Fuel for Thought
It's Just A 30 Minute Break
Thirty minutes. One - half hour. If you have to log your hours of service, chances are you might need to log a thirty minute break during your day. For a CMV (Commercial Motor Vehicle) that is subject to HOS (Hours of Service), the current rules are that you are to take a 30 minute break before reaching your 8th hour on duty (any combination of On Duty Not Driving and Drive time). This is a relatively short period of time…..usually.
Where you park for a 30 minute break you can be a hindrance to other drivers. Parking on the fuel island of a truck stop is not the place for a 30 minute break. You will possibly be blocking other drivers from fueling, or even if you pull forward, you are still blocking the driver behind you from exiting the fuel island. Normally is does NOT take 30 minutes to fuel. So while you may be on your 30 minute break, you are possibly forcing the driver behind you to do the same. Many truck stops can get very busy at certain times of the day. As you may have seen, trucks can be lined up 2 or 3 deep to get to the pumps. If after you fuel (if you even fuel), you pull forward to start a 30 minute break, no one else can get through. Find a place to park elsewhere, the fuel island is not a parking spot. If it is late at night or early morning and there is no one else trying to fuel, then maybe it is no big deal to take your break there, but when it is busy, you are disrupting the traffic flow and affecting other drivers time. We are all trying to make the most of our available log hours, please consider your fellow drivers.
On the subject of blocking fuel pumps, if you do not intend to fuel, please don’t park there and block the pumps just to go get food in a busy truck stop.
I watched a driver the other day get upset with the truck in front of him at the pumps. I was waiting to fuel and the truck next to me that was “waiting” to fuel was driverless. When he returned with his pastries, he couldn’t leave because the driver in front of him (at the pump) wasn’t fueling but seemed to be taking a break. There were other trucks behind us so he could not back out and could not go forward. As much as he blew the air horn, it was to no avail. I pulled up, pumped my fuel, washed my windows and pulled forward. After returning with my receipt in hand, ready to go, the truck taking a break was still there and so was the fuming mad, horn blowing driver behind him. Both were in the wrong, the first truck shouldn’t be taking a break at the fuel island and the angry blow hard behind him shouldn’t park there to get pastries and be upset when he trapped himself there. By the way, this was mid morning and the parking lot was mostly empty, both of these drivers could have easily parked properly.
Situational awareness is a term mostly heard regarding watching your surroundings for danger. I believe it also applies here. Be aware of your surroundings, don’t park and block a busy fuel island, but if it is off peak hours and you are not holding up others, it may be okay to park there for 30 minutes. If you do choose to park there and the situation changes, move out of the way and complete your break. You probably don’t like being boxed in when you are trying to go somewhere, have a little consideration for others.
It’s just 30 minutes, use 1 or 2 minutes to properly park.
See you down the road,