Pilot

Topic 30460 | Page 1

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:
Tammy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Does everybody stop at a truck stop every day to sleep or most of the time?

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Tammy, the answer is we stop somewhere everyday for our ten hour break. That is when we sleep. Everybody manages their clock in their own way. One driver may prefer state run "Rest Areas," while others may prefer truck stops. Some drivers may even be able to sleep at company terminals. I often sleep at my customer's property. There are a lot of places where we sleep.

As you do this job and learn about the different areas of the country, you will discover places that you prefer. Some states have really nice rest areas with restaurants and even showers available for the truckers. I know a few places down on the coast in Mississippi and Alabama where I can park in a public parking area that is right on the beach. I can take a nice stroll on the beach, eat at a nice seafood restaurant, and then go to bed in my truck. What I am trying to say is that we learn where the best places to park are as we travel the country. Most of us either sleep at a truck stop or a public rest area. As we gain some experience we develop our own list of places where we like to stop.

Some states have limited truck parking. New Jersey would fall in that category. I have developed relationships with some of my customers in New Jersey who will allow me to park on their property even when I am not making a delivery to their place. That has helped me manage my time tremendously when passing through that state. Truckers will park wherever they can. I see them parking in some really crazy places at times. I do not recommend parking on exit ramps. I see it all the time, but I do not do that.

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

The truck stops parking thing for your break will be something that you get better at with experience. This means you will find that not all are created equal as far as locations, amenities, layout of the parking spaces, and how easy it is to exit at the conclusion of your break. Some areas of the country have few spots available no matter if it's day or night, while others always have spots.

When I was OTR , I liked parking at the shipper or receiver, but that's also a tradeoff. You're already there with parking, but most have no facilities. It could be a huge drop lot, but you could be hearing the yard spotter picking up and dropping trailers a few feet away all night, too.

Most companies will let you know with the dispatch information if you can park overnight at the customer. If not, you can always call beforehand, or check out the Google reviews (while looking at the satellite map) to see if other drivers have parked, too.

Always be prepared to get stranded at a customer before you arrive by having food, drinks, and entertainment. You could be there awhile.

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Tammy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Then where do you go to the bathroom? Is it possible to take a shower at least a few times a week? I remember washing my hair in any restroom we stopped at. Do alot of trucks have mini fridges?

The truck stops parking thing for your break will be something that you get better at with experience. This means you will find that not all are created equal as far as locations, amenities, layout of the parking spaces, and how easy it is to exit at the conclusion of your break. Some areas of the country have few spots available no matter if it's day or night, while others always have spots.

When I was OTR , I liked parking at the shipper or receiver, but that's also a tradeoff. You're already there with parking, but most have no facilities. It could be a huge drop lot, but you could be hearing the yard spotter picking up and dropping trailers a few feet away all night, too.

Most companies will let you know with the dispatch information if you can park overnight at the customer. If not, you can always call beforehand, or check out the Google reviews (while looking at the satellite map) to see if other drivers have parked, too.

Always be prepared to get stranded at a customer before you arrive by having food, drinks, and entertainment. You could be there awhile.

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Showers can be taken on a 30 minute break at a truck stop, yes. As for bathroom arrangements....I'll put it this way: I feel it's easier for males. Some drivers carry an emergency bucket on the truck. It's a 5 gallon bucket with some cat litter in it.

I think most companies equip the trucks with fridges, but not all.

Moe's Comment
member avatar

Yes to showers on 30 minute breaks. May does not offer fridges.

Ive parked at shippers, receivers, rest areas and mom and pop truck stops. What I won't do is pay upwards of $18 a night for PRIME parking when they already make bank off of fuel, food ,bottled water etc.

And for the record I do bring my own, but I think 18 a night is just plain greed....

Showers can be taken on a 30 minute break at a truck stop, yes. As for bathroom arrangements....I'll put it this way: I feel it's easier for males. Some drivers carry an emergency bucket on the truck. It's a 5 gallon bucket with some cat litter in it.

I think most companies equip the trucks with fridges, but not all.

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.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

I sleep at truck stops 99% of the time. I shower every morning that I sleep at a truck stop. I like to start my days clean and freshly shaved.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Tammy,

When I started with Schneider (about 7 years ago), I either parked at a truck stop or an Operations Center (OC). Schneider has plenty of these OC's across the country and most were equipped with showers (free) and plenty of parking. Also, drop lots were places we were allowed to park. Some had Portojohns, some not. As much as we might not like being without facilities, some of the most peaceful nights of sleep I've gotten were in remote places in Maine or Pennsylvania. Just me, my truck and the stars. Since moving to a southeast regional company, many of our shippers/receivers allow us to park on site.

Love's and Pilot/Flying J will give you free showers with a 50gallon purchase. And after a certain amount of fuel each month, they'll give you a bunch of free showers. Some expire in 10 days, some good for a month. Suffice to say you likely will never have to pay for a shower. As for parking, I've rarely had to pay for it (I think three times in 7 years). I've chosen to use accumulated Pilot points to pay for parking twice.

As for the bathrooms, I've found that I got into a routine of foods I won't eat, or I'll make sure I don't eat after a certain time. I also sometimes plan my stops so that I won't need a bathroom during the night. Most shippers/receivers have some type of restroom facility. With Covid, I've found some even went out of their way to keep portojohns very clean and stocked with toilet paper & hand washing stations.

I hope this helps.

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Im pretty new at this, but everything they said. I park at shippers and receivers when I can, Truck stops, rest stops, abandoned parking lots if there are other trucks there. I stashed in a community college parking lot one night. It just depends on where Im at with my clocks and how far I am with the load. I usually grab a shower if Im at a stop. There are some truck stops that seem to have a lot of spaces available no matter what time of day, and some that never do. The TA in Amarillo TX is almost always mostly empty, but the Loves right across the street is always packed. But my fuel is usually at the Loves. Petros are usually pretty empty even late in the day, but some arent. Same with rest areas. They vary from state to state. Some are huge, some just a couple spots. I usually try to know where Im going to shut it down for the night (or day, i like running nights) before I start driving for the day, at least a general game plan.

I also do a lot of driving on the old US highway system. (US 287, US 131, etc) Truck stops are more scarce along them, but there are smaller out of the box ones in most towns. Pic nick areas and truck parking areas too.

My truck is very self contained, Microwave, fridge, Coffee maker, toaster. Im considering getting a camping toilet, its a dry flush, with self contained sealed bags. Its very small and portable, although I dont really have the room for it. but the thought has crossed my mind.

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.

Tammy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Oh wow! coffee maker microwave! Ive been telling family and friends that im going to do this. i said no other job can you roll out of bed still in your pjs jump in the drivers seat and start working lol. got to figure out what to say to my client of 18 years but I have to take care of me. one more question b4 i start looking for a company to get my cdl...will i be able to sign up for school fo4 say November or do most companies want you to start right away? before i tell social workers and henry I am doing this I want to make sure everything is set up at home. Thanks for all the information. sorry so many questions but im giving up a lifestyle ive had for 25 years and its scary. once i give it up and take the plunge there is NO TURNING BACK LIKE IT OR NOT

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Getting Your CDL High Road Training Program Safe Driving Tips Tips For Backing Tips for Parking Trip Planning
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More