Truck parking at weigh stations, part 1
Tired truckers are everyone’s problem. And no trucker wants to drive tired. Some truckers insist that if you plan your trip correctly, you should always be able to find parking. Other truckers understand that no matter how much you plan, truck parking can be difficult to come by. Truck stops fill up, usually later than before. But truckers can’t force themselves to be tired according to a plan. Lying in bed awake when your plan calls for sleep doesn’t make for a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, finding a place to park is simply part of being a truck driver.
Most drivers avoid parking at weigh stations like the plague. It’s understandable. But, if you’re tired, it might not be such a bad idea. The following is a guide to some state policies on truckers parking at weigh stations: what is allowed, what is not, and what truckers can expect.
There is no official policy in California on parking at weigh stations. And there is no official policy at any of the weigh stations, so you may come across a rogue officer who would rather bother truckers than let them sleep. But overall, it’s safer to park at California weigh stations than you thought.
Truckers looking for a safe place to park should consider parking at the Banning Weigh Station. There is no official policy, but the consensus among most Banning truck scale officials is that they would rather have drivers park to rest at the weigh station than have weary drivers on the road. If you wish to park, you will need to cross the scale, park, and enter to inform the officers that you would like to take a break. That way they will know that their truck is not “unattended.” Unattended trucks have a 4 hour time limit after which the truck will be towed. Wheeler Ridge weigh station officials agree. Tired truckers are dangerous and would rather have truckers take their break at the weigh station than drive tired. At Wheeler Ridge, it is not necessary to inform the officers that you will be parking for a while.
California weigh stations with less space do not allow parking. For example, trucks cannot be parked in either San Onofre nb or San Onofre sb. Trucks are also not allowed to park at the Truckee weigh station. The same happens with Rabbit nb and Rabbit sb. But even that is not set in stone. The Rabbit nb scale officers say that if they are not busy and if a trucker comes along and tells them he is tired, they can use their own discretion and allow the driver to park and take their break. However, the Conejo nb and Conejo sb scales will lock their doors during closing hours, unless there are parked out-of-service vehicles. Do not plan to park on the ramps when the weigh station is closed.
Truck parking is allowed, in fact, welcome at any of Florida’s “super coops” like the weigh stations in Pensacola, Wildwood and Flagler Beach. Parking is limited at other Florida weigh station locations, such as Hopewell or Bunnell, so drivers shouldn’t expect to be able to find parking at those stopovers. Florida DOT officials say drivers can park in any of Florida’s “supercoops” without fear of risking an unwanted inspection. If an officer sees something that is clearly a safety violation, such as a puncture, the driver will be notified of the violation before leaving the weigh station and will have to fix it. But officers will not ask a driver who has been parked at the weigh station for his log book, nor will they pick up the vehicle for an inspection. Unless, of course, the driver was parked there because he was taken out of service; If a driver was taken out of service for a log book violation, they may request to see the driver’s log book before they are allowed to leave the scale. station.
Truck parking is allowed at any Georgia weigh station as long as there is space. Drivers are asked to park in the rear parking lot of any of Georgia’s “super coops.” One Georgia weigh station where parking spaces are rare is the Lithia Springs Weigh Station on I 20 eastbound, west of Atlanta. Drivers should not plan to park at the Lithia Springs Weigh Station. Georgia DOT officials say that while drivers will likely not be subject to inspection if they have been parked at the weigh station, it is not out of the question. Officers may choose to ask the driver leaving the parking area to show his log book. They can also choose to inspect the truck. This is not likely, but there is no policy prohibiting the practice.
The Walton Weigh Station and the Verona Weigh Station are designated as “safe haven” locations for truckers. This means that truckers can park there without fear of risk or unwanted inspections. Kentucky police officers say truckers can be searched when they enter the weigh station, but once they’ve passed the scale and gone to the “safe haven” lot, they no longer have to worry about it. “Safe Haven” weigh stations provide a safe place for truckers to park.