American truck stops have experienced an up and down reputation over the years. In the 70s, when the open road called out to everyone, they were cool places to meet people from all walks of life. By the late 80s, truck stops became a bit more unsafe. Today though, truck stops have modern utilities, electronics, and amenities rivaling five-star hotels. Across the country, there’s a resurgence and revitalization of truck stops and a return to truckers’ real community of sharing and caring for one another. However, truck stop etiquette for truck drivers remains the same.
Take It Slow
Truck stops are high-traffic areas. Cars, trucks, people, and pets can come out of nowhere. Reduce your speed and take it slow. No trucker wants to hurt others, no matter who’s at fault. Familiarize yourself with traffic patterns at your regular stops so you feel confident navigating your rig safely.
Occupy a Designated Parking Space
Most truck stops have marked parking spaces. Leaving your truck in odd places can cause headaches for other drivers. Park in actual parking spots. As a rule, back-in and pull-out, rather than nose-in and back-out. Your fellow truckers will appreciate your professionalism, and you’ll be less likely to have to ask others to move their vehicles when you leave.
Fuel Islands are not for Vacations
Fuel islands are for fueling—only. Avoid taking a 30-minute break or a shower or complete paperwork at the fuel island. Every trucker has waited too long to pull up because someone thought fuel islands are for vacations. Fuel up, then relocate your truck to a designated parking space.
Don’t Knock Around the Clock
Unless it’s an emergency, avoid knocking on the cab doors of those around you. All truck drivers are on different schedules and disrupting sleeping patterns for a cup of sugar is bad form. If you have an invitation or someone is expecting you, that’s another story.
Take Your Waste With You
Long hours on the road combined with coffee, water, and soda leave Mother Nature knocking and no restroom to answer it. All truckers keep a “not-so-mellow yellow” receptacle around. Avoid leaving your “trucker bombs” behind in your spot for others to dispose of for you. Please do the right thing and take them to a proper bathroom or dumpster.
Clothes Are Not Optional
You may feel right at home with the least amount of clothes on or in your birthday suit—but that doesn’t mean everyone is comfortable seeing that way. Do everyone a favor and cover-up. You’re a professional truck driver, and you should dress the part. Show off some pride for one of the greatest and more essential jobs today—truck driving.
Lend a Helping Hand, Stan
If you’ve been a truck long enough, you found the need to ask for help from a fellow truck driver. Return the favor and be open to jumping in when approached. Whether it’s a second look during an in-trip inspection or directing a driver out of a parking spot, live up to the trucker code of having each other’s backs.
Use our truck stop etiquette for truck drivers to remain one of those drivers who give back to the industry we love. We have a challenging and vital job to do. Let’s be kind to each other while we do it. Do you have truck stop etiquette tips? Leave a comment.
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