No coconuts, palm trees, or fruity umbrella drinks here!  All you are likely to see on this particular island is the rear end of another truck or trailer, unless you are lucky enough to have the "red carpet" treatment and get right in.  The island I am speaking of is the truck stop fuel island of course.

The chore of fueling up a truck can often carry with it some unwanted stress and additional downtime.  As "Smartly" as one may try to plan fuel stops to minimize downtime, someone else's Fo Paux can shoot your master plan right out the window.  There is both a spoken and unspoken "code of conduct" at a truck stop fuel island that is important to adhere to in order to avoid hindering the plans of our fellow drivers.

Few things get my goat quite like a driver who puts fuel, doesn't pull forward, goes inside, then comes out fifteen to twenty minutes later with a fast food bag.  This is an "epic failure" on multiple levels!  Although there are signs at most truck stops that state "pull forward after fueling" written on them, it astounds me how many drivers ignore or do not see them.  Also, if you're not fueling, take the time to find an open parking, walk in to get your food or relieve yourself, then head on out without ever having had to obstruct someone else actually trying to fuel. 

One of the other "oops" moments I tend to witness is when a driver has spilled fuel and does nothing about it.  It is at the least proper measure to find a spill kit (kitty litter, sand, oil absorb, etc.) before leaving the island no matter how small you think the spill is, sweep it up, and dispose of it properly.  What costs the spiller of the fuel five to ten minutes of time can easily save another driver much more.  Imagine if someone spilled fuel where you are going to fuel and you unexpectedly climb out of the truck, only to slip on the fuel and hurt yourself.  I don't know about you, but I also don't particularly like climbing into my truck with fuel on my shoes, only to have them later serve as a free diesel fuel-scented air freshener! 

A little bit of etiquette can go a long way when it comes to keeping the fuel island lanes flowing.  When fueling, try and remember that you are not the only "vacationer" on this island.  Usually there are other "guests" waiting right behind you, typically just as pressed for time and needing to get the maximum efficiency out of their time off the highway.  Simple steps to follow; be patient, fuel up, pull forward, avoid loitering, go park if you'll be longer than a couple minutes, and clean your messes.

Comments (3)

Jimmy Nevarez

Jimmy Nevarez is the Owner/President of Angus Transportation, Inc., based in Chino, California.  Jimmy pulls a 53' dry van hauling general dry freight for his own small fleet, operating on its own authority throughout all of Southern California and Southern Nevada.

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Thank you gents for your comments thus far here. Talk about irony, the day this blog was published I had to fuel on my way to Bakersfield and had the truck in front of me sit there for a good 20 minutes. Get this...he was from the same company! Go figure! I guess all we can do is show the courtesy to others and hope it catches on.

April 04, 2013 17:34:27 PM

I feel very blessed to not have to deal with this very often. Typically the fuel is brought directly to us. I hope people read this great article and think about the "other guy" the next time they pull into a fuel island.

April 03, 2013 8:08:42 AM

Then there is one of my pet peeves-The first driver pulling up far enough for me to fill up my tractor, and not getting out of the TS in time for so that I can fuel the reefer tank. Courtesy goes a long way.

April 03, 2013 6:40:56 AM