Driving or not driving I am a morning person and I enjoy sitting in our driver’s side swivel seat with my laptop on my lap, sipping coffee, and watching the world wake up or in this case, many people come to work.
Sitting just south of Charlotte, that is notorious for not having enough truck parking, I watched as car after car pulled in and dropped off a driver or even came by and started their truck before going back out front to park. This was frustrating as in the evening I watched as trucks circled looking for a place to park. This is not the only place in the country where personal parking happens each night.
A few of these trucks were day cabs and as the driver being dropped of got out of the car they arrived in they brought their lunch box with them. Do you think anyone living local is buying their breakfast, lunch, snacks, or supper from inside the truck stop? I sure did not see any evidence of the drivers carrying coffee cup from the truck stop or a bag full of snacks. One day cab driver I noticed as he parked near us each night would come to start his truck and then go park his car up front in the restaurants parking area before coming back and getting in his truck to start the day.
Yes, we were parked here for more than 24-hours due to the type of loads we were hauling and while we did not fuel at this truck stop we did spend more than $20 inside the restaurant each day. As we have watched trucks stops start charging to park we have thought more and more how our actions in the past probably contributed to some of our current pay to park problems.
Talking to another driver we wondered what does justify us parking at a truck stop or what do we think a truck stop considers a fair price? When we do a 34-hour restart or we are waiting on our next load how do we pay for the parking privilege? Our discussion led to the truck stops that are gated and the common fees. The median cost is $20 in-store purchases or purchase 60 gallons of fuel for one night’s stay or pay $15 to $20 dollars at the gate as you leave within 24 hours.
Do the local drivers spend this much at the truck stop where they leave their trucks for the night so they can go home? Do we who take our 34-hour restart or wait for our next load take this cost into consideration as we wait? I wonder if this lot became a pay lot how many of the locals would consider their parking a good deal and continue to park here and pay the price or rent a parking place at another location?