As a trucker, you spend long hours on the road. If you are like many with a regular route, you have your favorite truck stops. If you don’t have a regular route, you’ve stopped at your share of unfamiliar truck stops to stretch your legs, fuel up and even grab a bite to eat. Did you know that there are ways to make your stops safer and more efficient? Read on to discover some fantastic truck stop tips from professionals like you.
1. Park by the Curb
Parking by the curb protects at least one side of your truck. You don’t have to worry about damage caused by someone not paying attention when they are pulling out. If there is no space along the curb available, don’t spend your time driving around the lot looking for the perfect space. Park in a vacant or wide open area. This will give you an opportunity to pull in and out a couple of times, practicing your parking skills.
2. Avoid Shopping
Don’t do all of your shopping at a truck stop. Shopping at a truck stop is quite similar to shopping at your local convenience store: The prices are steeper due to, well, convenience. Get into the practice of buying what you need before you leave home and bringing it with you. It’s not to say that you can’t grab a few essentials if you run out, but planning on shopping at the next truck stop you see isn’t good for your bank account.
3. Eat Right
You may have had a brief flash in your mind that we were going to talk about fruits and vegetables. While these are certainly the healthier options, that’s not what we mean when we say “eat right.” We are talking about the buffet line. If the buffet is only accessible from one side, scoop your food from the back of the pan. If it is accessible from both sides, grab your food from the middle of the pan. People serve themselves from buffets with dirty, germy hands. Grabbing food from the areas of the pan that are touched less will help protect you.
4. Don’t Stuff Yourself
One of the worst things you can do for your waistline is to stuff yourself when you eat at a truck stop, especially at a buffet. It is far better to eat several small meals each day than to eat one large one. Many truck drivers find themselves having to buy a bigger pair of pants. Plus, large meals tell the brain to focus on digestion instead of staying alert, causing you to feel sleepy behind the wheel. Instead of packing it all in once a day because it is inconvenient to stop, bring along a few snacks that you can munch on throughout your trip.
5. Know Where to Go
Ask anyone and they will tell you that different truck stops offer different amenities. You may have a favorite stop for eating, a different one for doing laundry and even another for fueling up. Talk to other drivers about the stops that they like and why. It makes it easier to plan your route if you know where you are going to stop and for what. If you need to get everything done at once, Flying J seems to be the choice. Laundry machines, WiFi access and decent food make it a favorite.
If you have a few truck stop tips, be sure to share them with new drivers you run into. They will appreciate it more than you know.
No matter how adept you are at finding the right truck stop to meet your needs, nothing will help you if you happen to break down on the side of the road like a semi-truck roadside assistance plan. Reach out to our experienced team members for more information on how we can offer you the protection you need.