Truck stops help truckers during their long journeys. But all truck stops are not the same. While some may provide just the basics like restrooms, fuel stations, and a rest area, others also offer additional facilities like aftermarket commercial truck parts stores, souvenir stores, and restaurants. Whether a truck stop provides all these facilities or not, there are rules to be followed when you are at one. Here are a few truck stop do's and don'ts:
Truck Stop Do’s
Check on repairs
One of the biggest problems many truck drivers face is that their vehicles may suffer from wear and tear due to the long journey. While many drivers do carry a few spare parts for exactly these types of situations, such a journey can be unpredictable. As such take the opportunity at the stops to check if you need any repairs. And if so, what spare parts do you need? If you need quick affordable parts working with a company like Affordable Heavy Truck Parts could be a great idea. We offer affordable aftermarket spare parts built to offer you a long time solution. You can carry these parts in your truck to ensure you make any repairs on the go during your stop.
Plan in Advance
As per the American Transportation Research Institute, most truckers typically pull over at a truck stop between 4:00 PM and 11:00 PM. Plan your day properly and reach a truck stop before most truckers do, and park your truck before the "truck stop rush hour" begins.
Ensure There Is Space Around You When You Park
Trucks are usually longer than other vehicles. As a result, there is a chance of truck damage when it is parked at one of the stops. Choose a truck stop with an expansive parking lot. Park at a spot where there is enough space around you. The extra space will let you park easily and prevent you from crashing into a nearby parked truck. Avoid parking your rig in a narrow, cluttered area. Even if you are skilled and experienced in parking, a new driver can damage your rig when they park or remove their truck.
Take Care Of All Your Needs At The Truck Stop
Before you park at a truck stop, make a mental list of all the things you need to save time. If you need to refuel, rest for a while, or eat, then choose a truck stop that has a gas station, a resting area, and a restaurant. If you need help with any issues with your truck, then look for a truck stop that has a vehicle repair service. Most truck stops offer all these services, so plan well and think about everything you will need so that you don't have to keep stopping at multiple truck stops.
Keep The Showers and Restrooms Clean
Many people will use truck stop restrooms and showers. This is why it becomes critical to leave these facilities clean; think about other people who may need to use them. Wash your hands, keep water in the sink, and don't overuse paper towels. Throw used paper towels and any other waste in the trash cans.
Park In The Designated Parking Area
While truck stops have plenty of open space, there are designated areas for parking large trucks. Make sure you park in those areas only. Don't leave your truck at the fuel stop or other areas that will block the movement of other rigs.
Help Other Truckers
Life on the road is not easy and truck drivers are bound to experience mishaps, breakdowns, and other road-related problems from time to time. Watch out for other truckers, especially those who are new to the job. Offer guidance whenever you can. Be friendly and approachable and help fellow truckers if they need your help. At the same time, don't hesitate to ask for help if you need any.
What To Avoid At Truck Stops
Parking At The End Of A Row
Truck owners tend to park at the end of the parking lot when they pull over at truck stops because they are already tired and don't have the patience to look for any other area. While the parking lot at the end of a row may seem like the closest spot, it is best to avoid it. It will save you the hassle of backing out when you have to leave and prevent the risk of other vehicles blindly backing towards you and crashing into you.
Don't Give Out Cargo Information
This is critical. No matter what you are carrying, don't tell other people about it. Cargo theft is common among drivers, especially at truck stops. So be very careful and take care of the cargo you are transporting.
Don't Leave Your Truck Unlocked
Leaving your truck unlocked when you are not around, or leaving your doors and windows unlocked when you are at the back of the cab, is a sure-shot way of inviting trouble. Even the most secure truck stops carry the risk of robberies and burglaries. No matter how good the people around you are, it is not good to test your luck.
Don't Keep Your Valuables In Front Of Your Cab
Leaving valuable items in plain sight can attract robbers. Keep your valuables behind the cab. If you don't have a choice and need to keep them in the front, then pull the blinds over the front windshield to hide them.
Don't Waste Time In The Fuel Lane
Refuel your vehicle and move out as soon as possible. Don't leave your rigs in the fuel lane and block the pumps. If you need to run out, park your vehicle aside and go get whatever you need.
Don't Drive Carelessly
Be mindful of your surroundings when driving in and around truck stops. Remember, trucks are not the only vehicles in the area. You will be surrounded by other 18-wheelers, four-wheelers, and two-wheelers as well. One wrong turn or reckless move could cost someone their life.
Don't Bother Drivers Who Want To Be Left Alone
If there are drivers in the area that want to rest and don't want to be disturbed, leave them alone. Don't just assume every trucker you meet wants to socialize with you. Be respectful of their wishes and let them go if they don't want to talk.
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