Parking Your Truck Should Be Simple
Is parking a problem? We all know that the answer to this is a huge YES! While others are still debating the issue, we want to start a new conversation — how do we fix it? How do we get our truckers off of the side of highways and into safer, free parking spots to get the sleep they need and take required breaks?
We don’t pretend to have all the answers. Drivers are coming up with creative ideas to find a parking spot when they need one. We’re listing some of those here, but we want to hear from more drivers out there about your solution, generating a productive conversation about the undeniable parking issue.
We know that it’s not always easy to plan your trip perfectly, especially when arriving at the truck stop or rest area for the night. However, some drivers are starting their trips earlier to ensure that they are looking for parking earlier when there are more spots. Additionally, it’s easier to scout out safe spots when it’s light outside.
By allowing at least two or more hours of wiggle room, there’s an increased likelihood that you’ll get where you’re trying to go on time. Obviously, trucking is not predictable and traffic happens. Some drivers purposefully plan the majority of their driving time before and after major traffic times.
Some drivers miss the bulk of the traffic and parking issues by driving primarily at night. While it may not be for everyone, some people really enjoy night driving. From the simple perks like not having to wear sunglasses to the biggies like less traffic on the road, night driving can be a great option for the right person.
While parking when you’re ready to sleep in the morning is easier, stopping for breaks during the night will be harder. Planning rest time during loading/unloading times is wise to avoid crowded parking lots.
The relationships that you build with other drivers, your carrier’s staff, dispatch, and locals can have a big impact on how enjoyable or miserable your trucking experience will be. If you’ve made a lot of friends, there’s absolutely no shame in leveraging those relationships to find a parking spot. Just be sure to repay the favor.
Let your buddies know when you’ve found a great area, whether it’s for parking, eating, or just a beautiful place to take in the sights. For as large as the industry is, trucking is a tight-knit group. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. You’ll be backed by a family of dedicated drivers who are facing the same things day in and day out.
In addition to networking within the industry, many drivers have found that connecting with smaller, locally owned fuel stations and establishments allows them to secure parking at lesser known spots. Just always make sure you have permission to park wherever you go. The last thing you want is a tow truck driver knocking on your window in the middle of your sleep.
While it’s not always a likely solution, you can ask a customer if you can park in their lot. If you have a good relationship with them, they may be willing to make arrangements.
However, more and more companies are getting strict about not allowing trucks to park in the parking lot. They’ll hold you up for three hours, but when they’re done, you’re forced to get out as fast as possible.
In trucking, it’s all about rolling with the punches. ELDs are bringing to light problems that have existed for decades. Only now that HOS regulations are being followed more closely can we see that they are flawed. ELDs are the beginning of finding a solution. We’re in the rough patch before things smooth out. Take hope in the fact that the future of trucking is an exciting one, with more information and more opportunities.
If you’re ready to explore your ELD Solutions, click here to order or call us at 855-696-3537.