Fatigue management, News

Busy Melbourne servo gets tough on truck parking

truck parking

Judging by the reaction on social media, this picture of a truck being towed from the busy Truganina bp was the best news many interstate drivers had received all week.

Brisbane-based driver Courtnay Anderson, who snapped the shot and also shared it with Big Rigs, said he was relieved to see that finally action was being taken to free up slots for those who need them most.

“I think it’s a good idea to make more people aware of the issue,” said a frustrated Anderson.

“Interstate truck drivers are struggling to find suitable parking at most service centres.”

On the day he took the picture, Anderson asked staff what was happening and said he was told that they were towing all trucks that have been parked up “for a while”, with truckies having to cough up at least $600 to recover them from the towing yard.

“My response was, ‘It took you long enough’.”

A bp spokesperson later confirmed that following safety concerns raised by truck drivers, bp Truganina is towing vehicles that do not comply with the eight-hour parking restrictions on its site. 

“Some vehicles, including trucks, have been left unattended in rest areas for extended periods, in some cases weeks at a time,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.  

“It is critical that all truck drivers have access to parking for their compulsory rest periods, and areas across the site with parking restrictions are clearly signed. bp asks that drivers are shown the respect they deserve by allowing them access to the rest areas.

“This week, a truck was towed as it was parked outside the parking bay along the kerb inside the gated truck parking area, blocking the driveway for other trucks.”

Due to the number of locals using the site as a depot, Anderson said it’s been almost impossible to find a spot at Truganina. He just stops there to fill up and then parks down the street.

“Every time I go to Melbourne, especially in that area, I’ve got to park on a side street somewhere.

“It’s a huge inconvenience because the first thing we all want to do after a 14-hour shift is to have a shower, have something to eat, and go to bed, but most of the time in Melbourne, you can’t do that.”

For Anderson it means he’s often trudging along the road on foot for up to 500m to use the closest facilities.

It’s not just bp Truganina that causes headaches for long-distance drivers in the area, added Anderson, who also singled out the Shell Express and bp truckstops in Laverton, and Eastern Creek in Sydney as other trouble spots.

“They are terrible for dump trucks and trailers. In my opinion I think it’s time that the three major companies Shell, Ampol and bp need to all step up and have some consideration for the truck industry. 

“Policing the truck parking more frequently would be a great start.”

At the time of writing, bp was the only major servo retailer to respond to Big Rigs’ question on this issue.

“Accessible parking for drivers for their compulsory rest periods is an issue impacting many sites across the country,” a spokesperson said. “bp is working with stakeholders on a satisfactory solution to this issue and, in the meantime is managing this on a site-by-site basis.”

High-profile interstate driver Rod Hannifey agreed that it’s a long-running problem and a struggle for servo operators to manage. 

He’d even heard of a security guard being physically attacked at the bp on Cooper St after challenging a driver over their length of stay.

“It’s one thing if they park their truck there and they’re respectful and they park two in a row, but then these blokes take up a B-double space with their truck, and then when they go to work, they put their car in it.

“We understand how difficult it is to park, but that’s just a step way too far.”

Hannifey said he supports Truganina’s towing policy and said the issue also highlights the need for more councils to relax after-hours street parking rules for trucks in industrial areas.

“I don’t expect people to allow us to park our refrigerated B-double outside their house in Sydney, but why can’t we legally park in an area where no one lives and be away in the morning?”

  • Do you know a servo that needs to do better at policing truck parking? Let us know the details at editor@bigrigs.com.au.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend