I'd love to write a respectable journalist style post about this, but I don't have it in me. I'd rather just bitch.
If you're a truck driver, you know how limited parking can be. And when you're part of the problem, it makes it hard to get anything changed.
The parking situation is worse in some states than others - many of them are closing rest areas and others I suspect the real estate is non-existent or just too expensive. In some places, you're lucky to even find a truck stop within fifty miles of where you pick-up or deliver.
This weekend when we arrived at the truck stop we chose to park at, around 1am local time, the parking was very limited. That's usually the case at this time of night but we always seem to get lucky. There were a few open spots that Ed tried - there are always open spots that other drivers attempt but can't back into, spots that always work for us because of Ed's superb backing skills - but this lot was so tight, each one he tried just didn't work.
What pissed me off, were all the bobtails that were taking up full spots. I counted at least six. For those who don't know, we call a truck without a trailer a bobtail. And often, like at this location, bobtails have their own parking area.
But they weren't using it.
I've used red arrows on the photo above to show you what it looks like when spots are being occupied by tractors only. Now if the lot was empty, like it is in the photo, it's not a problem. But when you're driving around looking for a spot and the other person in the truck keeps exclaiming, "Ooh, there's one!" and then you get to it and you see a bobtail snuggled far back into the spot, you start to get a little frustrated.
In addition to the ones who park all the way in the spot, taking up a third of the space allotted, there are many who park like the trucks in the photo, with their nose lined up with the others. I think that annoys me even more, because you pass by and think it's a real truck and then you see that they don't have a trailer. They're just trying to fake you out. Bastards!
I think the truck stop should bear some responsibility regarding the parking situation - nothing good can come of one driver knocking on the door of another in the middle of the night to ask him to move. They never will, but I think they should.
Oddly, they don't mind charging us for reserving a parking space - which supposedly came about via drivers' requests for it - but it's happening in too many places for my liking. Last week we arrived at another location very late at night, and although there were a few spots left, the reserved parking spots were as empty as a piñata at a fat kid's birthday party.
I left a message on the company's Facebook page regarding this incident and I think I'm going to do that more often. Other drivers can see it, a few have already added their own comments, and maybe if we tell them what we'd like, they'll listen.
Even if it doesn't make them any money.
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2013: Need I Say More?
2012: Despite The Name, This Might Not Be Your Place If You’re Truly Bashful
2011: Then Someone Lit The Flame And Plain Rode Away On Lion’s Mane
2010: It Once Had A Life
2009: Life’s A Planet Beach
2008: I Wasn’t Even Fishing, But I Certainly Got A Great Catch
2007: Royal Air Force Typhoon Blows Into Nellis
2006: This Dandelion Needs Rogaine
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!