Truck stop etiquette: what to do and not do when making your stops

February 21, 2023 Christina DeBusk

truck driver smiling in drivers side of truck

Truck stops are a great place to fuel up, grab a bite to eat, use the restroom or simply stretch your legs after sitting behind the wheel for long periods. Because these stops often have bigger lots with roomier parking spaces, they’re easier to get a truck into and out of than other businesses offering the same types of services.

However, just as there are “rules of etiquette” for many of the places that we might visit frequently—such as restaurants and churches—there is also etiquette for truck stops. This etiquette can be split between two categories: truck stop dos and truck stop don’ts.

Truck stop dos

When at a truck stop, drivers should:

  • Look out for other drivers. Drivers are part of a brotherhood and sisterhood. Treat them as such. If you’re at a truck stop and see a new driver who seems a bit lost, offer to help them out. If you notice that they are having trouble with their truck, see if you can lend a hand. Extend the same type of courtesy you’d like extended to you if in their shoes.
  • Park in a designated spot. If you’re planning on only being inside the store for a few minutes, it can be tempting to find the nearest open space that can accommodate your truck and park there. The problem is that, depending on where the space is, it may be difficult for other drivers to pull in or see around you. Parking in a designated spot helps prevent these types of issues.
  • Turn down your music. When you spend all day driving and alone, music can be a good way to help pass the time more pleasurably. But that doesn’t mean that everyone else in the truck stop enjoys the same genre or style of music as you. Turning the volume down when you drive in is a sign of respect, especially for those in the area who may be sensitive to loud noises.
  • Turn off your truck. Leaving your truck running can help you keep the cab temperature more comfortable on a hot or cool day. But it can also leave people around you in a cloud of breath-taking fumes. And if your truck is noisy, that’s not fun for them either. When you’re in a busy truck stop or going to be away from your truck for several minutes, be kind to others and turn it off.
  • Treat the truck stop as if it was yours. What is meant by this is, if you have garbage, throw it in a dedicated bin. Or maybe it’s not your garbage on the floor, but you take the added effort to stop, pick it up and dispose of it properly. Treating the truck stop as if it was personally yours helps remind you to go the extra mile in keeping it clean. It may even encourage others to do the same.

Truck stop don’ts

What are some things that drivers should not do at a truck stop?

  • Park in front of a fuel nozzle. The only exception to this, of course, is if you’re getting fuel. Once your tank is full and you’ve paid for your gas, move the truck to a parking space if you plan to go inside. This frees up the nozzle for others who also want or need to fill their vehicles.
  • Play “biggest truck wins.” Maybe you do have the biggest truck at the stop. This doesn’t mean that you can do whatever you want, and all the other drivers must deal with it or go out of their way to make room for you. Stay courteous to others always, even if your truck could crush theirs.
  • Be a follower of poor etiquette practices. It can be easy to let your truck stop etiquette slide, especially if you see other drivers doing the same. Instead of following their poor practices and developing an attitude of “it is what it is,” strive to be a leader instead. Be the person who will do their part—even if no one else does. Maybe your actions will rub off on them, compelling them to do their part as well.

Want more lifestyle tips while being on the road? Check out our lifestyle content library here.

About the Author

Christina M. DeBusk creates small business content for a variety of publications, some of which include Businessing Magazine, Compendent, Chiropractic Economics, and more. She is also the author behind the column, "The Successful Solopreneur.

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