Truck stops are a great reprieve for drivers who have spent long hours on the road. The ability to refuel, unwind, and get some rest in a safe place is unmatched, but not every truck stop is a haven. Just as drivers have to exercise extreme caution on the road, the same must be done for when you’re at a truck stop. Protect yourself and your rig with these seven tips for truck stop safety from Commercial Truck Trader.
1. Plan Your Stop in Advance
Not all truck stops are created equally. Figure out which truck stops are along your route and read reviews for them online. You’ll want to find a stop that’s well lit and has ample, spaced-out parking. Online forums are a great way to get recommendations from fellow drivers.
2. Avoid Walking Between Trucks
When you’re walking around a truck stop, make sure you have a clear line of sight from your truck to the stop. You should always know if there’s anyone else around you, especially at night. Avoid walking between other trucks so you can keep your eyes on anyone or anything near you.
3. Protect Yourself
Whether you’re walking to or from the stop, or are in your truck relaxing, keep some form of protection on-hand or nearby at all times. A stun gun or pepper spray is a popular item to have around. Carry these with you, along with a heavy-duty flashlight, when walking around truck stops. Carefully read the instructions for these self-defense devices to ensure proper and responsible use. Baseball bats inside of your cab add an extra level of protection. Be sure to check with your fleet manager about any policies for carrying actual weapons in your truck.
4. Secure Your Truck
Don’t just protect yourself at a truck stop, safeguard your vehicle too. Parking accidents and theft can raise many concerns at stops. Here are some ways you can secure your truck:
- Avoid Parking at the End of the Row: You’ll want to have plenty of space between your truck and any others at the stop. Parking at the end of a row puts you at risk of getting hit when other trucks turn throughout the lot.
- Padlock Your Load: Keep the items on your truck protected by putting a padlock on the trailer doors. Every time you leave the truck, take a look around it and make sure the lock is still secure. The last thing you want is to finish your route and realize items are missing from the trailer.
- Consider Getting a Dash Cam: A dash cam can be a good investment, especially if you are concerned about your safety on the road. If anything does happen, you’ll have video evidence to show.
5. Lock Your Doors
Locking your doors should be step one when you get back into your truck, especially if you plan on going to sleep. Secure your doors further by running the seat belts through the door handle to keep them closed. A ratchet strap can also run from door to door to fortify the cab.
6. Cover Your Windows
Conceal any personal belongings in your cab by covering your truck’s windows and windshield. You can use a store-bought cover or a blanket. Anything large enough, that keeps your possessions out of sight, will do the trick.
7. Don’t Pick Up Hitchhikers
Truck stops are popular places for hitchhikers to try to pick up rides from drivers. They may lure you into conversation, find out your route, and ask for a ride. While they may seem nice enough, prioritize your safety first by not letting them in your truck.
Conclusion: Safety is a concern for all drivers, particularly women. Many women truckers feel like they have to go out of their way and take extra precautions to remain safe at truck stops. No matter who you are, keeping these truck stop safety tips in mind when you’re on the road can help keep you and your rig secure.
Do you have any other truck stop safety tips? Let us know in the comments below. When it’s time to add a truck or van to your fleet, browse the for-sale inventory on CommercialTruckTrader.com and our sister site NextTruckOnline.com.