News, Interviews, and Happenings From The Trucking World
Four more drivers join ranks of TCA's Highway Angels
Friday Short Haul -- TCA's Fleet Safety awards, truck drivers' vaccine, Volvo electric semis
AI technology is now playing a bigger role in driver-facing camera surveillance
CDC releases lates COVID-19 guidelines for truckers
Friday Short Haul - Daimler self-driving Freightliner, driver's ed students, StopTheTires cancelled
FMCSA shoots down Washington State's more-stringent break rules for truckers
Two awardees announced for WIT's 2020 Woman of Influence
Friday Short Haul -- Trucking quilter, Tri-State bets $5,000, and CRST conquers dwell time
Veterans Day StopTheTires2020 shutdown protest planned
California voters approve Prop 22 to gain exemptions to AB-5
Friday Short Haul - FMCSA Pocket Guide, Heartland pay raise, teen trucker comments
U.S. Senator blasts FMCSA for lack of accountability and increased crashes
Four-state coalition forms to alleviate I-10 corridor truck parking problem
Friday Short Haul - Tyson's mirrorless trucks, Brake Safety Week results, 14-hour pilot program comments
Driver shortage ranks highest in ATRI's latest truck industry survey
FMCSA criticized for high number of CDL fraud incidences
Friday Short Haul - Volvo electrics, EPA emission penalties, PA move over law
Nuclear verdicts get carriers rethinking safety training programs
SBTC denied request for HOS and ELD exemptions when pets are on board
Friday Short Haul - Smuggled migrants, Prime settlement, USF Holland lawsuit, truck road damage
Tank trailers get approved for an additional pulsating brake light
TuSimple and Waymo go head to head on issues of AV trucking
Friday Short Haul - Drivers can self-dispatch, driver pay on the increase, Hurrican Delta emergency
Women in Trucking names Influential Women and top companies for women to work for
When a social media presence could hurt a driver or carrier
Friday Short Haul - Walmart buys Tesla semis, FMCSA drivers panel, Pronto.ai is denied request, and Jim Mullen moves to TuSimple
Machine learning shared truck loads add efficient component to LTL shipping
New HOS rules in effect Sept. 29; clearing confusion about the new rule changes
Friday Short Haul -- Schneider's remote orientation, 14-hour rule change comments, license renawal extension, ATA's DOL response
Feds come out with their own definition of independent contractor status
Amazon casts around for freight haulers; FMCSA news for drivers
Friday Short Haul - WIT photo contest, Teamsters challenge HOS, $1 billion for infrastructure
Speeding was most-cited violation during Safe Driver Week
Carriers, others, honor drivers during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week
Friday Short Haul - FMCSA wildfire declaration, hair drug testing, shift plus load pay
FMCSA looking to put under-21 drivers on interstate hauls
New AB 5 bill specifically targets truckers for enforcement
Friday Short Haul - AV test tracking tool, split-duty proposal comments, and mandatory hair testing
FMCSA helps bankroll Trucking Fatigue Meter to fight driver drowsiness
FMCSA looking at split-duty rule change; extending 14-hour day
Friday Short Haul - Travel centers announce special offers for drivers in September
Trucking landscape could look different after Nov. 3
More indictments in New Orleans area accident insurance scams
Friday Short Haul - North Dakota road trains, Brake Safety Week, drivers not returning to duty, opposition to Mexican truckers
Platooning passes real-world tests; new company emerges as leader
Helping victims of crashes earn drivers Highway Angel awards
Friday Short Haul - Trucker's last ride, FMCSA extension, autonomous trucks
Test vehicles did not fare well during AAA's driving assistance evaluations
Spotted lanternfly sightings on the increase
Friday Short Haul - JKC Trucking announcement, truck stop break-in, WIT top women businesses
FMCSA reminds drivers of 'adverse conditions' exemptions to HOS rules
SmartSense mitigates collision and 'sitting duck' situations
Friday Short Haul - FBI ELD hacks warning, students hack trucks, OOIDA asks for HVUT suspension
