Solving the Truck Parking Problem

positioning the vehicle

What Do You Want: A Job . . . or a Position?

po·si·tion
pəˈziSH(ə)n/
noun
– a particular way in which someone or something is placed or arranged.

What, you might ask, does a Rolls Royce have to do with truck parking?

Years ago when putting together a curriculum for training truck drivers I did research on some of the top driving schools in the world. What made them the best? What did they do?Everyone knows that Rolls Royce is one of the best cars in the world. Even that People’s Revolutionary Lenin took possession of a Rolls, no doubt in the name of the people. One of the things I came to find out was that professional Rolls Royce drivers never park their vehicle — they always position the car. 

 

While that might be a subtle nuance, professional Rolls drivers are informed (indoctrinated) that how the vehicle is parked (errr— positioned) should make a difference.

 

With new truck prices now often exceeding the price of a Rolls, one would think that the idea should catch on. Parking stress is one of the top concerns of many truck drivers. Parking lots can become quickly congested and there is always the element of danger when large trucks try to maneuver around each other in tight spaces. Collisions, injuries and even fatalities are bound to occur.

But there’s another emerging problem that goes beyond a lack of parking spaces —  there are some drivers who just don’t get it. They simply don’t know how to park.
Here’s an example . . .
over the line
 These two trucks in the middle in the next photo are angled so another truck cannot park next to them. The two middle trucks are taking up at least four parking spaces . . .
 bad positioning

This was recently shot at a packed truck stop by V-blogger Trucker Josh,  who gave his two cents on the matter . . .

What’s up with this?
That is skill to take up five spots with two trucks. Bravo.
Don’t be those guys.
Get out of your truck . . .
Every time I park, I walk around my truck and I walk away from it and I look at the whole thing from a distance. I ask myself a few questions . . .
1. Am I straight?
2. Am I between the lines?
3. If I can’t see the lines, I imagine lines and ask myself again, Am I between my imaginary lines?
4. Can everyone else around me get out, so I won’t get woken up at 4 in the morning when they want to leave? Can they get out? Are they going to hit me when they get out?
These are all questions that I ask myself as I am walking around the truck looking at my parking . . . Then, if I can’t see the lines, I look at the other trucks that are parked there, then imagine lines . . .

 

And that is how one professional driver positions his truck . . .

 

If positioning was done properly, I believe we could potentially solve some of the parking problems drivers are experiencing. Drivers need to know how to properly position their vehicles without being a hazard to the trucks next to them and, most of all, without taking up two or even three desperately needed parking spots. 

Other Parking Horrors . . .

Here are two more bad parking examples . . .
Bobtail backed over curb.

Bobtail backed over curb.

 A tractor trailer is parked tightly against the curb . . .
Buffing the curb.

Tires scrubbing hard against the curb. Not a good thing . . .

There are a number of other tricks of the trade when it comes to positioning a truck or tractor trailer.
  • Pulling forward tight against a curb can lock the shifter of a truck with an automatic transmission.
  • There are some places a truck should never park . . . like on ramps and expressways. It’s automatic termination, for example, for Landstar drivers who violate that company policy.
  • Know emergency stopping procedures. One recent lawsuit was settled for over $2.5 million when a driver did not put on his four-ways and set-up his triangles . . . We all pay for this kind of foolishness in higher insurance premiums.

Positioning the vehicle correctly every time does make a big difference.

Thank you for reading this.

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