness, I can only speak of THIS general manager, but this is the only one I have ever encountered in the 6 years of owning my HDT. He is THE one that was representing "corporate policy" in the only encounter I have ever had sop that makes him THE company image. So, according to THIS representative of Buc-ees, my RV is not welcome at their facility.

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Phil,

 

Interesting the perspective of different businesses. We have a Kroger fuel center and since Donna gets fuel points I pulled up there in the truck. The attendant was looking at me so I asked if they had a problem with me fueling. He said, "heck no, I'm here to sell fuel and you'll use a lot!"

 

If only every person in business could have that attitude! No need for "equality protections" or "religious freedom" laws.

 

The problem at Buc-ees boils down, in part, to posting the wrong sign. If the sign says "no 18-wheelers", it would be presumed that 17 or 19 wheels would be fine, or the 10 that you had. (It would have been funny if you weren't singled and the 4 wheels on the smart and a bicycle got you to 18...) What they really meant is "none of them there big things unless you look like the kind to also buy a trinket in the store". Last I knew, they didn't have truck pumps, and I don't know of any 18-wheelers that would be paying the posted price or taking the time to fuel one tank at a time with a little nozzle (any that did probably wouldn't be competitive).

 

At one time, I used "car" fuel stations to save 10-20 cents a gallon. But with my setup, I eventually figured out that the extra fuel I used waiting for the right pump to open up, looping through the station, then doing it again to get the other side used up most of my savings, not to mention a lot of my time. I still do it occasionally, but not often. I remember a station in Alabama (somewhere along US431 if I remember right) that was about $0.50/gal lower than in Huntsville, just off the shoulder of the road, with a dump truck just pulling away from the pump. Filling the right side was super easy, but getting to the other side meant double U-turns (back onto the divided highway, looping around at the corner intersection, and again at a cut through--almost a perfect circle with the wheel turned almost all the way). Couldn't have done it if traffic hadn't been super light.

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Phil,

 

Interesting the perspective of different businesses. We have a Kroger fuel center and since Donna gets fuel points I pulled up there in the truck. The attendant was looking at me so I asked if they had a problem with me fueling. He said, "heck no, I'm here to sell fuel and you'll use a lot!"

 

 

The thing is that a lot of these places are not in the business of selling fuel. They are in the business of selling soda pop, chips, donuts and the like. The fuel is just a way to get you to stop in. Fuel is very low margin and the rest is high margin. So when selling 100 gallons of fuel, they can sell to one HTD or 10 cars. The odds of selling a lot of high margin items to 10 vehicles is better than selling to one HDT. It does not explain things really, but might be something on the back of their mind when making these decisions. The problem is that they allow other large RV's that consume lots of fuel. And his making a point of kicking you out and not listening to your reasoning is very short sighted. He not only kept you from fueling today, but any future fueling in your car I assume. It will also keep others who have read this post from patronizing them (regardless of vehicle driven).

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Well damn, we used to love Buc-ees.... even have one of their bobble head creatures stuck on the dash of the truck. Never tried to fill the big truck there, just the Dodge when we had it. On our last trip north out of the valley, we stopped in one for the bathroom break but had parked on the side where there was plenty of open space. Didn't try to fuel.

Sounds like the manager had made up his mind (what little there was) when he walked out the door.

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I would caution everyone to not judge all locations of a chain business by the actions of one manager.

Definitely. Many of them are independently owned, leading to different policies/attitudes. If I swore off fast food chains based on a single bad experience, I'd be stuck in a loop going through the double drive-thru at Cook-Out, ordering a $1 milkshake every time. :D

 

It'll depend on what the chain says that policy is supposed to be.

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I have never stopped at the Buc'ees but I have seen them as I pass by. Huge parking lots, lots of islands to discourage any class 8 commercial business. And it appears they might be getting more aggressive about who they want to serve as their clientele.