Women In Trucking announces 2020 photo contest
California publishes major new freight plan
Friday Short Haul - Love's requires masks, 10-million-mile driver, brake check blitz, and TuSimple truck incident
COVID-19 gives the average trucker a chance to attend FMCSA safety summit
Overdrive honors Small Fleet Champs
Friday Short Haul - States push for electric semis, fewer student new-hires, troopers in a truck
Nearly 300,000 drivers would lose jobs if hair testing was mandated
Trucking Truth owner/founder gets 3-hour spot at Road Dog Trucking Radio
Friday Short Haul - Operation Safe Driver Week, Canadian border, fuel cell semis hit the road
Werner, DOE earn FMCSA ELD and HOS exemptions
TuSimple announces its Autonomous Freight Network to expand driverless freight hauling throughout the nation
Friday Short Haul - House passes Moving Forward Act, YRC gets a bailout, and trucking jobs on the increase
Group pens letter objecting to proposed EV charging stations at highway rest areas
Carriers' virus response gets kudos at TCA virtual meeting
Friday Short Haul - Convoy brokerage, CLP waiver extended, $2 million amendment passed, two sentenced for CDL fraud
Nuclear verdicts strangling trucking companies; not so, say lawsuit attorneys
Eight carriers in lawsuit for not poaching other companies' drivers
Friday Short Haul - Post-virus speeds return to normal, $2 million insurance minimum proposed, WIT looking to honor an influential woman
FMCSA extends 3 COVID-related waiver declarations
Truckers say they will refuse to enter cop-defunded cities
Friday Short Haul - Truckers love guns, freight broker leader resigns, avoiding riots
Cargo theft on the uptick during COVID-19 era
California voters will get a chance to scrap AB 5
Friday Short Haul - Prime crash verdict, Teamsters applaud INVEST Act, OOIDA opposes broker bond changes
Dwell and detention times begin to decrease post-virus
CRST fighting another battle over driver poaching
Friday Short Haul - Driver shortage is over, Amazon's brokerage goes national, and lawyers are after carriers for nuclear verdicts
Freight industry considering post-COVID-19 strategies
FMCSA to consider increasing HOS for autonomous drivers
Friday Short Haul - Trimble MAPS, rate of fatalities increase, Comcar bankruptcy, driver pay on the rise
FMCSA: Long-awaited final HOS revisions announced
2016 trucking documentary released to YouTube for public viewing
Friday Short Haul - Reusing morgue reefers, ATRI research priorities, FMCSA HOS declaration
WIT honors two women in the trucking industry
Freight brokers push back against "price gouging" accusation
Friday Short Haul - Tank truck revenues decline, former Arrow CEO gets early prison release, not-preventable crashes
ATRI and OOIDF team up for comprehensive COVID-19/trucking survey
U.S. military has unique needs for truck platooning
Friday Short Haul - Truckers protest low rates, 1 million masks given to drivers, SecurSpace app finds parking
WorkHound analyses what drivers think about the COVID-19 crisis
Group pushes back on temporary increased weight limits
Friday Short Haul - 'Thank God for truckers!' CA state senator proposes bill to suspend AB5, TA furloughs 3,000 workers
Truckers say distracted driving is on the rise
Trucking leaders think some recent changes might become permanent in the industry
Friday Short Haul - "Your papers please," skills testing waiver, masks required in Canada
Truckers report in on their treatment during these COVID-19 times
FMCSA acts quickly to keep the new-driver pipeline flowing
Friday Short Haul - Weight limits increase, food trucks not wanted in rest areas, FMCSA extends HOS exemptions
Trucking industry concerned about state licensing agency closings
California AB-5 advocates react to carriers' COVID-19 good deeds
Friday Short Haul - Schneider's error, Change.org petition, Teamsters Canada demands
Authors: 'Legacy' carriers ignore autonomous technology at their peril
COVID-19 scare: State gun laws come under scrutiny
Friday Short Haul - Inspection blitz postponed, COVID-19 webinar, FHA urges states to keep rest areas open, fewer cars means faster truck deliveries
