Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Nose-in parking is the devil's playground

Most of the time when you park a big rig, you back into a spot so the next morning (or whenever) you drive out. There are a couple good reasons for this: you can see where you're going a lot better, and since you are turning the (relatively) small tractor ahead of the kingpin, you can negotiate around problems better as you depart.

Yesterday, when I pulled in to the truck stop I was ending my day at, I really, really needed to use the little driver's room. There were a small number of parking spots available, one of which was easy to drive into nose first so I went that route and took care of business.

Then the mistake. My mistake was to not immediately afterwards backing up and maneuvering over to a spot that I could back in to. I wanted to take a nap, I had just bought some yummy Popeye's chicken strips to munch on, I had that movie I wanted to finish watching... basically, stupid excuses. The devil made me not do it!

When I awoke this morning, my worst fears were realized. There were a gaggle of trucks parked illegally behind me (illegal being a relative term in a truck stop). If I had backed in I could have squeaked by without getting anyone to move, but since I was lazy the day before I had to wake two drivers and risk hitting one rig behind me and one next to me when I couldn't get the other driver to respond to me pounding on his door. Fortunately, the drivers were pleasant and a flatbed driver off to the side helped me over the CB letting me know how close I was to the guy behind me as I was backing.

Oh, and I did all of that at a decent uphill grade in reverse with a 42,000 lb load, which is a chore, particularly when you have to turn while you're doing it.

Anyway, made my delivery this morning in Bellefontaine, Ohio and I'm sitting here waiting to be dispatched. Story of my life.