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Things are looking up at the Downtime Lounge

WOODSTOCK, Ont. - For truck drivers tired of kicking back in the same boring, hole-in-the-wall driver's lounge, NAL Path Insurance Brokers is looking to provide an upside to downtime with its newly re...


LOUNGE LEADERS: NAL Path Insurance Brokers reps were there to meet and greet drivers at the grand opening of their new trucker's lounge at the TA Truck Stop in Woodstock. NAL Path reps from left to right are: Rob Kinnee, personal service advisor; Jehan Elkadri, marketing representative; John Vanhaverbeke, personal service advisor; and Aaron Lindsay, transportation specialist.Photo by Adam Ledlow

LOUNGE LEADERS: NAL Path Insurance Brokers reps were there to meet and greet drivers at the grand opening of their new trucker's lounge at the TA Truck Stop in Woodstock. NAL Path reps from left to right are: Rob Kinnee, personal service advisor; Jehan Elkadri, marketing representative; John Vanhaverbeke, personal service advisor; and Aaron Lindsay, transportation specialist.Photo by Adam Ledlow


WOODSTOCK, Ont. – For truck drivers tired of kicking back in the same boring, hole-in-the-wall driver’s lounge, NAL Path Insurance Brokers is looking to provide an upside to downtime with its newly revamped facility at the TA Truck Stop in Woodstock. Truck News was on-hand at the Downtime Lounge’s grand opening March 2.

Though the lounge now boasts several new features, including a members-only room providing free Internet access and long distance calling to anywhere in North America, the room’s clear focal point is the comfy leather seating situated in front of a 42-inch satellite-ready television.

“The number one thing that’s going to attract drivers here is definitely the flat-screen High-Definition TV,” says Aaron Lindsay, transportation specialist with NAL Path. “The TV will be on 24 hours a day, seven days a week for drivers to enjoy the latest movies, sports, news and weather.”

It’s a far cry from TA’s previous lounge, where the main attraction was a 20-inch TV set with a mere three channels, though drivers could still be found huddled around it. The stiff theatre seating has also been replaced by four brown leather chairs for extra comfort. NAL Path decided to create the new lounge as part of its resolution to become more involved in the trucking lifestyle.

“Because (our head office) is stuck in downtown London, we’re not near the 401, so we don’t really get to correspond a lot with the truck drivers,” Lindsay explained. “In developing our plan, we needed to get some feedback from the drivers. We thought we could either set up a huge office at TA or we could set up a small office and a lounge. The reason we decided to go with the lounge is because the lounge would be a spot where we could give something back to the drivers; create an atmosphere that they would like, that they could design, and through their feedback…we’ve made a nice spot for their downtime. It just seemed natural for us to get closer to the truck drivers, so we could understand them and provide them a better service.”

In addition to the seating, TV, and media room, the lounge also features the work of Truck News’ featured photographer, Mark Gagnier, two arcade games, and of course, an office for NAL Path. The office will serve as a place where NAL Path’s 15,000 members can stop in to have any questions about coverage answered and also offer quotes for prospective members.

“One of the perceptions of the insurance industry is that insurance agents will come selling something at the truck stops and then you never hear from them again,” Lindsay said. “We want to say, ‘Alright – we’ve got an office here and we’ve got a lounge. If you’ve got any problems with your coverage, we’ll be here for the long run with you.'”

Throughout the coming months, NAL Path will be attracting drivers to the lounge with free food, weekly draws for fuel and other events and contests. Though hours for the NAL Path office haven’t been finalized, two agents will be monitoring the office through the truck stop’s busiest hours Monday through Friday.

With the opening of NAL Path’s new lounge and the company’s continued evolution comes the possibility of branching out and looking at setting up a series of smaller offices up and down Highway 401.

“If there’s anything that we can do to be associated with a nice, comfortable, friendly atmosphere for truckers, we want to be a part of that. We want to have our name associated with that and we kind of want it to be a home away from home for truck drivers,” Lindsay said. “It’s free. You don’t have to be members. We’re not going to force them to buy anything. We need to get our name out there in the trucking industry and one of the best ways to do that is to give something to the truckers before asking for anything in return.” For more information call Lindsay at 800-265-1657, ext. 3004.


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