finding safe parking is a problem, plan ahead
As a truck driver, you’ve probably been in the problematic situation of hunting down a safe parking space in a congested lot. The search may be aggravating, and cause mental frustration especially after a full day’s work. Truck parking is a critical issue according to the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) survey. Finding safe and legal parking is an active problem amongst drivers even with the Jason Law in place. There’s no way to ensure a spot, but there are steps you can take to increase your chance. We interviewed a few drivers who have more than 60 years of combined truck driving experience. Here are a few tips they shared with us.
Take a few minutes each morning (or evening) to plot your route for the day. One of our drivers, Donald Shay, suggests that you should be aware of what you’re getting yourself into that day and have a solid idea of where you plan on staying. It is vital to have multiple plans in case your initial one falls through. For example, Joe Barnett usually parks an hour before his time is up and always has two to three backup places in mind to ensure he doesn’t run over his hours of service. Safety is always a top priority. Planning your route and having multiple parking options decreases your chance of going over hours or being forced to park in unsafe conditions.
Counteract the Problem:
Save the energy it takes to hunt down parking spaces by starting earlier or later in the day. Another one of our drivers, Sam Walker encourages you to schedule your day around a time when you’ll be able to enter a lot when most drivers head out. Peak times will vary in different places, but with more experience, you will start to get a feel for those times. Steer clear of the major cities during rush hours and avoid the traffic to the best of your ability. In addition to planning accordingly, Sam states that you should schedule your route around a time when you’ll be able to cruise through the busy cities at around 3 a.m.
There are multiple legal places to park that aren’t truck stops. Long-time driver Terry Waltman, recommends checking out local Walmarts and shares that almost all casinos have truck parking, especially on the east coast where truck stops are scarce. Check out different apps such as Trucker Path, where you’ll find truck stops with available parking in real-time. Familiarize yourself with the more random areas by talking with local truck drivers at stops and asking them where to park, eat, etc. Take Terry’s advice and always write down these places in a personal directory because it might be months before you come back to a particular area.
Finding safe parking can be a challenge. Planning ahead, avoiding high traffic times, and utilizing all resources help ensure you arrive at your destination safely and legal.