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Thread: Wal-Mart banishes truckers from parking lot in Ephrata, PA

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    Default Wal-Mart banishes truckers from parking lot in Ephrata, PA

    While the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Ephrata, PA, depends on truck drivers and trucks to deliver the goods they need to stock its shelves, the store has instituted a new policy that bans trucks from parking for any amount of time on its lot.
    OOIDA Life Member Raymond Shankle of Deerwood, MN, said he was surprised by the store’s policy switch when he stopped across the street at the 222 Travel Plaza in Ephrata. He said without the posted notices by management at the truck stop, he could have been one of those who have been ticketed for violating the parking ban.
    “Just about everything I have on right now came from Wal-Mart. I even get my medicine from there, but now I am rethinking my decision because of their negative attitude toward truck drivers,” he said. “It’s confusing for us drivers to remember which Wal-Marts will allow truck parking and which ones don’t anymore.”
    The ban prevents trucks and/or trailers from parking in the lot. However, an employee at the Ephrata store told Land Line the new policy “does not apply to Wal-Mart trucks.” There is no restriction banning RVs from the lot.
    Russ Colton, store manager for the Ephrata Wal-Mart, was unavailable for comment about his store’s new truck-banning policy.
    Ephrata Police Lt. Chris McKim said there is an ordinance in place that prohibits truckers from parking in residential areas, but there is no ordinance that prohibits commercial vehicles from parking in the township.
    “Wal-Mart approached the police department for help in how to prevent trucks from parking in the lot,” he told Land Line on Tuesday, Nov. 17. “There has been some damage with trucks coming and parking. While they are parking, maneuvering or leaving, there has been some damage to property.”
    McKim said since there was no ordinance to enforce in the township, he said the police department encouraged Wal-Mart to pursue enforcement options through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Thirteen PennDOT-approved restriction signs for “No Parking” were ordered and posted on the lot.
    “So now what we have is a properly posted parking lot. Then Wal-Mart calls police for parking enforcement on the posted lot, and that’s what we’re doing,” he said.
    McKim said drivers who violate Wal-Mart’s “No parking” policy don’t simply receive a parking ticket, but instead receive a traffic citation for disobeying the posted signs under state law.
    “They (drivers) are being cited for a summary violation of the vehicle code under ‘parking in prohibited places,’ ” he said.
    What’s tricky, McKim added, is that drivers can’t simply pay a small fine amount. Instead the law for traffic violations is based on a sliding fine where drivers may have to contact the judge and the judge will then decide what the fine will be.
    “For them (drivers) it becomes a traffic citation, and there are a lot of peripheral surcharges and other things that go on in Pennsylvania,” he said. “So what happens now is that it’s going to cost them a lot more than it should have because it’s a traffic ticket instead of just a parking ticket.”
    McKim said fines collected from these tickets will be split between the state and the local municipality.
    JoAnn Smith, the assistant manager at the 222 Travel Plaza in Ephrata, said the management team decided to post the warning letters so drivers, who may not have been aware of the policy shift, wouldn’t get popped with an estimated $110 ticket.
    “If our lot was full, then yes, drivers used to park at Wal-Mart, which was convenient for them because they could run in and get some supplies before getting back out on the road,” Smith told Land Line. “We didn’t want them to find out the hard way that this was going on.”
    McKim said he admits this is a “difficult decision” for all involved, including police, truckers and Wal-Mart. He said his department is charged with enforcing the law and that Wal-Mart went through proper channels to receive and post the signs. However, he said he also understands the dilemma drivers face when they are out of hours, the truck stop is full, and they have to stop and rest.
    He also added that if a driver ignores the signs and goes ahead and parks on the lot, they will still receive the traffic ticket, but he won’t force them to leave their spot.
    “It’s very difficult and it’s a safety concern for us as well,” McKim said. “When you’ve got people who are on their mandatory rest periods and the choice is to either get a ticket or drive off the lot, they can receive their ticket and they won’t be cited again if they finish out their rest period. I don’t know of any police officer who wants to go see that truck driver the second time in the night to cost him more money.”
    He said the truck parking issue was brought up on Tuesday at the Ephrata Township Supervisors Meeting. McKim said “staff was directed to prepare a draft ordinance that would allow us (police) to simply issue a parking ticket, not just at Wal-Mart, but any properly posted private lot in the township.”
    “We aren’t out there looking for truck violations. We are charged with responding to complaints,” he said. “It’s the truckers that make the world go around. Without them, we don’t get the goods we need; we don’t get the services we need.”


    – By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer

    Landline Magazine
    Drive carefully. It's not only trucks that can be recalled by their Maker.

