Parking At Night?

Topic 26070 | Page 1

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Austin P.'s Comment
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I've been a solo driver for a grand total of three days now, and so far I've managed to avoid parking at night, but it looks like my next load will make me force me to. Can anyone tell me about those mystical parking havens you manage to find at night?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Tractor Man's Comment
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Since you are new, I would recommend using the PFJ or TA/ Petro app and seriously consider paid parking if necessary. Also, use Truckerspath app and check parking availability and history. You will learn over time. The most important thing is learn to trip plan and have several parking locations mapped out prior to starting your day. Pick your ideal spot to finish the day, and start backing up about 4 hours away from that spot. Traffic, delays at shippers/receivers, mechanical issues can all throw a wrench into your best laid plans.

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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.

Junkyard Dog's Comment
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I use the truckers path app everyday to help plan what I'm going to take my 10 or 34. It gives reviews of the food, shower situation and parking. Some truck stops are easier to park in than others which is really important when you're a new driver because you don't have you're backing skills wound yet. It's a good idea when you take your 30 minute break to pick out four or five spots you should be able to make on your clock. Don't put yourself into a jam TimeWise. Good luck.

Chris M's Comment
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The brand name truck stops will fill up faster. If I'm going through be parking later at night, I try to find a mom and pop type place because they're more likely to have spots available. I also use trucker path app.

What area will you be in?

PackRat's Comment
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Much depends on the area of the country you are traveling. It’s one of the key factors. If you’re in the Atlantic coast area, especially the northeast, parking places are harder to get. These areas will start to fill around 1600. Some areas are always full. Out west of the Mississippi River, most areas are always easy to find a spot no matter when. Anywhere around a major metro area is going to be tough. Atlanta, Chicago, Memphis, Cleveland....big cities. West coast will mirror the east coast if you are within 50 miles of the Pacific.

It’s going to take time and experience for you to get the hang of this. If able, pick out places when you are doing your pre-trip planning for the routes you will use on that specific dispatch. I use a Truck Stop book that you can pick up at truck stops for less than $5. Use that in conjunction with a trucker Rand McNally atlas. It’s always better to be parked early that to be in a panic after dark, running low on hours, and in an unfamiliar area as a rookie (or an old person like me, too). Some drivers use electronic technology via the internet, but I do not.

Start keeping notes. “Great spot here”, “Never any spots here”, “Get here before 1500”, “Usually get blocked in here, but there is a WalMart within walking distance”.....This is the kind of stuff that I write down on index cards and file away for future use.

This is one of those things that you must get the hang of over time, but it’s not going to happen overnight.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

East of the Mississippi can be challenging. You have to get creative sometimes working with your clock. Weight stations of course. Also if you drive say a Freightliner...look up a dealer and they usually have parking and Wi-Fi too.

Junkyard Dog's Comment
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If you are in a state that has casinos some of the time there are parking for trucks. Oklahoma and Arizona are states that I have spent a lot of time at casinos. The more you drive you will have those rest areas, turnouts, mom and pop truck stops and casinos in your mind that you know you can always find a spot. Like I said don't go too deep into your clock right now. My only Boo Boo as a driver so far was because I clipped a headlight in a truck stop because I was almost out of time and and I rushed things. I think it was my third week driving solo. Sounds like you like driving at night. The earlier you park the earlier you get to drive...

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Start keeping notes. “Great spot here”, “Never any spots here”, “Get here before 1500”, “Usually get blocked in here, but there is a WalMart within walking distance”.....This is the kind of stuff that I write down on index cards and file away for future use.

This is one of those things that you must get the hang of over time, but it’s not going to happen overnight.

Index cards are a great idea! Cheap, easily found, flexible because their sequence can be reordered, portable, small enough to rewrite a card in minutes, and independent of electricity. I can imagine putting, e.g., a "C-122" notation in Google Maps, too, and associate the info on card # 122 to that location.

Downside might be a backup copy...

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I use the TruckerPath app everyday and save my pilot points for their reserve parking when I can. The other thing I've found helpful when parking late as a newer driver, is google earthing the stop you're going too. Sometimes having an idea of the layout has helped me get in and out at night when trucks are being jammed in every inch of open space.

Austin P.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks all the tips, this forum has helped me so much

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