Every day its seems like there are more trucks on the road. And every night, it seems like there are more trucks trying to park in the truck stops- and not enough parking spots to accommodate them. When truckers are tired, they need to park. Hours of Service legislation requires a 10 hour break, and when enough 10 hour breaks overlap, parking becomes scarce.
One option for truckers is parking at weigh stations. Some states allow it, some don't. It's best to know ahead of time so that, if you can't find a parking spot at the truck stop, you can have a backup plan! In Scalehouses and Parking, Part I, we covered California, Georgia, Florida and Kentucky weigh stations. This article covers Arkansas, Connecticut, Michigan, South Carolina and Wyoming.
Don't consider parking in Arkansas weigh stations. Many of the old weigh stations have been converted to truck parking, like Lonoke, Jacksonville and Benton. But working weigh stations like West Memphis and Fort Smith are reserved for weigh station business only. Officers may allow you to park there if the weather is bad, but otherwise they'll direct you to continue on to designated truck parking areas.
The officers at the Greenwich weigh station will allow you to park, so long as they don't need the space. They may wake you up to have you move the truck (regardless of HOS requirements). Generally they prefer you to park at the far end of the lot on the left side (the side away from the freeway). Officers want you to know that if you do park there, they have the right to inspect your paperwork or truck when you get ready to leave. The Meriden and Danbury weigh stations are connected to rest areas- though the Meriden rest area has a very small lot- you should not plan to find parking there. The weigh stations on I 95 in eastern Connecticut are rarely open and have large enough parking lots to accommodate several trucks- though parking is not a guarantee. You may be asked to leave, but it's not likely. Keep in mind that idling laws limit you to 5 minutes of idle time. Officers will be more lenient during extreme weather, but don't be surprised to get a knock on your truck if you're idling. Parking is not allowed at the Union weigh station.
So long as there is room, Michigan allows truckers to park in the weigh stations. Officers at the Monroe nb weigh station say that they would much rather have tired truckers part at their weigh station than have them continue down the road. There is plenty of room at the nb and sb Monroe weigh stations. Truckers won't be hassled if they park unless there is an obvious violation.
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers say that truckers can park in the weigh stations so long as there is room to do so. This is up to officer discretion, a driver may be asked to leave. South Carolina has plans to revamp previously closed rest areas (thanks to T.A. Thomas for sending a link to the news story) to provide additional truck parking and, according to state police, has already converted the Canady's weigh stations to parking areas for commercial vehicles.
Officers at the east bound Evanston Port of Entry say that they allow truckers to park at the far end of the lot to take their breaks, but they'd like the driver to come in and inform them that he'll be parking so that they know it's not an unattended vehicle. Other weigh stations in the state of Wyoming are not so welcoming. Parking is limited elsewhere and the weigh stations are not truck stops. In most cases, the officers would rather have a tired trucker park than go down the road and pose a safety hazard. If you're tired, you won't lose anything by asking to park at a weigh station. They are not required to allow you to do so, however.
CoopsAreOpen.com is the only comprehensive online resource for over 1100 truck weigh stations and scales as well as state DOT weight regulations and policies. Knowledge of the varying policies and the ability to manage or avoid most weigh stations can save truckers thousands of dollars in ticket fines. For further information, contact Suzanne at firstname.lastname@example.org or view Truck Weigh Station, Scales and State DOT Information at http://www.CoopsAreOpen.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Suzanne_Roquemore