When a driver of an HGV wants to rest, refuel, eat, use the loo, wash or get some sleep, chances are they’ll pull into a truck stop. In order to make using the many truck stops that line our roadways a more pleasurable experience, new drivers, and quite a lot of veteran drivers too, need to learn the following ten commandments.
- Don’t hog the fuel pump. Fill up with fuel, grab your snack, and drink, pay and get out of the way. If you want to spend time browsing the service station shop, move your vehicle out of the way so others can get on with their fuelling.
- Drive slowly through the parking area. No one wants to take their life in their hands just walking to and from their own vehicle.
- Dim your headlights when backing up near other trucks at night, they may be trying to sleep.
- Be considerate of drivers catching up on their kip during the daytime too. If they’ve been driving all night they won’t appreciate loud music blaring out from your cab while you do your paperwork.
- Before pulling out of your parking space, spend a minute walking around your HGV looking out for pedestrians, traffic and any other obstructions.
- Be helpful and treat people the way you would like to be treated. For example, when someone’s having trouble manoeuvring into a parking space, offer to guide them in (rather than heckle from the sidelines).
- Keep the area around your vehicle litter-free – then it won’t be like stepping into a rubbish tip every time you get out of the cab.
- Clean up your own mess. This is nursery school stuff but, if we all wipe our own pee off the loo seat, put rubbish in the bin instead of the urinal and rinse round the shower when we’ve finished, it’ll be nice when we want to use the facilities next time.
- Wash your hands. Otherwise, a truck stop can soon become a hub for bacteria, jumping from handle to hand to sandwich in a matter of minutes.
- Say ‘Hello’, ‘Good morning’ and ‘Good evening’ to your fellow truckers. While many of us don’t want to stand around and chat, a bit of friendly camaraderie is always welcome.
Truck stops are a great place for the driving community to share, so let’s make the best of it by following these simple guidelines. With these top tips and the right training, the driving lifestyle can be an enjoyable one. At HGV Express, we give you the skills you need to drive like a pro and the common sense advice you need to get you through those long journeys.