DOT and FMCSA issue COVID-19 responses
Starsky Robotics calls it quits
Friday Short Haul - Weigh station parking, rest areas reopen, HOS waiver expanded, freight prices increase
Truck drivers mostly exempt from coronavirus lock downs
HOS rules relaxed for COVID-19 relief effort
Friday Short Haul - Western Express recovers from Tennessee tornado, driver involved in two accidents six minutes apart, another carrier quits
Daimler's electric vehicles and autonomous trucks continue real-world testing
Predictive technology increases driver safety, benefits carriers
Friday Short Haul -- Coffee drinking drivers, Amazon coronavirus email, FMCSA safety summit
AIRman introduces no-crank technology to landing gears
Roadmaster shows how to reduce driver turnover
Friday Short Haul - CBD users beware, 8,000 violations revealed in Clearinghouse, laptop theft lands Alabama trucker in prison
Canada company offers easy access to spare trailers
Roadcheck could result in temporarily higher freight rates
Friday Short Haul - Self-driving yard trucks, Knight-Swift partners with Truckstop.com, Security guard shoots driver
Training providers offer a diversity of options
Idaho eases hemp transport prohibition; too late to help arrested drivers
Friday Short Haul - Tennessee carrier quits, signs a carrier is going down, retaining drivers
New phone app hopes to alleviate shipper waits
Senate Transportation Committee gets an earful from trucking execs
Friday Short Haul - Best fleets to drive for, FMCSA delays ELDT rule, Cold Carriers closes doors
Baylor Trucking deals with consequences of ELD outage
WIT announces first-ever Driver Ambassador, names February Member of the Month
Friday Short Haul - ATA at White House USMCA signing, AB-5 fight continues, toughest jobs
May dates announced for this year's roadside inspection blitz
States work to toughen up left-lane-hogging laws
Friday Short Haul - Pilot Flying J name change, CRST-Swift lawsuit, Schneider named innovator
Seven drivers named as TCA's Highway Angels
Travel advisories and restrictions announced for Midwest weekend storm
Friday Short Haul - Senators demand GPS app updates, Jason's Law survey, ATA applauds USMCA, FMCSA's truck crash survey
Research group recommends a national autonomous truck policy
A glimpse into driving long-haul in China
Friday Short Haul - Court blocks AB-5, SBTC vs. FMCSA, Can Opener Bridge
Loses appeal: Walmart ordered to pony up $54 million to drivers
WIT and Walmart seek nominations for Female Driver of the Year
Friday Short Haul - Sweatshop on Wheels, judge exempts truckers from AB-5, Fleetwood closes doors
Trucking Truth's top stories for 2019
Random drug tests of drivers to double in 2020
Friday Short Haul - New EV semi, tonnage down, turnover up, Grapevine fatality, runaway truck tires demolish car
Trucking industry goes out of its way for Christmas charitable giving
Fuel card provider hit with FTC lawsuit
Friday Short Haul - Driver coercion, zero emissions, driver fatalities
Hard enforcement for ELD compliance now in effect
State CDL agencies get reprieve from drug & alcohol clearinghouse deadline
Friday Short Haul - JB Hunt's Wreaths Across America, Plus.ai butter run, states look for zero emissions
Carriers muster to pick up Celadon drivers, employees
Will Amazon's pay-per-day plan influence the industry?
Freight volume and rates downturn turns into a 'bloodbath'
Friday Short Haul - Independent contractors getting booted out of CA, winter weather resources, ransomware attack
Knowing when to say goodbye to an unprofitable shipper
Schneider donates trucks; Congress considers women-driver-friendly bill
Friday Short Haul - CTA files lawsuit against California, Highway Hero nominations sought, video of "Move Over" crash
Tesla announces new electric Semi model
Not everyone happy with potential FMCSA clearinghouse delay
Friday Short Haul - AI taking driving jobs, CRV scam, Truckers protest AB-5, ELDs quit working
Investigators cracking down on truck accident fraudulent lawsuits
So you want to start your own trucking company?
