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? 

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October 28, 2018 23:06:11 PM

I generally park at truck stops ONLY when I need to be there, showering, etc, otherwise I prefer the more out of the way places (I even avoid rest areas if possible) such as the parking areas in Wyoming and places similar to that. When I do park at a truck stop overnight, I usually pull nose in only because my cab has been bumped more than once by someone who had no business attempting (or practicing) to back in when the area was that crowded- Better they hit the trailer than my truck, and I tend to drive late therefore I shut down late and by the time my 10 is up, the place is pretty empty so no issue backing out.
A few years ago I was fueling (midday) at the Love's in Buckeye, AZ and the manager, along with a few other employees, were patrolling the small and (almost always) crowded lot watching as driver after driver did this very thing, telling them they cannot park there unless they are conducting business there! Many of these were drivers for Swift and Knight, whose main terminals are just minutes away right there on the west side of Phoenix!
Some also park there and stay at the Day's Inn right next door when the motel has truck parking (sure, it's a dirt lot) right there in front on the other side.

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About Linda Caffee

Bob and Linda have been team drivers since 2005 as expediters. They are leased to Landstar Express America. Bob was a diesel mechanic for twenty years before doing over the road and Linda worked in the courthouse.

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