10 Reasons Why Parking
Your Truck Can Be Costly
One trucker protest went like this: professional
truck drivers in the USA "are being asked to pull their trucks
the side of the road for one hour [from 1-2 p.m. Eastern time on May
23] to gain the attention of Washington and focus it on soaring fuel
have listed 10 reasons why parking your truck can be
Parking your truck on the side of the road (that is,
the emergency lane, breakdown lane or shoulder) is supposed to be for
emergencies only. Any other use of it may land you a ticket by law
enforcement. Let's also consider the use of your truck's flashers and
warning devices while you're parked there.
According to the FMCSR:
§ 392.22 Emergency signals;
commercial motor vehicles.
warning signal flashers. Whenever a commercial motor
is stopped upon the traveled portion of a highway or the shoulder of a
highway for any cause other than necessary traffic stops, the driver of
the stopped commercial motor vehicle shall immediately activate the
vehicular hazard warning signal flashers and continue the flashing
until the driver places the warning devices required by paragraph (b)
of this section. The flashing signals shall be used during the time the
warning devices are picked up for storage before movement of the
commercial motor vehicle. The flashing lights may be used at other
times while a commercial motor vehicle is stopped in addition to, but
not in lieu of, the warning devices required by paragraph (b) of this
of warning devices-(1)
rule. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this
whenever a commercial motor vehicle is stopped upon the traveled
portion or the shoulder of a highway for any cause other than necessary
traffic stops, the driver shall, as soon as possible, but in any event
within 10 minutes, place the warning devices required by §393.95 of
this subchapter, in the following manner:
Running your flashers for an extended period of time
could run down the charge in your truck's batteries. Run them long
enough and you may not have enough cranking power. That means you may
need a costly service call. Also, any time you
set out or collect your warning devices (usually emergency reflective
triangles), you run the risk of injury from
vehicles passing by.
your truck on the
side of the road may
the likelihood of accidents on the road, particularly as some other
drivers may try to merge into lanes other than the one you're parked
next to. Not only that, but you risk being rear-ended by someone else
(whether or not they are pulling over for a genuine emergency).
Not only can you be targeted for impact, but you might also be targeted
for hijacking. You plan to park, they plan to steal your load. If you
set up the conditions to make it easy for your load to be stolen, you
your job goodbye. Would the trucker protest then be worth it
If you are a company driver and you delay your
delivery or ETA by an hour without justifiable cause (such as during a
trucker protest), you could risk
losing your job. Some trucking companies are having a hard time keeping
truckers on the payroll (link),
and any interruption in
your service as a driver could see you being replaced.
could suffer from exposure to high heat
if you shut off your engine and don't run any kind of diesel-powered
climate control device.
The high temperature in Savannah, GA, was
expected to be
on May 23.
Do you want to bake in your hot
truck during the 1-2 p.m. hour? (Note: idling
your truck or running a diesel-powered APU during the hour seems
contradictory in the face of the protest being demonstrated.)
Delaying delivery on the load you're under
mean that you'll miss a good follow-up load or that the load you could
have had could be
assigned to another driver who didn't stop during the trucker protest.
Consider, too, if the load you could have picked up -- had you been an
hour closer to delivery -- is the one that would have gotten you home
so you wouldn't miss an important event.
Depending on when your company cuts off paying trips
for the week, delaying your delivery by an hour today could
reduce your paycheck for this week and have a domino effect on
paychecks for future
If word gets out in your trucking
company that you
parked your truck for an hour during a trucker protest, it could
tarnish your reputation for
getting future loads of any kind. Your name could start to be bandied
fleet managers, driver managers and planners as "the parker." When you
show up at the dispatch window or
call in or send a QualComm message asking for a new load, you
may have to start expecting snippy comebacks like, "Why don't you just
your truck for an hour and come back?"
Parking your truck for an hour could mess up your
Hours of Service (HOS), particularly if you drive in congested areas
where there isn't much by way of truck
living close to the edge financially, you
can't afford to spend an hour just sitting still during a trucker
protest. You need to be busy
to earn a paycheck. Have
in the potential costs of voluntarily waiting an hour that you
could have been
Not all trucks will stop during the
protest, particularly just-in-time
delivery services and drivers with local
truck driving jobs who need to
make all their deliveries and get back to their home terminals before
their HOS run out because they don't have sleeper berths on their
Because the shutdown will most likely not be industry-wide, the
the impact desired. Consider the value of your contribution (of the
millions of truck drivers in the USA), whether or not taking
part is worth it and if there is a better, more cost effective
way of making your voice heard.
Furthermore, consider the consistency of your arguments regarding your
paycheck. If you've ever spent time grumbling about being involuntarilydelayed
at a shipper's or receiver's location, don't be looking for sympathy
when you stop voluntarily
for an hour during a trucker protest.
Yes, the cost of diesel is high. We
know because we
fuel prices every week. But we find the idea of this kind of
In our opinion, elected officials in Washington, DC,
will not pay attention to a relatively small number of trucks parked
along roads today. The mainstream media will probably brush it off as
not even meriting a story, let alone one that sides with truckers.
The only way for a trucker protest to make much of a
dent is if every truck stopped (particularly fuel tankers) for a few
days. When there is no fuel, no food and no toilet paper,
that's when people will
A total shutdown of trucks will have to take place
across the board either voluntarily (which is unlikely for reasons
stated above) or by brute force (such as through an electromagnetic
pulse, aka "EMP").
A much better way to make your voices
heard in our opinion than to stage a "park it" trucker protest about
high price of fuel is to call, fax or email the White
House and your legislators in the U.S.
House (either enter your zip code to search for your
Representative or use the Directory if you know his/her name) and U.S.
Senate (select your state to find your two Senators).
A search for a phrase similar to "write
effective letter to
Congress" can help give you ideas on how to frame your argument for a
letter as well as a phone call.
If lots of truckers coordinated their calls on the same
day and flooded Washington to the extent that the phones start "ringing
off the hook" on this issue, elected officials would probably then pay
Another way to make your voice heard is to join an
appropriate trucker advocacy
group that can speak in your behalf.
Money saving tip:
Consider the value of one hour of your working time. At a minimum, you
calculate it as the average number of miles you run in an hour times
your per-mile pay rate. To make the math easy,
let's look at a few examples:
50 mph * $0.35/mile =
55 mph * $0.37/mile =
60 mph * $0.40/mile =
It's up to you to figure all
the costs involved in spending an hour taking part in a trucker protest.