Avoiding Crowed Truck Stops

Topic 31656 | Page 2

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Pianoman's Comment
member avatar
I usually have perspective stops and back up plans made in the morning before I start. I'll start looking for spots 2 hours before my stop time unless I know for sure I'll likely have a good range of space.

Name of the game right here. On my fleet I rarely park at a truck stop overnight. I’m usually heading straight to the receiver and spending the night there (lots of Lowes and Home Depot) but if I’m on a long trip this is exactly what I have always done.

Honestly I wouldn’t worry about it. As long as you’re making an effort to improve on your skill when you get the chance why put yourself at extra risk when parking overnight? My first year I parked almost exclusively at TA/Petro because of the huge lots and avoided most Loves and PFJ like the plague. Now I avoid the TA’s because I think most of them are trashy ( especially the one in Wheatridge, CO…disgusting). Actually let’s talk about that dump in Wheatridge for a sec lol. I literally NEVER park there because even though I can technically get into a spot it’s always such a nightmare there with trucks parking everywhere it’s not worth it. I’ll find literally almost anywhere else to park. Thankfully we have a yard in Denver so I’ll usually park there if I’m in Denver.

So I guess I still avoid those situations that would be unnecessarily risky but I know even that first year when I was still getting comfortable backing I’d make sure I backed into a spot instead of pulling through for my 30 during the day. I think there’s a balance between stretching yourself while still protecting your cdl and it sounds like you’re doing a great job

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

double-quotes-start.png

I usually have perspective stops and back up plans made in the morning before I start. I'll start looking for spots 2 hours before my stop time unless I know for sure I'll likely have a good range of space.

double-quotes-end.png

Name of the game right here. On my fleet I rarely park at a truck stop overnight. I’m usually heading straight to the receiver and spending the night there (lots of Lowes and Home Depot) but if I’m on a long trip this is exactly what I have always done.

Honestly I wouldn’t worry about it. As long as you’re making an effort to improve on your skill when you get the chance why put yourself at extra risk when parking overnight? My first year I parked almost exclusively at TA/Petro because of the huge lots and avoided most Loves and PFJ like the plague. Now I avoid the TA’s because I think most of them are trashy ( especially the one in Wheatridge, CO…disgusting). Actually let’s talk about that dump in Wheatridge for a sec lol. I literally NEVER park there because even though I can technically get into a spot it’s always such a nightmare there with trucks parking everywhere it’s not worth it. I’ll find literally almost anywhere else to park. Thankfully we have a yard in Denver so I’ll usually park there if I’m in Denver.

So I guess I still avoid those situations that would be unnecessarily risky but I know even that first year when I was still getting comfortable backing I’d make sure I backed into a spot instead of pulling through for my 30 during the day. I think there’s a balance between stretching yourself while still protecting your cdl and it sounds like you’re doing a great job

That TA is nasty. Ive parked there once. We have a terminal in Denver too so I usually don't have to. Slept at the Coors plant in golden plenty as they can have issues with getting a trailer at a legal weight.

Funny thing is that yesterday I ended up running my clock down to two minutes but found parking in an old hole in the wall truck stop. All the brand names were full, coming out of Florida. Saw one spot left at a FJ, a guy cut in for it and an argument ensued between him and one of the guys parked next to it. I'm guessing that he hit. There was a doubles parked in the isle that made it almost impossible to get in. So bad that even the weigh stations were full lol. I practiced a couple backs at a pilot that was small earlier in the day and both my drop and empty were very tight backs, both kinda weird 90s so I feel ok about it.

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.

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

I usually have perspective stops and back up plans made in the morning before I start. I'll start looking for spots 2 hours before my stop time unless I know for sure I'll likely have a good range of space.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Name of the game right here. On my fleet I rarely park at a truck stop overnight. I’m usually heading straight to the receiver and spending the night there (lots of Lowes and Home Depot) but if I’m on a long trip this is exactly what I have always done.

