All truckers should be aware of the potential danger of truck stops. Staying aware is crucial, and it’s also important to go very slow for maximum safety – ideally under 10 miles per hour. Keep track of your surroundings and find a parking spot that’s easy to maneuver into with your truck.
Truck stops aren’t always particularly accommodating for large trucks, which can complicate parking. It can be useful to keep notes on which truck stops, highway rest stops, parking lots, and other miscellaneous areas are good for parking your vehicle, and likewise, it can be equally helpful to make note on your list of which ones to avoid after you’ve been to a difficult one. If you keep the list on your phone, you can also mark the locations with GPS tracking coordinates for future reference so you know exactly where they are.
When possible, park your truck in a parking spot that has multiple adjacent vacant parking spots around it when you’re backing in. This significantly reduces the chances of hitting another vehicle. You should also always back in from the driver’s side for maximum visibility. When the best available parking spot only has 2 spaces of separation, try to park so that the closest parked vehicle is on your driver’s side in order to decrease the chances of running into the vehicle in your blind spot on the passenger side.
If you’re considering pulling your truck through parking spaces instead of backing into a parking spot, assess the situation first. Is it narrow enough to cause problems when you’re exiting, or is there room to get out? Do you have space on the sides to pull through safely in the first place? Are the vehicles around you too close to make pulling out a problem?
Parking at a truck stop doesn’t have to be complicated as long as you’re smart about it. Don’t rush it.