Parking in truck stops

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Penumbra, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. Penumbra

    Penumbra Light Load Member

    Jul 29, 2019
    Ok this is a dumb one because I KNOW it’s not hard.

    but you drive into the truck stop. Each row has angled spots....for the life of me...I still can’t figure out how to get into these spots!

    I know I’m being stupid, I accept I’m going to get chewed out in this thread, but someone help me out because mentally, I just can’t visualize it!
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  3. kemosabi49

    kemosabi49 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Jan 13, 2013
    SW Arkansas
    Back in?? Just kidding. Unfortunately a lot of truckstops were designed by people that had never even seen a truck and set the parking lots up for all blindside parking. Hit a stop during the day when they are not crowded and practice. The more you back the better you will get.
  4. JGunner

    JGunner Bobtail Member

    Oct 26, 2019
  5. Penumbra

    Penumbra Light Load Member

    Jul 29, 2019
    You are a saint!
    Rideandrepair and laaylor Thank this.
  6. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    Dude, don't be so critical of yourself. That was my problem also. You are not helping yourself, you are just putting more pressure on yourself and backing as a new guy is pressure enough.

    Half the veteran drivers just park at the entrance, fuel pumps or CAT scale and don't care if the truck stop burns down around them or they shut down all interstate commerce east of the Mississippi. You are learning a new skill not trying to learn how to use a bucket. Your school probably did very little to show you and pushed you toward the DMV.

    If you can make a diagram or post a pic or example, it may be easier to help you. When you are driving down the "road" of the truck stop in front of this angled parking, is your tractor's driver or passenger door closest to the empty parking spot you are trying to back into? Most of the spots dedicated to the Idle-Aire service expect you to nose into the parking or require a blind-side back and that's more difficult for everyone.

    Just remember, you are learning a mechanical skill. There is almost no reason you would already know how to do it anymore than a kid raised in the city would know how to tie 15 different knots in a rope. Even watching a video a couple of times would not be enough. Until you tie the knots, step-by-step, you won't REALLY have learned it. Then you have to practice tying the knots, one at a time, and over and over and over until you can do it without thinking very hard of each step. I worked for a flight school. It takes a good teacher and a willing student, and a GOOD step-by-step procedure and then almost anyone can learn any skill. I doubt you've had ANY teachers in trucking that are very good and each one probably had some sloppy and rushed folksy way for every skill and it was mostly "come on, do that thing NOW, oh heck, no. Now, turn, turn, STOP!!!!!"

    Essentially all truck stop parking is a 45 degree or a 90 degree back and most are on the driver-side. Watch YouTube until you find a video that makes sense to you and watch it over and over until you understand it and can find where the tractor drive tires and the trailer tandems are when the key steps are started or where they should be when you are doing it. Someone need to show and tell you what to look at, when to look at it, how to judge if that thing is too far left or too far right of where you want it. And then you need to be shown and practice how to correct for too far left/right. LOTS of veteran drivers still correct in EXACTLY the wrong way when the trailer is too far left/right if where they want it.

    One thing to think about, it helped me, but it may not work for you. Imagine you are already parked in the spot. Now imagine driving straight out of that parking spot toward the setup postion you would use to begin baking into the spot. Visualize the steering commands you would make while driving forward. Write them down it you have to or just remember them. There are dozens of ways to teach or explain the method. You can always sit somewhere and watch other drivers park in spaces if you ever see that happening instead of the guys just noseing in or parking along the curb at the truck stop entrance. Those guys should have their CDL suspended in many cases.
    ruckusftlc, Dino soar, seagreg and 4 others Thank this.
  7. otterinthewater

    otterinthewater Road Train Member

    May 10, 2018
    Santa Barbara, Ca
    Just practice. Mid-day nice open lot. Practice practice practice. Find a set up that works for you.
    Rideandrepair and FlaSwampRat Thank this.
  8. 66fordman

    66fordman Bobtail Member

    Jul 23, 2011
    If the parking spots are at a angle that mean you're supposed to be coming in at a certain direction. If it's hard for you to back in your probably coming in the wrong direction
    88228822, starmac, bryan21384 and 3 others Thank this.

    VIDEODROME Road Train Member

    Jun 7, 2007
    Mobile, AL
    What I don't get is when I see places where the spots are angled to make it Blind Side.
    tscottme and Rideandrepair Thank this.
  10. Dave_in_AZ

    Dave_in_AZ Road Train Member

    May 4, 2015
    It's pretty easy to nose in and back out. That's how it's designed.
    Rideandrepair Thanks this.
  11. Penumbra

    Penumbra Light Load Member

    Jul 29, 2019
    Can’t draw a visual still at the ER getting stitched up.

    it’s that standard situation where you pull in and you have a row of trucks on either side of you both angled the same direction.

    it FEELS to me, like I’m just supposed to pull past the spot then blindside in, but I don’t want to experiment in a full house obviously lol

    since I’m dedicated, I sleep at the same truck stop generally. The spots there are angled, but it’s only one row, so you just straight back in. However they sent me on a run to Kentucky so I’m having to learn.

    last night I just went nose first lol ### beside me clipped my trailer tandem while I was asleep woke up to a bent rim and a flat
    tscottme and Rideandrepair Thank this.
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