Honestly I wouldn’t worry about it. As long as you’re making an effort to improve on your skill when you get the chance why put yourself at extra risk when parking overnight? My first year I parked almost exclusively at TA/Petro because of the huge lots and avoided most Loves and PFJ like the plague. Now I avoid the TA’s because I think most of them are trashy ( especially the one in Wheatridge, CO…disgusting). Actually let’s talk about that dump in Wheatridge for a sec lol. I literally NEVER park there because even though I can technically get into a spot it’s always such a nightmare there with trucks parking everywhere it’s not worth it. I’ll find literally almost anywhere else to park. Thankfully we have a yard in Denver so I’ll usually park there if I’m in Denver.

So I guess I still avoid those situations that would be unnecessarily risky but I know even that first year when I was still getting comfortable backing I’d make sure I backed into a spot instead of pulling through for my 30 during the day. I think there’s a balance between stretching yourself while still protecting your cdl and it sounds like you’re doing a great job

double-quotes-end.png

That TA is nasty. Ive parked there once. We have a terminal in Denver too so I usually don't have to. Slept at the Coors plant in golden plenty as they can have issues with getting a trailer at a legal weight.

Funny thing is that yesterday I ended up running my clock down to two minutes but found parking in an old hole in the wall truck stop. All the brand names were full, coming out of Florida. Saw one spot left at a FJ, a guy cut in for it and an argument ensued between him and one of the guys parked next to it. I'm guessing that he hit. There was a doubles parked in the isle that made it almost impossible to get in. So bad that even the weigh stations were full lol. I practiced a couple backs at a pilot that was small earlier in the day and both my drop and empty were very tight backs, both kinda weird 90s so I feel ok about it.

Just keep yourself humble and don’t ever feel like you’re too seasoned to get out and look

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.

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Oh yeah I forgot about the Coors plant. I used to go there all the time but I haven’t been there in years. Yeah those hole in the wall truck stops can be a life saver. I run I-15 in Utah a lot and the big chains get filled up every night but there are pretty much always spots at the smaller independent stops scattered along the way.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I have backed countless trailers behind a pick up truck. Bumper hitch up to horse trailers with a ball hitch/ 5th wheel mounted in the bed of the truck. Im sure that a 53 foot trailer would be a challenge.

Grinch's Comment
member avatar

Davey I do the same I tend to stay away from the crowded smaller chain stops. Running a 10 ft split I am always looking for a pull through when possible or a straight back.I had to do a 90 degree blindside to get in where I am tonight. A smaller loves. Blew the first approach. Circled around a second time got it in the after some wiggling and a pull forward to get it right. Had two veteran flatbeddders come over while. I Was walking the dog. Both were impressed I had enough sense to write off the first bad approach and regroup instead of forcing a bad position. They both admitted they will not blind side unless it’s for a delivery with split axle trailers. Justpractice and have patience, same thing I’m doing

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

I have backed countless trailers behind a pick up truck. Bumper hitch up to horse trailers with a ball hitch/ 5th wheel mounted in the bed of the truck. Im sure that a 53 foot trailer would be a challenge.

No, a 53 ft trailer will be a piece of cake compared to the shorter trailers. I go to back my 16-ft stock trailer after being in this for a couple months and it's tough to back it without it getting all out of sorts and even jackknifing on me. 😝 The shorter the trailer, the quicker it turns! Even a 40-foot container that I ran to the Port of Oakland every week was a pain in the neck to back.

Laura

Bill M.'s Comment
member avatar

Planning parking for the night is something I'm still working on. It can be stressful. There are so many variables that come in to play. But, my trainers taught me similarly to your approach; plan some stops in the morning and look again about 2 hours before my clocks expire. Also, they like to avoid crowded truck stops. Me, I start as early as I can so I have a better chance of getting into the truck stops. I've only been driving a very short time but have quickly come to appreciate parking at the customer/consignee. Seems to be less stressful. I can always shower later in the day.

I'm with you on the tight nighttime backs, especially a blindside back in the dark. A lot can go wrong. Plenty of opportunities for that in the daylight.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

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