Truck stops and rest areas have gone through a roller coaster of reputations over the decades. Today, many of the larger companies in the truck stop arena like Pilot, Love’s, and others have invested heavily in reimagining their truck stops. From modern designs to upgraded utilities, technology, and luxuries, truck stops have never been better. And with that, it’s up to us drivers to keep them clean and enjoyable for everyone. Here are 7 rules and basic manners that we’d all benefit from following.
1. There are trashcans.
A long day can really take it out of you. But no one is ever so exhausted that dropping your trash right out the door is the only option you have. There are trashcans everywhere. Don’t make it someone else’s responsibility to throw away your empty Wendy’s bag or, even worse, a bottle filled with warm lemonade. Keeping the lot clean is beneficial to everyone and very easy to do!
2. Play it safe.
There is a lot of foot traffic — and vehicle traffic — at truck stops. No driver wants to hit anyone, just like no driver would ever want to get hit by a truck. Keep things slow, stay alert of everything around you, and be courteous. You just might save a driver, child, or dog’s life!
3. Put the horse in the stable.
Most truck stops have painted parking stalls. They have those for a reason, surprisingly. Try your best to find a parking stall. Parking elsewhere creates an undo burden on everyone else and can be dangerous as well. And remember, back in and pull out!
4. Cover up!
We’ve all seen a few underdressed drivers meandering around the truck stop. It’s important to remember that others may not want to see what you’re hiding under your clothes (though we’re all for freedom of expression). We’re professional truck drivers and still need to act professionally when we’re not on duty.
5. Everyone has their own schedule.
There are few things more frustrating than shutting down for the night, climbing into bed ready to drift off, and a driver is talking (yelling) on the phone right outside your door. Driving is hard work and every driver deserves some peace and quiet to get a good night’s sleep. Take that into account and be courteous of your neighbors and everyone will wake up in a better mood.
6. We’re all in this together.
We all need a bit of help sometimes. As truck drivers, we should remember to pay it forward. Letting yourself be available to help a fellow driver back into a spot, perform an inspection, or hold a flashlight isn’t just basic manners, it’s part of the trucker code!
7. Get your fuel and get going!
We saved the most important for last. Fuel islands are for refueling. They aren’t called ‘30-minute break islands’ or ‘finish your paperwork islands’. We all have places that we need to be and one person holding up a pump can seriously back things up. There are parking stalls that you can pull into to finish paperwork or take a break.
Following these simple rules for the truck stop are a great way to show some respect for fellow drivers and the trucking industry that we all love. It can be stressful to be a driver. Let’s make it easier on everybody when we’re at the watering hole.