For truck drivers, finding available and safe parking on the road has been a problem for as long as trucking has been a service. Now, the issue has grown as the rise of e-commerce has put more trucks on the road. But, just as many states across the country have closed down rest areas due to cost cutting and changes to hours of service rules.
With more trucks on the road, driver frustration when it comes to finding sensible and safe parking is at an all-time high. As three million trucks drive across the country, only 300,000 parking spaces await them when they need a break. While some trucks return to their terminals before the day is done, there’s still a surplus of truck drivers who need to find their own spot for the night.
So, what can truckers do to not only find a space but be safe?
Position for Safety
When a driver pulls into a truck stop, they should park as far away from traffic as they can. This means that they will need to park in the back of a lot. It may be tempting to just pull into the nearest space when you’re driving in, but other people will be finding spots there too. Avoid parking in a spot near the end of a row as these are closest to the parking lot traffic.
Plan Your Route
Truckers are already following a pre-planned route as it is. However, they should also factor in fuel stops and truck stops that will be used en route. Try to plan the driving schedule around fulfilling miles and driving hours within certain regulations, as well as factoring in arriving at truck stops early. Competition for finding available parking can be hard, so planning where to park will help you avoid any illegal or unsafe parking.
Protect Your Cargo
If you plan on sleeping in your cab overnight at the truck stop, remember to take some extra care in order to protect you and what you’re hauling. Close the windows up, lock the doors, and keep valuables, such as cell phones and electronics, out of sight. It can also help to have window shades installed to keep out any potential for wandering eyes.
To go even further, truckers can install dash cams for truck insurance purposes as well as to help boost their peace of mind. Truck insurance, such as crime insurance, can help truckers and the companies they drive for avoid major legal fees if a safety issue does occur. While no one wants to look forward to a safety issue wherein truck insurance is used, it doesn’t hurt to have assets protected under this coverage.
Add Some Strategy
Parking spots that are more strategically planned for are the ones that won’t require a driver to back out when they have to leave in the morning. Try to find spaces that let you pull through or back into. Also, be aware of the parked trucks around where the spot is located and try not to park in a space where the other trailer will have to back up towards when it’s leaving.
Go for Well-Lit Spaces
Parking under or near lights, or in truck stops where floodlights are present is better than going for a dark lot. While a dark lot may look like it’s ideal for cutting out extra light and will help you sleep, it’s not as safe. Lights help to turn thieves away or at least shine a light on them if they try to steal. Truck stops always have people coming and going, so find a balance between an optimal parking spot location and one that’s well-lit.
About Western Truck Insurance Services
Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.