Not So Convenient Parking At Night

Topic 10609 | Page 1

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Hudsonhawk's Comment
member avatar

So I've been doing the graveyard shift during my training and I think I'll probably continue once I go team.

I'm curious where do you find parking when it is downright impossible to find? I'm currently parked about a third of a mile down from a flying j that is completely full to take my 30 minute break. Sure I'm off the road completely and behind a line of trucks but it still feels wrong. I'm not sure where else I could of taken my 30 at 1am in the morning though. I've been using an app on my phone which helps sometimes but more often then not it's just luck or lack of luck.

Luckily 6 minutes left on my 30 minute clock so I don't think there's a ticket in store for me today but is there a unwritten rule of trying to find parking?

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
is there a unwritten rule of trying to find parking?

No, there really isn't. Obviously the time of day and the region of the country you're running will be the primary factors. So trip planning will go a long way towards setting yourself up to find parking. If you're running the graveyard shift then you're probably running regular routes so you'll figure out where some hidden gems are for when you need them.

It used to aggravate me that parking was so scarce in certain regions that you really did have to factor that into your trip planning. I remember thinking to myself a million times over the years, "This trucking gig sure would be a lot easier if you could just pull off the road and park anytime you like." But many times you can't.

Look for old, abandoned buildings, empty lots, and shopping plazas along your route. Those are probably going to be your best options if you're in an area where the truck stops fill up by early evening.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
Look for old, abandoned buildings, empty lots, and shopping plazas along your route. Those are probably going to be your best options if you're in an area where the truck stops fill up by early evening.

Hudsonhawk, that little tip from Brett is something that you should start doing instinctively. I run almost exclusively in the North East, all the places that most truck drivers hate, and say they can never find parking, yet I get great miles up in that area, and seldom have trouble finding parking. I make mental notes, or sometimes notes in a small notebook of those kinds of places that Brett just mentioned. There are a lot of them if you keep your eyes peeled for them. I realize you are running at night and it might not be as easy to spot them then, but if you can find some places come up with a way to remember them - they can and will be lifesavers for you. I found a little tiny truck stop in Port Jervis, New York last winter that has four parking spaces for big rigs - I have yet to pull into that truck stop when I didn't get to park in one of those spots! No one goes there to check, because they are convinced there is no way it would have any available parking. Remember, some of the smallest places often will have available open spots because other drivers ignore them.

Here's another tip: If you know of any shippers or receivers in an area that you are in who have onsite parking available, you may be able to pull in there and park. I have a couple of places in Connecticut, and New Jersey that I regularly deliver to, but there are times when I am just passing through that area with a delivery going somewhere else. If I need to stop for parking I will sometimes just pull onto their yard at night, take my break, and them move on when I'm done - no one has ever bothered me.

You'll get better at being creative with your parking as you gain some experience, but I hope we have triggered your imagination a little with these tips.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
is there a unwritten rule of trying to find parking?

No, there really isn't. Obviously the time of day and the region of the country you're running will be the primary factors. So trip planning will go a long way towards setting yourself up to find parking. If you're running the graveyard shift then you're probably running regular routes so you'll figure out where some hidden gems are for when you need them.

It used to aggravate me that parking was so scarce in certain regions that you really did have to factor that into your trip planning. I remember thinking to myself a million times over the years, "This trucking gig sure would be a lot easier if you could just pull off the road and park anytime you like." But many times you can't.

Look for old, abandoned buildings, empty lots, and shopping plazas along your route. Those are probably going to be your best options if you're in an area where the truck stops fill up by early evening.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

For that thirty-minute break, you can get away with stopping at a truck stop fuel island and pull forward. Try to pick a lane farther from the building, since most truckers (like most Americans) don't like to walk so far when thane don't have to.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
Look for old, abandoned buildings, empty lots, and shopping plazas along your route. Those are probably going to be your best options if you're in an area where the truck stops fill up by early evening.

Hudsonhawk, that little tip from Brett is something that you should start doing instinctively. I run almost exclusively in the North East, all the places that most truck drivers hate, and say they can never find parking, yet I get great miles up in that area, and seldom have trouble finding parking. I make mental notes, or sometimes notes in a small notebook of those kinds of places that Brett just mentioned. There are a lot of them if you keep your eyes peeled for them. I realize you are running at night and it might not be as easy to spot them then, but if you can find some places come up with a way to remember them - they can and will be lifesavers for you. I found a little tiny truck stop in Port Jervis, New York last winter that has four parking spaces for big rigs - I have yet to pull into that truck stop when I didn't get to park in one of those spots! No one goes there to check, because they are convinced there is no way it would have any available parking. Remember, some of the smallest places often will have available open spots because other drivers ignore them.

Here's another tip: If you know of any shippers or receivers in an area that you are in who have onsite parking available, you may be able to pull in there and park. I have a couple of places in Connecticut, and New Jersey that I regularly deliver to, but there are times when I am just passing through that area with a delivery going somewhere else. If I need to stop for parking I will sometimes just pull onto their yard at night, take my break, and them move on when I'm done - no one has ever bothered me.

You'll get better at being creative with your parking as you gain some experience, but I hope we have triggered your imagination a little with these tips.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Anchorman's Comment
member avatar

Old School's Tip:

Remember, some of the smallest places often will have available open spots because other drivers ignore them.

I agree. The smaller mom-n-pop style truck stops will typically still have parking when the brand name chains are overflowing.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Hudsonhawk's Comment
member avatar

I'll start trying to remember the smaller places. It's rough sometimes.

As I go on to team driving I imagine I'll have more control over when u pull over to switch out with my co driver. Right now it's just a matter of finding parking for the break.

Thank you for the advice, I'll keep a lookout.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
I'll start trying to remember the smaller places. It's rough sometimes.

Get an app for truck stops (I use TruckerPath) or Trucking Truth's Secret Spots when it comes out. Just look for non-chain stops, you'll be pleasantly surprise.

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

This all seems like good advice, but I'm a woman, and while I'll always consider myself on par with men, there is definitely a wider spectrum of security issues with a single female parking in a remote location at night. It's a big truck, and people know someone is in there. I have read a lot about not hanging stuff to make it obvious that a female occupies a truck, but all it takes is me getting out to stretch my legs, walk my dog, walk to the convenience store, etc. and the cover is blown. Depending on what I read online (and I've been trying to be as judicious as possible with that endeavor) women drivers have been attacked even in populated truck stops, and sometimes even by their trainers. I'm not necessarily a shrinking flower when it comes to things like this. It's a dangerous world out there, and sometimes it's more dangerous for women. But what practical advice can be given to a woman, new to the road (or will be) on personal safety? I consider myself fairly streetwise and understand how not to "look like a victim". And while you can't avoid every bad thing, you can certainly take reasonable precautions.

Also, I'm not much of a gun person, but my husband has really been encouraging me to get one for safety purposes. Does this pose a problem when traveling into jurisdictions that do not allow guns, or when crossing into Canada? (Prime is my choice of employers right now, and I understand they go into Canada quite a bit.) Are there company policies on these things?

If this should be split off into another thread so as to not hijack the original post, I understand.

PPGER's Comment
member avatar

I am pretty sure that if you are a company driver, company policy forbids carrying a gun, even if you have a permit.

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

I'm certainly not interested in carrying a gun. I was just asking for curiosity's sake.

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