Friday Short Haul - FMCSA emergency exemptions, snow plows, FedEx employee bribery charges
Human smuggling via big rigs on the increase
Carriers, drivers look at ways to deal with California's AB-5
Friday Short Haul - Millennials and trucking, Truckers Christmas Group, Navistar settlement
Too many drivers still don't know to "Move Over"
Are trucker strikes a thing of the past?
Friday Short Haul - Passenger car drivers, spotted lanternfly, women drivers
OOIDA makes final push for better HOS rules
Car-truck crash fatalities continue to increase
Friday Short Haul - Amazon's fleet of day cabs, legislator's disclosure, WTA petition
ATA chief takes on truck-accident lawyers
Lonely on the road? Get a furry friend
Friday Short Haul - Lab-grown meat, fraudulent freight brokering, FMCSA HOS committee, FMCSA Clearinghouse
UPS takes giant leap in its drone delivery program
Female drivers are safer bet for trucking companies
Friday Short Haul - Embark gets financing, FMCSA announces safety grants, Covenant exits Mexico routes, and trucking statistics
Emissions standards battle heats up between the EPA and California
Smog checks in the future for California truck drivers
Friday Short Haul - Volvo Dynamic Steering, Meals for 18 Wheels, speeding crackdown, OOIDA opposes legislation
Telematics could be insurance-premium-saving boon for fleets
54 percent of survey respondents still not impressed with telematics technology
Friday Short Haul - Walmart video, it's churn, not shortage, California's independent contractor bill, hemp drivers plea
TCA honors three Highway Angels
Now they're talking about "smart" trailers
Friday Short Haul - Detention-time comments, truck orders decline, diesel fuel shortage
Berkeley study says reducing independent truckers can alleviate climate change
Clearing up concerns about the drug and alcohol clearinghouse
Friday Short Haul - Hurricane Dorian, Speed limiter bill, Thank a Driver campaign
Georgia jury awards $280 million for truck-driver-caused multi-fatality
Friday Short Haul - New eCascadias, Top cities for truck driver jobs, Push against driverless trucks
Decision on California drivers' employee/contractor status coming down to the wire
UPS jumps on autonomous bandwagon with TuSimple investment
FMCSA publishes proposed HOS rule changes
Fleets, drivers coming to like automated manual transmissions
CVSA asks for new truck crash study
Friday Short Haul - HOS revisions delayed, AEB mandate proposed, Koch sued for sex discrimination
Kodiak Robotics takes lead in autonomous truck industry race
New York City combats rash of cyclist/truck clashes
Friday Short Haul - CRST wins lawsuit, OOIDA opposes insurance hike, UPSNav
Mechanics shortage equals driver shortage in intensity
DOT announces almost 1$ billion in grants to fix infrastructure
Friday Short Haul - DOL on sleeper pay, UPS drone delivery, Geowiz ELDs
FMCSA takes a look at assault, harassment of female and minority drivers
It's hot out there, what's a trucker to do? Can't idle.
Friday Short Haul - Utah truck rollovers, aging truckers, lifetime CDL bans
Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire
Trucker 'drones on' with unique approach to teaching driving skills
Friday Short Haul - Rhode Island tolls, human smuggling, contractor vs employee status
ELD mandate deadline looming, many still not compliant
New "boot" device being deployed to threaten Walmart overnighters
Friday Short Haul - Prime Inc vs Amazon, mother fights HOS changes, truck drivers appreciation week
Proper way to fly the American flag on your truck this Fourth of July
Roundabouts are becoming popular; but are they best for trucks?
