Monday, July 13, 2015

Be Careful Where You Drive




Although there aren't nearly enough truck stops and parking lots, there are many places a semi-truck can park, but you have to be careful where you drive.  Often you'll find yourself waiting on a load in a nearby parking lot, or sitting at a customer's facility awaiting further instruction. 
The most common high traffic areas for trucks are where they load and unload.  It's also where you'll find pallets stored or garbage dumpsters. For that reason, these areas are often prone to loose nails, shards of metal, debris, and other things which can damage tires.  

If you pull a flatbed trailer, you will most likely go to construction yards and places where building materials are kept.  These places have more nails and screws in their parking lots and driveways than the normal roadway.  But just because there may be nails and screws in the lot, doesn’t mean it’s off limits. 

Once you’ve pulled into one of these places and scoped out the area for objects that can punch holes in tires, stop the truck out of the way of traffic.  Put your flashers on, get out, and walk around the lot looking for anything that might damage your tires. 

The most disappointing areas I find these tire destroyers in are customer parking lots where machinery is assembled and staged for loading.  What I usually do in this situation is tell the customer they need to clean their lot or find a more suitable place to load trucks.  I then tell whoever I got the load from that they might be liable for damages to my truck if their customer doesn’t fix the problem. 

Having tire-damaging debris in parking lots is a real problem.  Tires are expensive.  A small hole from a nail can be hard to spot.   I have tire pressure monitors which catch these air leaks quickly, but there have been times when I’ve picked up a nail that has been pushed into the tire where it couldn't be seen. 


Getting out of the truck and picking up metal in the parking lot is good for you and everyone else that comes into the lot.  Awareness is important.  And whoever is managing the parking lot should also be made aware that there is a problem, and why it's a problem. 

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