Parking a truck is difficult. Spots are hard to come by and you are manuvering a huge and expensive piece of equipment. Even the most seasoned owner operators can benefit from a refresher. Are you following these safety suggestions when you park? Check out these eight tips for safely parking as an owner operator.
1. Try to park so the flow of truck traffic is moving in front of you from right to left.
This way the driver to your right will be able to see the front of your truck as they are pulling up and out from their spot and hopefully they will avoid hitting your front end.
2. If you can, avoid all end parking spots.
Other trucks will be going by you the entire time. While these may be easy to park in, your chances of being hit are much higher.
3. Even thought it is tempting, avoid parking with empty spots on either side.
This doubles the opportunity for someone to hit you because trucks will be coming at you from both sides. One will probably try and blind side park next to you which really increases the chances of being hit.
4. Don’t drive into a parking spot that you may have to back out of.
As you know there are places you can drive into that you can’t back out of, so, if possible, always back into your spot.
5. The ideal spot is to pull up and then back in alongside someone that is going to be on your left side.
This allows you to use mirrors and avoid blind siding in. It also means the next person coming in will have to back in the same way and there is less chance for them to hit you backing in or pulling out.
6. When it is dark and you see someone is going to back in, turn on your parking lights.
Then turn them off when they are parked. This will give them reference to where you are and possibly avoid a hit. It is also courteous.
7. Be extra careful when parking in some of the older truck stops.
Often older truck stops are still marked for the 40 foot trailers, not the 53 footers of today’s trucking world.
8. Angled parking is the easiest to back into (if you are able to locate those lots).
But you still need to be sure and use the G.O.A.L. methods of Get Out And Look when backing.
These hints will probably not eliminate all scrapes and hits on trucking jobs but they will help you. This info was gathered from very experienced drivers. Between the 3 drivers we spoke with, there are over 67 accumulative years of driving with K & J, not to mention all their years of driving before calling K & J home!