A life on the road isn't always easy, and one of the biggest challenges truckers may face on a daily basis is finding a safe, convenient spot to park in. Even with all the right planning, this can be a tough aspect of the job, especially because you have to be cognizant of a lot of factors outside your control.
If you want to ensure you and your big rig can avoid even a little bit more danger, the following tips should help:
1) Give yourself plenty of space
The simplest way to stay safe in a lot is to park as far away from other vehicles as you can - at least when you have the option to do so, according to Drive My Way. This isn't a straightforward situation given how packed some truck stops can get, but giving yourself as much space as is feasible will help you avoid a number of hazardous situations.
2) Use the geography of the lot to your advantage
Along similar lines, if you want to give yourself a bit more room, it might be wise to park in spots where there are poles, dividers or islands on one side of your vehicle, Drive My Way said. While it doesn't totally mitigate risk, it will mean that there won't be another car or truck on at least one side of you.
3) Try to stay away from traffic
Furthermore, if you're trying to avoid getting hit while you're parked, staying away from the flow of traffic is always a good idea, according to Tri-State Secured. This, too, might not be possible every night, but it's definitely something you'll want to keep in mind.
4) Always look for the trucker's best options
There are some lots that are quite trucker-friendly, and others that are very much not, Tri-State Secured noted. However, sometimes you just don't really have a choice, and therefore need to consider how to make the best of an unfavorable situation regardless.
5) Park earlier in the day
Any trucker will tell you that as night falls, parking lots along the highway tend to fill up pretty quickly, according to Smart Trucking. As a consequence, be prepared to pull off the road for the night just as dusk starts to settle, so you can ensure you find a good spot - or any spot at all - and get a head start the next day.
6) Take notes on who is parked next to you
Little dings and dents are bound to happen on the road, but if there's bigger damage caused by one of the trucks that's parked next to you, it's vital to hold the other driver responsible, Smart Trucking advised. Making a note of their company, license plate number and other important information will help you deal with a potentially bad situation.
7) Help drivers who want to park near you
If you're trying to avoid a major issue, it's important to lend a helping hand, Smart Trucking added. When another driver is struggling to get into a spot comfortably, you might want to get out and guide them to avoid an accident.
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