Friday Short Haul - Skills test proposal, driver shortage, hemp sentencing, driverless trucks
Experts warn of active wildland fire season
More states signing on to enlist truckers against human trafficking
Friday Short Haul - Shippers of Choice, insurance rates, wheel spikes, WIT award
Freight numbers not holding up to 2018's highs
Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers
Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo
HOS waiver coming soon for fireworks haulers
FMCSA takes a further look at detention time
Friday Short Haul - Autonomous delivery, HOS rules changes, CDL retest
Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week
Hemp arrest prompts USDA memo
Friday Short Haul - Waymo big rigs, Move over sting, Under-21 comments
Severe weather prompts renewed emergency declaration
Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts
Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles
Autonomous trucks on USPS test run
Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules
Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC
Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA
Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins
Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole
Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South
Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets
Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers
'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states
Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers
Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business
ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for
Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks
Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings
Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels
Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business
Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise
Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need
Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border
Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules
Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates
Don't get scammed by skimmers
Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking
Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers
Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy
Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap
Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising
FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website
Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award
The hidden danger of looking but not seeing
Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout
Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire
Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases
Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness
Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports
New tax changes hit drivers hard
FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military
Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use
Congress committee looks at state of America's highways
Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same
Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks
Detention - A problem still in search of a solution
February Highway Angels honorees named
Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets
Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage?
Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage
Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team
Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards
Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers
LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30
2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry
Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018
TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award
TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year
Pay Raises & New Peterbilts for PAM Drivers
New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018
Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup
Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks
Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017
Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way
Drivers Share Their Best Tips, Tricks, And Secrets For Life On The Road
Drivers Are Losing Money By Taking The Wrong Approach
Truckers and Guns: What Is and Is Not Legal
Preparing To Go Solo For The First Time? Experienced Drivers Share Their Best Advice
The Truck Stop Survival Guide: Advice From Experienced Drivers
The Worst Cities For Traffic In The U.S. For 2017
We Ask Drivers How They Would Make The Logbook Rules Better
Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon
The Truck Stop Survival Guide: Advice From Experienced Drivers
When you're dealing with truck stops on a regular basis, on a good day it can seem like there's an awful lot of inconsiderate drivers hanging around. On a bad day, every single one of them is out to do something aggravating, or dangerous, specifically to you.
In a couple ongoing conversations in our forum, we asked drivers to share their expert advice for dealing with truck stops. Boiled down: plan your trip properly to get there early enough to find parking, keep your head on a swivel and be aware of your surroundings, and for the love of God, don't take your 30-minute break at the fuel island.
G-Town has a great gig on the Walmart dedicated account, and has no time for this nonsense:
Other than fuel and coffee, I honestly avoid them. They tend to be a confluence of bad driving, tall tales, and rude behavior.
~ G-Town, Experienced Driver
Safe Driving And Parking Etiquette & Tips:
There are different aspects to the parking lot experience, both courtesy and safety-driven. Basically, drive slow, in the right direction, and if you park on the end, you're kind of asking for it. It's a parking lot, not a race track, or demolition derby:
Most of the stupidity I have observed since I started, has occurred at a truck stop. If you must park, find a spot that is away from any of the end spots in direct line with other trucks entering or exiting the lot. The end spots seem to see the lions share of mishaps. Try not to be influenced by the impatience of the rude few who seem to relish in the trials of others, forgetting they too were not born a "truck driver".
~ G-Town, Experienced Driver
Check the drive pattern, especially at larger stops. Use your Trucker Path app. I was called many bad names in WA this winter over that.
MC1371, Rookie Solo Driver
I think some forget how busy, dangerous, and complicated a truck stop can be. Unlike any other place a driver goes where there are not that many different dynamics; a truck stop has several. When a driver goes to a customer there are usually drivers picking up or delivering. There is also a somewhat orderly fashion to the chaos. At a truck stop, however, you have drivers trying to get fuel and get back on the road, get their truck worked on, take a quick break, perform daily inspections, finishing their day or ending their day. The two things new drivers have to keep in mind as with everything else is safety and common courtesy.
Big T., Experienced Driver
Hanging Out At The Fuel Island
Generally, one of drivers' biggest pet peeves is drivers who fuel, or sometimes don't, and proceed to sit at the fuel island. And sit there. And sit there. There's really no excuse for holding up a line to take a shower or a 30-minute break at the fuel island:
Fuel islands are just that. They are for fueling. Get your fuel and pull forward and let the next driver get their fuel. If you are doing anything other than getting receipts, using the restroom, or grabbing something from the quick mart go find a parking spot. It is not cool to hold other drivers up because you want to take your break, grab a shower, or go sit and eat. If you're not grabbing and going then go find a spot.