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    Default Re: Wal-Mart banishes truckers from parking lot in Ephrata, PA

    As much as I like Wal-Mart, NOT, this move will have a domino effect on the rest of the Wally Worlds. Get move on their part. being sarcastic
    2millionplus1
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    Default Re: Wal-Mart banishes truckers from parking lot in Ephrata, PA

    Unfortunately, some drivers may have ruined it for the rest of us in this particular case as well as many others where Wal-Mart will no longer allow trucks to park on their lots.

    For example, I'm sure many of you may know about the Wal-Mart across I-44 from the Flying J at Exit #226 in Sullivan, MO. I used to stop in there on a regular basis over the course of several years until one day when I took the exit, saw those height restriction bars in place, and then returned to I-44.

    I then called that particular Wal-Mart store and spoke with the manager, who was very polite with me. He told me why they no longer allow trucks in their lot was (just as I suspected beforehand) the irresponsibility of too many drivers who were leaving trash and urine-filled bottles on the parking lot.

    I'm a driver who, over the course of 15 or so years, has grown to be quite disappointed with a certain element of other drivers who are inconsiderate slobs and ruin things for the rest of us.

    As I've said before, If Drivers Want Respect, We Have To Clean Up Our Act And EARN IT!!! That worn-out saying "If You Got It, A Truck Bought It" seems to have given too many drivers a false sense of entitlement to the point where they forgot what a sense of personal pride is and think they don't need to do a damn thing to improve their image.
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    Default Re: Wal-Mart banishes truckers from parking lot in Ephrata, PA

    Amen to that Jeff, it is too bad that a few bad apples do that. The wife and I always parked at Wal-Marts, and for the privilege of parking there, we then shopped there.
    2millionplus1
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Wal-Mart banishes truckers from parking lot in Ephrata, PA

    GUYS WE FEEL THE SAME WAY, ALOT OF THE BAD APPLES,ARE MESSING IT UP FOR US GOOD ONES. RESECT I AGREE IS EARNED, TO GET YOU HAVE TO GIVE IT. WE ALSO WOULD GO IN AND PATRONIZE A STORE(ALL STORES THAT LETS US PARK OVERNITE OR FOR THE WEEKEND).
    I SAW A NEW WAL-MART IN MISS. ON WAY TO P/U AND IT HAD THE BARRIERS ALSO.WAS GOING IN TO P/U SOME SUPPLIES. I'VE NOTICED ALOT OF THEM HAVE BARRIERS IF A TRUCK STOP IS ON THE EXIT. WAS TOLD THAT AT KOHLS IF YOU PARK BEHIND STORE THEY WONT BOTHER YA. EVERY ONE BE SAFE AND HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING
    "if the wheels aint turning you aint earning"

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    Default Re: Wal-Mart banishes truckers from parking lot in Ephrata, PA

    I've found that if a Wal-Mart has a sign saying "No Trucks", if you go inside and have a face to face with the manager and explain to him that you spend a lot of $$ @ Wal-Mart and would like to park there for a few hrs, more than likely you will get permission. Helps a lot if you don't look like a slop.

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    Default Re: Wal-Mart banishes truckers from parking lot in Ephrata, PA

    Quote Originally Posted by luckyman View Post
    I've found that if a Wal-Mart has a sign saying "No Trucks", if you go inside and have a face to face with the manager and explain to him that you spend a lot of $$ @ Wal-Mart and would like to park there for a few hrs, more than likely you will get permission.
    It does help to go in there and introduce yourself to the manager in a professional manner. Many I've spoken with say they're OK with us shopping there but by posting the "No Truck Parking" signs they are trying to prevent the problems that are commonly associated with overnight truck parking. I can definitely understand where they're coming from on that. Of course, during natural emergencies I'm sure they would make concessions as long as their lot is clean and free of trash after the road is clear enough for us to leave.

    Helps a lot if you don't look like a slop.
    I couldn't agree more. Drivers that are dressed like slobs and reek to high hell due to lack of personal hygeine make all of us look bad in the public eye. I've seen a lot of drivers dressed very well who obviously take pride in themselves but those who look like they just crawled out of the gutter and use excessive profanity in their normal course of conversation will sure as hell harm our general image. I'm an truckload OTR driver and will be quick to admit that it's mostly those in that segment I work in who have the biggest image problem. Not long ago I went out to eat with a husband/wife team leased on with FedEx CC who were dressed like they were ready for a night out on the town and I really enjoyed their company too. Classy or trashy- there's definitely a HUGE gap there in terms of social acceptance.
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