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Trucking Truth owner/founder gets 3-hour spot at Road Dog Trucking Radio 7/13/2020 Friday Short Haul - Operation Safe Driver Week, Canadian border, fuel cell semis hit the road 7/10/2020 Werner, DOE earn FMCSA ELD and HOS exemptions 7/8/2020 TuSimple announces its Autonomous Freight Network to expand driverless freight hauling throughout the nation 7/6/2020 Friday Short Haul - House passes Moving Forward Act, YRC gets a bailout, and trucking jobs on the increase 7/3/2020 Group pens letter objecting to proposed EV charging stations at highway rest areas 7/1/2020 Carriers' virus response gets kudos at TCA virtual meeting 6/29/2020 Friday Short Haul - Convoy brokerage, CLP waiver extended, $2 million amendment passed, two sentenced for CDL fraud 6/26/2020 Nuclear verdicts strangling trucking companies; not so, say lawsuit attorneys 6/24/2020 Eight carriers in lawsuit for not poaching other companies' drivers 6/22/2020 Friday Short Haul - Post-virus speeds return to normal, $2 million insurance minimum proposed, WIT looking to honor an influential woman 6/19/2020 FMCSA extends 3 COVID-related waiver declarations 6/17/2020 Truckers say they will refuse to enter cop-defunded cities 6/15/2020 Friday Short Haul - Truckers love guns, freight broker leader resigns, avoiding riots 6/12/2020 Cargo theft on the uptick during COVID-19 era 6/10/2020 California voters will get a chance to scrap AB 5 6/8/2020 Friday Short Haul - Prime crash verdict, Teamsters applaud INVEST Act, OOIDA opposes broker bond changes 6/5/2020 Dwell and detention times begin to decrease post-virus 6/3/2020 CRST fighting another battle over driver poaching 6/1/2020 Friday Short Haul - Driver shortage is over, Amazon's brokerage goes national, and lawyers are after carriers for nuclear verdicts 5/29/2020 Freight industry considering post-COVID-19 strategies 5/27/2020 FMCSA to consider increasing HOS for autonomous drivers 5/25/2020 Friday Short Haul - Trimble MAPS, rate of fatalities increase, Comcar bankruptcy, driver pay on the rise 5/22/2020 FMCSA: Long-awaited final HOS revisions announced 5/20/2020 2016 trucking documentary released to YouTube for public viewing 5/18/2020 Friday Short Haul - Reusing morgue reefers, ATRI research priorities, FMCSA HOS declaration 5/15/2020 WIT honors two women in the trucking industry 5/13/2020 Freight brokers push back against "price gouging" accusation 5/11/2020 Friday Short Haul - Tank truck revenues decline, former Arrow CEO gets early prison release, not-preventable crashes 5/8/2020 ATRI and OOIDF team up for comprehensive COVID-19/trucking survey 5/6/2020 U.S. military has unique needs for truck platooning 5/4/2020 Friday Short Haul - Truckers protest low rates, 1 million masks given to drivers, SecurSpace app finds parking 5/1/2020 WorkHound analyses what drivers think about the COVID-19 crisis 4/29/2020 Group pushes back on temporary increased weight limits 4/27/2020 Friday Short Haul - 'Thank God for truckers!' CA state senator proposes bill to suspend AB5, TA furloughs 3,000 workers 4/24/2020 Truckers say distracted driving is on the rise 4/22/2020 Trucking leaders think some recent changes might become permanent in the industry 4/20/2020 Friday Short Haul - "Your papers please," skills testing waiver, masks required in Canada 4/17/2020 Truckers report in on their treatment during these COVID-19 times 4/15/2020 FMCSA acts quickly to keep the new-driver pipeline flowing 4/13/2020 Friday Short Haul - Weight limits increase, food trucks not wanted in rest areas, FMCSA extends HOS exemptions 4/10/2020 Trucking industry concerned about state licensing agency closings 4/8/2020 California AB-5 advocates react to carriers' COVID-19 good deeds 4/6/2020 Friday Short Haul - Schneider's error, Change.org petition, Teamsters Canada demands 4/3/2020 Authors: 'Legacy' carriers ignore autonomous technology at their peril 4/1/2020 COVID-19 scare: State gun laws come under scrutiny 3/30/2020 Friday Short Haul - Inspection blitz postponed, COVID-19 webinar, FHA urges states to keep rest areas open, fewer cars means faster truck deliveries 3/27/2020 DOT and FMCSA issue COVID-19 responses 3/25/2020 Starsky Robotics calls it quits 3/23/2020 Friday Short Haul - Weigh station parking, rest areas reopen, HOS waiver expanded, freight prices increase 3/20/2020 Truck drivers mostly exempt from coronavirus lock downs 3/18/2020 HOS rules relaxed for COVID-19 relief effort 3/16/2020 Friday Short Haul - Western Express recovers from Tennessee tornado, driver involved in two accidents six minutes apart, another carrier quits 3/13/2020 Daimler's electric vehicles and autonomous trucks continue real-world testing 3/11/2020 Predictive technology increases driver safety, benefits carriers 3/9/2020 Friday Short Haul -- Coffee drinking drivers, Amazon coronavirus email, FMCSA safety summit 3/6/2020 AIRman introduces no-crank technology to landing gears 3/4/2020 Roadmaster shows how to reduce driver turnover 3/2/2020 Friday Short Haul - CBD users beware, 8,000 violations revealed in Clearinghouse, laptop theft lands Alabama trucker in prison 2/28/2020 Canada company offers easy access to spare trailers 2/26/2020 Roadcheck could result in temporarily higher freight rates 2/24/2020 Friday Short Haul - Self-driving yard trucks, Knight-Swift partners with Truckstop.com, Security guard shoots driver 2/21/2020 Training providers offer a diversity of options 2/19/2020 Idaho eases hemp transport prohibition; too late to help arrested drivers 2/17/2020 Friday Short Haul - Tennessee carrier quits, signs a carrier is going down, retaining drivers 2/14/2020 New phone app hopes to alleviate shipper waits 2/12/2020 Senate Transportation Committee gets an earful from trucking execs 2/10/2020 Friday Short Haul - Best fleets to drive for, FMCSA delays ELDT rule, Cold Carriers closes doors 2/7/2020 Baylor Trucking deals with consequences of ELD outage 2/3/2020 WIT announces first-ever Driver Ambassador, names February Member of the Month 2/3/2020 Friday Short Haul - ATA at White House USMCA signing, AB-5 fight continues, toughest jobs 1/31/2020 May dates announced for this year's roadside inspection blitz 1/29/2020 States work to toughen up left-lane-hogging laws 1/27/2020 Friday Short Haul - Pilot Flying J name change, CRST-Swift lawsuit, Schneider named innovator 1/24/2020 Seven drivers named as TCA's Highway Angels 1/22/2020 Travel advisories and restrictions announced for Midwest weekend storm 1/20/2020 Friday Short Haul - Senators demand GPS app updates, Jason's Law survey, ATA applauds USMCA, FMCSA's truck crash survey 1/17/2020 Research group recommends a national autonomous truck policy 1/15/2020 A glimpse into driving long-haul in China 1/13/2020 Friday Short Haul - Court blocks AB-5, SBTC vs. FMCSA, Can Opener Bridge 1/10/2020 Loses appeal: Walmart ordered to pony up $54 million to drivers 1/8/2020 WIT and Walmart seek nominations for Female Driver of the Year 1/6/2020 Friday Short Haul - Sweatshop on Wheels, judge exempts truckers from AB-5, Fleetwood closes doors 1/3/2020 Trucking Truth's top stories for 2019 1/1/2020 Random drug tests of drivers to double in 2020 12/30/2019 Friday Short Haul - New EV semi, tonnage down, turnover up, Grapevine fatality, runaway truck tires demolish car 12/27/2019 Trucking industry goes out of its way for Christmas charitable giving 12/25/2019 Fuel card provider hit with FTC lawsuit 12/23/2019 Friday Short Haul - Driver coercion, zero emissions, driver fatalities 12/20/2019 Hard enforcement for ELD compliance now in effect 12/18/2019 State CDL agencies get reprieve from drug & alcohol clearinghouse deadline 12/16/2019 Friday Short Haul - JB Hunt's Wreaths Across America, Plus.ai butter run, states look for zero emissions 12/13/2019 Carriers muster to pick up Celadon drivers, employees 12/11/2019 Will Amazon's pay-per-day plan influence the industry? 11/27/2019 Freight volume and rates downturn turns into a 'bloodbath' 11/25/2019 Friday Short Haul - Independent contractors getting booted out of CA, winter weather resources, ransomware attack 11/22/2019 Knowing when to say goodbye to an unprofitable shipper 11/20/2019 Schneider donates trucks; Congress considers women-driver-friendly bill 11/18/2019 Friday Short Haul - CTA files lawsuit against California, Highway Hero nominations sought, video of "Move Over" crash 11/15/2019 Tesla announces new electric Semi model 11/13/2019 Not everyone happy with potential FMCSA clearinghouse delay 11/11/2019 Friday Short Haul - AI taking driving jobs, CRV scam, Truckers protest AB-5, ELDs quit working 11/8/2019 Investigators cracking down on truck accident fraudulent lawsuits 11/6/2019 So you want to start your own trucking company? 11/4/2019 Friday Short Haul - FMCSA emergency exemptions, snow plows, FedEx employee bribery charges 11/1/2019 Human smuggling via big rigs on the increase 10/30/2019 Carriers, drivers look at ways to deal with California's AB-5 10/28/2019 Friday Short Haul - Millennials and trucking, Truckers Christmas Group, Navistar settlement 10/25/2019 Too many drivers still don't know to "Move Over" 10/23/2019 Are trucker strikes a thing of the past? 10/21/2019 Friday Short Haul - Passenger car drivers, spotted lanternfly, women drivers 10/18/2019 OOIDA makes final push for better HOS rules 10/16/2019 Car-truck crash fatalities continue to increase 10/14/2019 Friday Short Haul - Amazon's fleet of day cabs, legislator's disclosure, WTA petition 10/11/2019 ATA chief takes on truck-accident lawyers 10/9/2019 Lonely on the road? Get a furry friend 10/7/2019 Friday Short Haul - Lab-grown meat, fraudulent freight brokering, FMCSA HOS committee, FMCSA Clearinghouse 10/4/2019 UPS takes giant leap in its drone delivery program 10/2/2019 Female drivers are safer bet for trucking companies 9/30/2019 Friday Short Haul - Embark gets financing, FMCSA announces safety grants, Covenant exits Mexico routes, and trucking statistics 9/27/2019 Emissions standards battle heats up between the EPA and California 9/25/2019 Smog checks in the future for California truck drivers 9/23/2019 Friday Short Haul - Volvo Dynamic Steering, Meals for 18 Wheels, speeding crackdown, OOIDA opposes legislation 9/20/2019 Telematics could be insurance-premium-saving boon for fleets 9/18/2019 54 percent of survey respondents still not impressed with telematics technology 9/16/2019 Friday Short Haul - Walmart video, it's churn, not shortage, California's independent contractor bill, hemp drivers plea 9/13/2019 TCA honors three Highway Angels 9/11/2019 Now they're talking about "smart" trailers 9/9/2019 Friday Short Haul - Detention-time comments, truck orders decline, diesel fuel shortage 9/6/2019 Berkeley study says reducing independent truckers can alleviate climate change 9/4/2019 Clearing up concerns about the drug and alcohol clearinghouse 9/2/2019 Friday Short Haul - Hurricane Dorian, Speed limiter bill, Thank a Driver campaign 8/30/2019 Georgia jury awards $280 million for truck-driver-caused multi-fatality 8/28/2019 Friday Short Haul - New eCascadias, Top cities for truck driver jobs, Push against driverless trucks 8/23/2019 Decision on California drivers' employee/contractor status coming down to the wire 8/21/2019 UPS jumps on autonomous bandwagon with TuSimple investment 8/19/2019 FMCSA publishes proposed HOS rule changes 8/16/2019 Fleets, drivers coming to like automated manual transmissions 8/14/2019 CVSA asks for new truck crash study 8/12/2019 Friday Short Haul - HOS revisions delayed, AEB mandate proposed, Koch sued for sex discrimination 8/9/2019 Kodiak Robotics takes lead in autonomous truck industry race 8/7/2019 New York City combats rash of cyclist/truck clashes 8/5/2019 Friday Short Haul - CRST wins lawsuit, OOIDA opposes insurance hike, UPSNav 8/2/2019 Mechanics shortage equals driver shortage in intensity 7/31/2019 DOT announces almost 1$ billion in grants to fix infrastructure 7/29/2019 Friday Short Haul - DOL on sleeper pay, UPS drone delivery, Geowiz ELDs 7/26/2019 FMCSA takes a look at assault, harassment of female and minority drivers 7/24/2019 It's hot out there, what's a trucker to do? Can't idle. 7/22/2019 Friday Short Haul - Utah truck rollovers, aging truckers, lifetime CDL bans 7/19/2019 Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire 7/17/2019 Trucker 'drones on' with unique approach to teaching driving skills 7/15/2019 Friday Short Haul - Rhode Island tolls, human smuggling, contractor vs employee status 7/12/2019 ELD mandate deadline looming, many still not compliant 7/10/2019 New "boot" device being deployed to threaten Walmart overnighters 7/8/2019 Friday Short Haul - Prime Inc vs Amazon, mother fights HOS changes, truck drivers appreciation week 7/5/2019 Proper way to fly the American flag on your truck this Fourth of July 7/3/2019 Roundabouts are becoming popular; but are they best for trucks? 7/1/2019 Friday Short Haul - Skills test proposal, driver shortage, hemp sentencing, driverless trucks 6/28/2019 Experts warn of active wildland fire season 6/26/2019 More states signing on to enlist truckers against human trafficking 6/24/2019 Friday Short Haul - Shippers of Choice, insurance rates, wheel spikes, WIT award 6/21/2019 Freight numbers not holding up to 2018's highs 6/19/2019 Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers 6/17/2019 Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo 6/14/2019 HOS waiver coming soon for fireworks haulers 6/12/2019 FMCSA takes a further look at detention time 6/10/2019 Friday Short Haul - Autonomous delivery, HOS rules changes, CDL retest 6/7/2019 Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week 6/5/2019 Hemp arrest prompts USDA memo 6/3/2019 Friday Short Haul - Waymo big rigs, Move over sting, Under-21 comments 5/31/2019 Severe weather prompts renewed emergency declaration 5/29/2019 Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts 5/25/2019 Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles 5/24/2019 Autonomous trucks on USPS test run 5/22/2019 Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules 5/20/2019 Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC 5/17/2019 Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA 5/15/2019 Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins 5/13/2019 Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole 5/10/2019 Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South 5/8/2019 Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets 5/6/2019 Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers 5/3/2019 'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states 5/1/2019 Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers 4/29/2019 Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business 4/26/2019 ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for 4/24/2019 Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks 4/22/2019 Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings 4/19/2019 Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels 4/17/2019 Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business 4/15/2019 Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise 4/12/2019 Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need 4/10/2019 Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border 4/8/2019 Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules 4/5/2019 Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates 4/3/2019 Don't get scammed by skimmers 4/1/2019 Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking 3/29/2019 Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers 3/27/2019 Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy 3/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap 3/22/2019 Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising 3/20/2019 FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website 3/18/2019 Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award 3/15/2019 The hidden danger of looking but not seeing 3/13/2019 Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout 3/11/2019 Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire 3/8/2019 Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases 3/6/2019 Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness 3/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports 3/1/2019 New tax changes hit drivers hard 2/27/2019 FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military 2/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use 2/22/2019 Congress committee looks at state of America's highways 2/20/2019 Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same 2/18/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks 2/15/2019 Detention - A problem still in search of a solution 2/13/2019 February Highway Angels honorees named 2/11/2019 Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets 2/8/2019 Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage? 2/6/2019 Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage 2/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team 2/1/2019 Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 1/30/2019 California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards 1/28/2019 Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers 1/25/2019 LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30 1/23/2019 2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry 1/21/2019 Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018 3/28/2018 TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award 3/7/2018 TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year 2/28/2018 Pay Raises & New Peterbilts for PAM Drivers 2/26/2018 New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018 1/11/2018 Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup 12/21/2017 Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks 12/12/2017 Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017 12/8/2017 Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way 8/10/2017 Drivers Share Their Best Tips, Tricks, And Secrets For Life On The Road 7/18/2017 Drivers Are Losing Money By Taking The Wrong Approach 7/13/2017 Truckers and Guns: What Is and Is Not Legal 7/6/2017 Preparing To Go Solo For The First Time? 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The Truck Stop Survival Guide: Advice From Experienced Drivers

Patrick Netzel on Thu, June 15, 2017

Truck Stop Etiquette: How To Act Right At The Truck Stop

  1. Drive slow in the lot, know the traffic pattern, and park like you have some sense.
  2. Park in actual parking spots. Back-in and pull-out, rather than nose-in and back-out.
  3. Fuel islands are for fueling. Not 30-minute breaks. But you knew that. Right?
  4. Don't knock on strange doors unless invited or in an emergency.
  5. Inspect your vehicle before you leave. Every time.
  6. Don't fall for the scams. If it sounds too good to be true, it is, as always.
  7. Be aware of your surroundings. Be wary, and keep to well-lit areas, when possible.
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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

CR England - Truck Stop Advice

C.R. England's very own safety evaluator Ken Harwood walks you through tips and best practices to navigating truck stops. Listen to Ken walk through approaching and departing a fuel island and safely pulling into a parking spot.

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

PJ adds:

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

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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

Tagged Under:

Advice For New Truck Drivers Hard Lessons Learned Life On The Road Pre-trip inspection (PTI) Truck Driver Safety Truck Driving Lifestyle Truck Stops Trucking Industry Concerns Videos

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