Night Parking

Topic 13597 | Page 1

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Last Shadow's Comment
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Other than truck stops and rest areas are there any other places that we can park if our clock is running low?

G-Town's Comment
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As a fall-back you can safely park behind many Walmart stores. Check with the manager first because some will not allow it (usually it's posted) due to local ordinances. For a short time there were rumblings that all Walmart's were prohibiting overnight truck parking, but I have yet to see substantial proof of that. Home Depot is also an option since most of the time they have ample space, but again ask for permission.

Dutch's Comment
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Juan, Lowes can be driver friendly, and they usually have free Wi-Fi, but again, it's wise to ask permission.

Company terminals can sometimes be the only place I consider safe, in some of the larger cities. Our terminal in Marietta is in a great area, with safe shopping and eating fairly close by, including a Twin Peaks location, as well as a Tilted Kilt.dancing-banana.gif

If I get a load offer, that will force me to spend the night in a risky spot, I will usually pass it up. However, sometimes when the customer allows overnight parking, if they have a controlled environment, I will usually consider staying there.

It helps a lot, to have had the experience of servicing a customer during daylight hours, which will give you a sense of knowing how controlled the environment is, and survey their surroundings going in. Once I find out I can overnight park at a particular customer, I will make a mental note of it, and then use it to my advantage at a later time if needed. Kelloggs near Mason Rd in Atlanta is a good example of this. While it is close to the 285 loop, it happens to be in an area where I feel comfortable spending the night.

Also, you can ask some of the customers at random, what kind of neighborhood they are in. Most of them will be upfront about it, and sometimes it will shock you, when they just come right out and tell you that the area is not safe at all.

Since we are not allowed to carry a gun on the job, I make it a priority to avoid criminals, the same way a criminal avoids the police. If you can stay out of sight, you can stay out of mind.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Steve L.'s Comment
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Other than truck stops and rest areas are there any other places that we can park if our clock is running low?

Some shippers will let you park for your break. I usually try to find out before I get there. One location I delivered to in western NY had a roadside picnic area they said I could park. I slept great and it was quiet.

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.

Daniel C.'s Comment
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I think you could park at most casinos, which have great buffets.

Charles K.'s Comment
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As a fall-back you can safely park behind many Walmart stores. Check with the manager first because some will not allow it (usually it's posted) due to local ordinances. For a short time there were rumblings that all Walmart's were prohibiting overnight truck parking, but I have yet to see substantial proof of that. Home Depot is also an option since most of the time they have ample space, but again ask for permission.

G-Town, more and more Walmart parking lots are with Height Limit bars. Some are with posted signs of "no tractor-trailer parking", others will have security patroling around with a car telling you that they only allowed x hrs of parking(x <= 2)

Errol V.'s Comment
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There is an app called Trucker Path that lists many parking areas. (No "behind Lowes" places, though.) It includes all Walmart locations, and most reviews indicate WM trucker friendliness.

I have found that many non-chain truck stops have space even when the Pilot across the street is plugged up with trucks.

G-Town's Comment
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I deliver to Walmart's, that's all I do. At least in my neck of the woods I haven't seen an increase in parking restrictions. Like I said not all of them allow overnight parking. For the stores that do, park behind the store away from the main lot.

Errol V.'s Comment
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Here's a hint for checking out Walmarts: Satellite view map.

More often than not there's at least one truck parked in the parking lot of a given WM. That's a hint on where to park. But especially for a 10 hour stop, ask a WM person. (Maybe higher up than a cashier.)

Dutch's Comment
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A interesting story about a Walmart location. I ended up bobtail one day, and knew there was a Walmart in the vicinity, so I headed over. When I got there, there were the dreaded low clearance bars, blocking the entrance. Not to be discouraged, I decided to find the truck entrance around back, used for deliveries. Since the dock area looked to be all that was available on one end of the building, I decided to cruise thru the back, and see what was available on the other end.

As soon as I came around the corner, there was an area with 4 tractor and trailers, and also a single bobtail parked there. I did my shopping, and when I got ready to leave, I found a hidden entrance that went right past an apartment complex. This entrance was not easy to spot from the main road.

Just like most days in trucking, it pays not to give up easily.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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