Having the right truck stop etiquette is an important part of being a professional truck driver. With all the stresses you and your fellow drivers go through, the one place you should all be able to get some peace is at a truck stop. Without the proper etiquette, you’ll only succeed in upsetting your fellow truck drivers.
There are a few tips that you can follow to ensure that you maintain good truck stop etiquette while you’re out on the road:
We’ll go over truck stop etiquette tips along with a few others. We’ll also explain how following these simple tips will ensure you’re practicing truck stop etiquette.
When you get off the open road and pull into a truck stop, it’s important that you lower your driving speed. This is extremely important for safety reasons. At any point, a truck driver could be pulling out of a space or even a trucker themselves could be walking out between two parked trucks. If you come flying through the truck stop at a high speed, chances are you could cause an accident, injure others and even yourself.
Being aware of your surroundings is another important etiquette to follow. Unfortunately, you don’t know what dangers could be lurking at a truck stop. There’s always a possibility that thieves or others with malicious intent could be lurking around.
Therefore, you should always survey your surroundings before getting out of your truck. This is especially important during the evening hours and when a truck stop looks mostly vacant. Being aware of your surroundings won’t just keep you safe, it will also help you to alert your fellow truckers of potential danger.
Many truckers that pull into a truck stop want to use the fuel island. Therefore, it’s important to keep traffic through the island flowing. When you’re done at the fuel pump, get back into your truck and find a parking spot.
The fuel island isn’t a place to leave your truck while you go to the bathroom, get coffee or take a shower. Other drivers want to get in and by leaving your truck at the fuel station, you’ll end up messing with the truck stop’s traffic pattern.
Proper parking technique is an extremely important part of truck stop etiquette. For example, there’s no reason for you to take up more than one parking space. There are other truck drivers that will be pulling into the same truck stop as you.
Needlessly filling up two spaces will take up a space that could be used by another driver, especially when the truck stop fills up with more and more drivers.
The parking spaces in a truck stop leave plenty of room for you to park without coming into close vicinity of the trucks on either side of you. That means you can park without getting to close to them. If your door or side mirror can hit the door or side mirror of the trucks next to you, then you’re too close to them.
Not only can parking too close damage your truck and the one next to it, it can also make it harder for you or the other driver to get out of their truck. Additionally, pulling out of the parking space will be more of a hassle.
While you’ll learn to operate a semi at a truck driving school, you should practice truck stop parking in vacant lots or other similar areas if you haven’t mastered parking.
Keeping the truck stop clean is another good piece of truck stop etiquette to follow. Truck stops will have the appropriate facilities where you can throw out any of your garbage. Therefore, dumping trash out of your truck and onto the ground isn’t necessary.
No truck driver wants to pull into a truck stop where they could potentially run over other people’s trash or perform maneuvers to avoid it. Trash can also be damaging to the truck tires depending on what is in its contents.
Another area that should stay clean out of the courtesy of other truck drivers is the bathrooms of the truck stop. There are countless numbers of drivers who will use the bathroom beside you. Whether it’s the toilets or the showers, leaving them dirty isn’t courteous that will use it after.
Being friendly to other drivers goes a long way. You and your fellow truck drivers share the same stresses and responsibilities. Instead of being rude or cold to them, always try to be polite. Your jobs are already difficult and one rude encounter is enough to pile more stress on for both of you.
While being polite is essential, you shouldn’t go too far. Going around and knocking on the doors of other trucks just to start a conversation is going overboard. Being polite to drivers you come across in passing will be enough.
Another key thing to remember about making conversations with other truck drivers is to not talk about your load with other drivers. What you’re hauling isn’t their business, just like what they’re hauling isn’t you’re business either.
Another reason you shouldn’t talk about what you’re transporting is because of cargo theft. This is a very real problem that truck drivers face. Bragging about what you’re hauling can make you the target of a thief. The truck driver essentials that you have in the cab can be at risk as well.
Unless you’re inside the confines of the cab of your truck, you should always be dressed professionally. Whether you’re wearing a company uniform or following a generalized dress code, you should be presentable when you’re on the job.
As a truck driver, this is an important piece of etiquette whether you're at a truck stop or not.
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