As a driver, especially of a dry van for a large part of my career, it was always just common knowledge that I would have to be good at backing my truck in a hole. It has dawned on me lately, after watching someone struggle to free himself from his parking spot, that this instinct and skill of backing a truck may not be a choice that everyone shares. Whether it is due to just not being comfortable with backing, or just a case of laziness, I notice at least a couple trucks parked head in at every truck stop I pull in at.
I can admit that if out of desperation one rare time, that the last spot to park in was between two running reefers or idling trucks, that I might park head first into a spot to avoid having to hear that humming all night. Outside of this rare hypothetical case though, I cannot see a good excuse to not back into a parking spot instead. Sure, most lot accidents happen while backing, but have you ever seen some of these drivers try and back out of a head-in parking job in a parking lot filled like a sardine can?
The reasons for backing in to me are far superior to the complications of going against the grain and heading into a space to park. The main one is that you can fit more properly into a spot backing in. Typically, the rear of your trailer hangs over a curb or barrier, allowing most of the trucks to back their rear trailer tires in all the way to (or close to) this curb. Having an oddball truck come along and nose on in messes up the uniformity of the noses of trucks parked tail-in. It leaves the properly backed-in trucks less space to pull out, since they now would have about 6 to 10 feet of trailer tail sticking further out next to them when going to pull forward out of their spot.
Having witnessed the struggle first-hand recently of someone not being able to get the proper angle to back out of their nose-in spot, I just can't make a good argument for going head-first when parking. There just is not enough room in most of today's truck parking lots to articulate rigs in the opposite direction as everyone else around. It literally took the truck next to him having to pull out of his spot, not only inconveniencing the properly parked driver, but also increasing the risk prior to that of him having to back out blindly and thus increasing the risk of collision or even worse. To me, the only two ways to park safely and properly will remain being backed-in or finding a pull-through spot!