Semi Truck Parking Tips
by TCS Fuel | November 14, 2016
Semi Truck Parking Tips
It’s no surprise that truck parking was included in ATRI’s Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry survey. The lack of available, safe truck parking continues to be an issue for truckers, even with the addition of Jason’s Law in 2012. These tips can’t make more parking spaces magically appear, but they can help you find a good place to park, stay safe, and be mindful of your surroundings.
- Plan Ahead: One of the best ways to ensure you get a good, safe place to park is to pre-plan your route and rest breaks. Decide when and where you’ll stop and map out a truck stop or area to park. Some truckers use Google Earth to look for parking spots close by. If possible, try to schedule your trip to avoid an overnight stay in congested areas where parking will be a challenge and try to avoid driving through high-crime areas.
- Park Early: A busy truck stop will start filling up in the early evening. If you’re able to, plan your route so your day starts earlier in the morning. Then when it’s time to take a break, you’ll get to a truck stop before the spots fill up. You can also reserve parking at some truck stops, usually for a fee, which can help you claim your spot.
- Park Smart: Once you find a safe location to park your truck, it’s just as important to select the right spot. Try parking at the very back end of the parking lot to avoid heavy traffic. Most in and out traffic happens in the front third of the lot because most truckers try to park as close to the buildings as possible. When at a truck stop, always park with the cab facing the same way as the other trucks to prevent truck break-ins.
- Choose a Well-Lit, Active Area: Some drivers park in home improvement and department store parking lots because there’s a lot of activity and the lots are well-lit. Your truck is a less-likely target in these areas. If you’re stumped on where to park, talk to your destination dispatcher. He or she may have some good suggestions of safe areas.
- Know Your Neighbors: When you park for the night, write down the company name, license plate, and unit number of any trucks that park next to you. Having the information of those around you can help you out in case of cargo theft or damage to your truck.
- Sleep Smart: If you’re going to sleep in your truck, close your windows, put up window screens if you have them, and keep any valuables out-of-sight. This way thieves can’t reach in or open your truck. You can also use seat belts or bungee cords to latch your truck’s doors shut for extra safety.
- Install a Dash Cam: Want some extra peace of mind? Look into purchasing an in-cab camera, which can record events in front of your truck. Not only do they deter would-be-thieves, they can also help you document any hit and runs or other suspicious events.
Remember that your life is worth more than any truck or cargo. Stay safe out there!
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