Wendy Parker struck a nerve with her Sunday “Short fuses at the fuel island” blog post, which dealt with commonly expressed, and — in Wendy’s case — most definitely felt, aggravation with long waits as some drivers use the island as a parking space while shopping inside, doing full pre-trips, washing the truck, etc.
Among the commenters was Brenda Coe, who noted, “My husband finds drivers doing their 30-minute break right at the island.”
Following find a round-up of the many other related thoughts. And drop a comment with your biggest fuel-island-etiquette pet peeve, and any thoughts on what drivers and/or truck-stop personnel could do to improve the situation seen so often today.
Parker herself suggested more widespread use of attendants at peak times to move things along.
Commenting as mlkmade: Oh Wendy can I relate to your article! Just a few weeks ago I went ballistic on a guy washing his truck (including floor mats) at the fuel island while the islands were three deep! My poor husband stayed on the other side of the truck. It wasn’t pretty. I agree that the big three should put attendants out to keep people moving! I’ve seen it done at one Pilot and it made such a difference! Thanks for putting it all into words!
Rick Biehle: The Love’s at Pittsboro, Ind., does have attendants watching those fueling and telling them to park. I also saw that somewhere else.
Commenting as Jeff: Here are my thoughts on the “patience” thing. I’ve been out here for 24 years. It took me about 18 months to learn that if you don’t have patience out here in this industry you have chosen the wrong career.
C.J. Marley: It doesn’t really bother me if a trucker grabs some to-go food or a coffee while he’s at the pump. We’re all wanting to keep moving, and going through the whole process of parking just to grab a hamburger is just a pain in the butt. But I’ve seen guys who will go in and sit down to eat or even take a shower while at the pump, and those are the guys I want to strangle. But I rush like a bat out of hell if I even just go in to use the bathroom while at the pump, because I don’t want to hold anyone up.
Todd Modderman: All the truck stops have to do is give them a time limit — after that, it’s $10 a minute to sit there. If you’re not pumping fuel, you can pay rent on that spot for what it would make pumping fuel.
I stopped at a Pilot once — a truck was sitting at the pump. I fueled, went in and paid, parked, did my logs and messed around for about 15 minutes, went in to get some dinner and that same truck was still sitting at the pump with no one around with the window down. I felt like sticking the water hose inside his truck and turning it on.
Gordon Alkire: That $10 wouldn’t benefit anyone waiting behind the disrespectful driver. But letters to the company would do a lot. Remember that truck stop’s are private property, and we are there by invitation. That invitation can be revoked anytime to anyone. I saw that happen to a driver. He was asked to pull up and he got mouthy and foul.
John Scott: It’s a lack of respect for other people and property. It’s the same drivers who park and sleep in no-parking areas and block the rest of us legally parked. Or the ones who leave pee bottles and garbage on the ground when a can is less than 10 feet away.
Commenting as Johnny Dark: I have mentioned this problem to several folks working the fuel desk, and most of them look at me like I have two heads. But it is not the fault of the lady or gent working the fuel desk if the cafe is shorthanded. Call the truck stop office or the corporate office and tell them that while you know your single truck boycott of their place will probably never make a dent in sales, your constant bitching on the citizen’s band [among other venues] will make your life’s mission spreading the gospel about said fueling spot. I have been doing this a long time and one of the biggest problems we face in the world as a whole is that we give our feedback/opinion to the wrong people.