A Truck Driver will find that he or she will spend a fair amount of time in truck stops. Whether it be for fueling, sleeping, or getting a bite to eat.
Believe it or not there are some unwritten rules of the truck stop that will yours and other’s time there much more pleasant.
Here are 10 tips for truck stop etiquette that you should follow if you want to be accepted into the world of truckers and their domain (The Truck Stop).
1. Limit Your Time In The Fuel Island
Any driver that has been on the road very long has had to deal with the truck driver who fueled, pulled forward and then parked there to take his thirty minute break or went inside the truck stop for an extended amount of time to eat or shower or some other time consuming activity.
It’s almost hard to believe that this would happen but it does everyday and there are few things that will drive a truck driver behind this person more crazy than this rude act.
The proper etiquette is to pull forward after fueling, promptly go inside to pay or get your receipt, and leave. If you need to spend more time in the truck stop you should park your truck in a designated parking area and go back in.
2. Drive Slowly Through The Parking Lot
We’ve all seen the truck driver who blasts through the parking lot without a care in the world as to the potential disaster that they could cause.
Speeding through a parking lot increases the chances of having an accident with a truck pulling out of a parking spot or even worse you could run over a fellow driver walking across the parking lot.
Drive at a respectable, reasonable and safe speed when driving around a truck stop parking lot.
3. Park In Actual Parking Spots
Parking lots are spaced out to get a maximum amount of trucks in there safely while also being careful to not overcrowd the lot.
- As stated above, the fuel island are not parking spots.
- Place that aren’t lined off with yellow paint are not parking spots.
- Unless you are an oversize load you don’t need more than one parking spot.
- The lot spaced out for cars is not for truck parking.
All that being said we’ve all pulled into a truck stop late at night dead tired with no legitimate spot to be found in which case you need to park in a way that does not block other drivers and will cause no safety issues.
4. Turn Off Your Headlights When Parked At Night
Nothing quite like having that truck parked directly across from you all night long with his nice bright halogen headlights shining right into the cab of your truck.
You should always be aware of any inconveniences you could be causing other drivers. Please turn your headlights off when you are parked.
5. Give Other Drivers Their Privacy
Most drivers in a truck stop just want some down time. They want to relax and not have a conversation or hang out in the parking lot because you stopped them while they were walking back to their truck.
Of course isn’t always the case but if you are in the mood for a conversation be alert to signs the driver you are talking to just wants to be alone and let them go.
It’s also considered rude to knock on a driver’s door for trivial things. Be respectful of other’s personal space.
6. DO NOT Urinate In The Parking Lot
This really should go without saying but a quick stroll through just about any truck stop parking lot will tell you that it has to be addressed.
It’s a rare thing to see a truck stop without a public restroom. Please don’t be lazy and take a few minutes to walk in and use the restroom instead of letting go in the parking lot.
I can’t even believe I have to include this in the list!
7. Put All Trash In A Trash Can
This is just basic human etiquette but I guess we sometimes need reminders. It seems that it’s always the case that truck stops are littered with garbage that truck drivers just drop out their window into the parking lot.
This adds a lot of extra work to the employees of the truck stop which is likely understaffed and takes them away from other jobs that will make it a better environment for you, such as cleaner restrooms and well stocked shelves.
8. Help Guide Less Experienced Drivers Who Are Struggling To Park
This one is hit or miss, by that I mean that some will appreciate your help and others will get offended by it so you have to read the situation.
Many newer drivers can really struggle to get backed into truck stop parking spots and can take them quite a while which can back things up in the parking lot and hold other drivers up.
By helping a fellow driver by guiding him in it helps get them in the spot quicker and prevents them from hitting another truck.
9. Treat The Restrooms And Shower Rooms Like You Would At Home
Some proper etiquette for using the restrooms and shower rooms is much appreciated by the staff of the truck stop and other drivers. You aren’t expected to completely clean these rooms when done using them but try to leave it as tidy as you can.
You wouldn’t shave at home and leave your bathroom sink full of hair so you shouldn’t leave a truck stop sink that way either.
When it comes to the shower rooms follow the rules of the truck stop for where to put your wash cloth and towel. Some have a designated area while others want you to put them in the shower.
10. Be Patient With Long Lines At The Cash Register
It’s easy to get frustrated when waiting in long lines at the cash register of truck stops but try to be patient. Each driver in front of you has just as much right to get food from the counter or pay for his scale weigh ticket as you do to take care of your purchase.
The cashiers are usually understaffed and sometimes a little overwhelmed when the line gets long and are most often doing the best they can.
These are some simple unwritten and easy to follow rules of truck stop etiquette. If we will all do our part it will certainly make time spent in truck stops far more pleasant.
- Finding Quality Sleep: Best Practices for Truckers - August 29, 2023
- Maintaining A Clean And Organized Cab: A Guide for Commercial Truck Drivers - August 29, 2023
- Fuel Surcharges in the Trucking Industry: Impact on Drivers and How They’re Calculated - March 29, 2023