~ Big T., experienced driver
If I catch you taking your thirty minute break in the fuel island you are going to be much less happy with me than I am with you!
~ Old School, Experienced Driver
We're sensing a theme, here.....
If you're in line for fuel DON'T get out and leave your truck to go in the store.
Parrothead66, Experienced Driver
Or maybe just a rookie mistake?
I used to be one of those people that took 30's in the fuel island, before I was confident enough to back at truck stops. Now whenever I pull up to the line, I try to get what I need done (usually just fuel receipt) ASAP for the driver behind me.
~ Adam B., Rookie Solo Driver
Approaching Other Drivers At Truck Stops:
Big T. offers some general advice:
My general rule for approaching other drivers was if I could make eye contact with them then it was OK to knock. If you cannot see the driver, and it is not an emergency, then I would not risk waking a driver up. You can always try and raise them on the C.B. as well.
And then epitomizes the culture that we are encouraging new drivers to embrace, despite the not-always-undeserved perception and stereotype of the American truck driver:
We should always be willing to help each other out. You may not be good at backing yourself, but you can at least be an extra set of eyes. It doesn't take any extra energy really to jump out of your truck and ask if you can help. If the driver doesn't want your help then walk away at least you offered. Trucking used to be seen as a brotherhood, and helping each other is the way to get the "family" back together. We cannot expect others to respect us if we do not respect ourselves first.
~ Big T., experienced driver
I pretty much stay to myself but thats just me. I avoid the lounge like the plague. I have only ever found folks there who never have a positive thing to say about anything. If you want conversation sit at the counter in any truck stop restaurant and it will find you. Never seems to fail.
PJ, Experienced Driver
Always, Always, Always Inspect Your Vehicle
While you're parked and inside your truck, you won't be able to monitor what's going on outside of it. There are plenty of things that the wrong sort of person could do that will completely ruin your day. It doesn't even have to be anything that you did personally. It could be somebody having a crap day, or hates the company you drive for, or the color of your truck. Take the time to look your vehicle over before moving.
One last thing is to always make sure you inspect your vehicle before moving it. There are dirt bags out there that doing stupid things like pull fifth wheel release arms, lower landing gear, put quarters in glad hands, pull tandem release handles etc.
~ Big T., experienced driver
I don't do a full inspection every time I turn my back, but I pretty much always pop my head under the trailer to check my fifth wheel release and tandem release--it only takes a second for someone to reach under and pull one of those, and the consequences can be very serious if you don't catch it. You never know who might be angry at you or your company and decide to take it out on you.
~ Pianoman, Experienced Driver
Safety & Security At The Truck Stop:
There is no shortage of horror stories and urban legends surrounding the truck stop experience. Unfortunately, there are humans among us who would take advantage of, steal from, and intentionally harm people who are just trying to do their jobs.
Truck stops are dangerous day or night, but night time adds other risks. The main risk is there are more hiding spots for the less-than-savory people. I always tried to not walk between trucks if I could avoid it. When you are walking around a truck stop at night pay attention to the shadows. You may notice warning signs in the shadows that allow you to avoid being a victim.
~ Big T., experienced driver
Rainy D. brings a woman's point-of-view:
As a woman I think I'm more observant of my surroundings. At night I pull through the fuel island, buy my food and use the restroom then go park for the night No need to get out of the truck again.
If I roll out at night, I pull into the fuel island and do my PTI under the lights near other people.. Most truck stops are not well lit so if I absolutely need to go inside after parking, I take a very heavy flashlight as protection. The other drivers can see me, but I have something heavy if someone gets a bad idea to harm me.