Here is my take on the reason why:

In the 40 years I have been in the trucking business, I have seen the trucking industry go from a certain level of respect spiral down to a level of contempt by the general public. And unfortunately it is well deserved. I am sure Big 5'er can recite many stories of some of the drivers he has had to deal with, and could offer an opinion on the direction of the industry. We have brought it upon ourselves, and one of the critical issues, parking the big rigs has really caused significant problems for businesses like Walmart, or anyone with a big parking lot. The rigs take over, destroy the place, and the leave some real nasty stuff behind.

All caused by the majority of carriers who shift the cost of parking to whoever will allow it, over running truck stops, on street parking, empty lots, shopping centers, exit ramps. All because they don't want to pay for terminals or parking arrangements which would hit their bottom line. And at the same time hiring more and more drivers with less and less experience. And accept an average turnover rate over 100%, which no industry, even fast food would tolerate.

 

How does this affect us? Well, the tractor is what they look at. And these days heavy trucks tend to be the enemy. Hopefully they would notice it is cleaner and nicer looking than most, and has an RV behind it. But don't be surprised if we get lumped in with the trucking industry as a whole.

I am disgusted enough at what i see every day I am looking to hit the exits as soon as I can.

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I would caution everyone to not judge all locations of a chain business by the actions of one manager.

 

My thoughts exactly. Big 5er, you said "I have stopped and fueled at many Buc-ees in the past. I've been to locations in Terrell, Madisonville, Luling, New Braunfels, Giddings and Baytown, just to name a few."
Sounds like this was a one location situation. I bet a call to Buc-ees HQ would clear everything up. There is a chance he was misinformed. It may be a training opportunity for Buc-ees.
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Big5er post

"Since their (Buc-eyes) General Managers have no common sense or the desire and ability to make a decision other than to recite "it is our company policy", I don't guess it really matters whether I am an RV or not. As he said, I looked like the imagine on their sign. How can you argue with someone with such a limited range of ability."

 

I am mostly a slow learning student on this forum, but Big5er brought up an issue where I have expertise. I started out my career working as a probation officer and after graduate school worked as a family therapist and a crisis intervention specialist in partnership with the police department. The program was a city department, and the PD called us out for situations that left the victims in a crisis state, such as rapes, homicides and suicides and (Big5er would of loved this) all death notifications. I have dealt with an incredibly large variety of folks

 

You ran into a small man Big5er. Small in the sense that he feels like he never gets the respect and treatment he deserves. He usually feels put-upon and he is undoubtably under pressure to achieve sales goals and meet many other requirements of his regional bosses. He is almost powerless. However, you gave him the opportunity to use the little power he has by showing up in your taboo HDT. He probably was pretty sure the regional manager would back him up in refusing you service or he would not risk the possible reprimand and loss of face. I'm sure the fellow felt he was being heroic, standing up to one of those cheating truckers. Pushing you off the property gave him an ego boost. If the company had a policy of not serving red cars this person would greatly enjoy enforcing it regardless of the lack of a reason for it.

 

While this kind of person is usually easy to manipulate with little ego strokes ("you must see a lot of unusual travelers in your work here") in this situation there is no winning. The only response I can imagine is to thank him with "F*** you very much" and leave. I now will certainly not stop at a Buc-ees, regardless of what I am driving. Serving the HDT 5ers would not attract truckers, or me when driving my truck. All Buc-ees would have to do is change their policy to NO COMMERCIAL TRUCKS. RVs OK

 

When in tow, using a conventional service station with low flow pumps and having to switch sides half way through fueling is often difficult or impossible and takes MUCH longer than the time fueling at a truck stop would take. Plus, my conversations with other truckers have been helpful and interesting. Most truckers highly approve of our way of travel and have as many questions of me as I have of them. I have never found a trucker who cared whether we needed CDLs. Generally their take is that the Volvo I'm driving is going to make me very safe on the downhills and handle the trailer far better that a smaller truck.

 

Commercial truckers are subject to tight Federal working hours restrictions, many of which are now monitored by GPS. These drivers have absolutely no time to waste and would visit a gas station only in desperation, due to a total lack of alternatives.

John

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