The first Pilot station was opened by James (Jimmy) Haslam II in 1958 in Gate City, Virginia.
In 1965, Marathon Oil purchases half of Pilot and provides them with $4 million to expand. By 1973, there are 50 locations.
In 1976, Pilot opens their first convenience store. The following year, the company acquires Lonas Oil Co. and converts their locations to convenience stores.
By 1981, there are 100 Pilot locations.
In 2001, Pilot and Marathon join forces again to form Pilot Travel Centers. In 2003, the company acquires Williams Travel Centers.
In 2006, the first Canadian location is opened. In 2008, the company buys Marathon’s shares back for a second time.
Pilot Flying J currently operates over 550 truck stops, convenience stores and restaurants in the US and Canada.
As of 2015, Pilot Flying J is the leading seller of over the road diesel fuel in America. The company is also the largest Travel Center in the US while holding the third place position as a provider of fast food franchises.
In October 2017, the Berkshire-Hathway company purchased a 38.6% share of the company, with plans to increase their share to 80% by the end of 2023. The Haslam family will continue to run the day to day operations.