~ Rainy D., Experienced Driver
MC1371 steers it back into perspective, pointing out that some paranoia is warranted and necessary, but truck stops are not necessarily the wretched hives of scum and villainy that they are portrayed to be:
I know many have cited personal safety tips which are all good but please don't get the impression that truck stops are crawling with beggars, and thugs, bathrooms crawling with diseases and dead hookers.
All of that is very rare. You're more than likely to get hit up by the tame scams. "Magazine subscriptions, and Charities"
~ MC1371, Rookie Solo Driver
Typical truck stop scams, and any good scam, really, prey on urgency, naivete, and the fact that many drivers will be distracted by their responsibilities or fatigue and be in a more susceptible state-of-mind. 3 Card Monte, having recently celebrated it's 600th birthday, is still being used by scammers today to separate fools from their money, along with the "Driver Just Won At The Lottery/Casino" routine, and the "Cheap Electronics In A Sealed Box" scam, among others.
Some people, truthfully, legitimately need help. Those who do will usually take it in whatever form you can give it, such as food and drink. If it walks like a scam, and talks like a scam, expect that it is a scam, as Pianoman shares his pain:
One thing to be wary of at truck stops is scams. I'm ashamed to say I was scammed once at a truck stop when I really should have known better. If something doesn't seem right or the deal seems too good to be true, it is--not probably, it just is. LOL. If you are going to buy something from another driver, absolutely make sure it works before you buy it.
~ Pianoman, Experienced Driver
Unholychaos has his deflector shields up:
Do NOT pickup hitchhikers from a truck stop. Even if they only want to go 10 miles up the road, that's plenty of time for something bad to happen.
Some of these hitchhikers are actually really good at reeling suckers in. I was at a pilot in Salina KS doing a 34, just chilling in the lounge shooting the breeze. This middle aged woman (obviously a druggie) came up to me and started talking to me. I didn't want to be rude so I humored her and carried on a conversation. It got kinda deep, about religion and afterlife. Eventually, when she thought she had loosened and friended me up, she asked for a ride to Kansas City (I was going to Olathe). Respectfully, I told her, "I would, but I'd risk losing my job over it. I'm sorry." Of course in my head I'm thinking HELL NO!! Never told her my name or what company I worked for. She walked away, didn't say a single word to me after that.
~ Unholychaos, Rookie Solo Driver
General Common Courtesy
In the end, we all have to share the same small space on the same small planet in the same vast universe. Every driver there has, in the end, the same goal.
Show respect to the truck stop employees. There is no need to ever be rude to anyone working there. I hate when I hear someone being disrespectful/rude to an employee for no reason. Treat people the way you want to be treated. I'm pretty sure that's the first thing you learn in kindergarten.
Joseph D., Experienced Driver
How about showering once and a while (or at least make yourself look neat) BEFORE going into the restaurant or dealing with anyone else.... remember, you are not only representing yourself as a driver, but your company and the industry as a whole... I have seen some rather "unkempt" and "dirty looking" smelly drivers out here..... its pitiful.... I know its hard to get a showers out here every day, but at least wash up and put on some clean clothes.....
~ ChrisEMT, Rookie Solo Driver
At night when approaching another truck in the process of backing up, dim your headlights.
~ G-Town, Experienced Driver
If it's dark outside and you're naked in your cab with the light on, close the curtain.
~ The Persian Conversion, Experienced Driver
Fire Marshal Bill and Steve_HBG sum it up nicely:
Help out other drivers when it is clear that they are going to hit something.
I've jumped out of my truck like a paratrooper numerous times when I saw someone about to hit something. Bad thing is they were other drivers closer than me that could have helped.
Help each other out! No one cares about us but us.
~ Fire Marshal Bill, Experienced Driver
GOAL (Get Out And Look) when backing in to a parking space.
Offer to help the less experienced drivers when they're having a problem.
Say "Hello" to someone once in a while -- it just might make that person's day... and yours.
~ Steve_HBG, Experienced Driver
Advice For New Truck Drivers
Hard Lessons Learned
Life On The Road
Pre-trip inspection (PTI)
Truck Driver Safety
Truck Driving Lifestyle
Trucking Industry Concerns