By: Heidi O.
There have been a lot of issues recently involving the parking at Walmart’s or I should say, the lack of parking at Walmart. This always brings people, especially drivers of semi’s, to say, “I won’t shop at Walmart anymore because they don’t want me to park there.” Let me tell you a little about WHY.
First, Walmart doesn’t normally have a problem with a semi pulling into their parking area, frequenting their store to shop and then MOVING on. Walmart has a problem with a semi driver pulling into their parking area and taking up space to park overnight. Walmart is meant as a “shopping” center, NOT as a truck stop.
Secondly, a LOT of Walmart’s are independently owned and their parking areas are not able to handle the weight of a semi on their asphalt parking area. Some independently owned and MOST corporately owned Walmart’s usually have a special section for RV and semi parking and they WANT us to SHOP and then do like their other patrons do and move on, for us that would be to the nearest truck stop or travel center or rest area, whichever you may choose, but they do NOT want a semi or RV parked there for the night because again, they are NOT a truck stop or an RV park.
Last, unfortunately, there are some drivers on the road (RV drivers and semi drivers alike) that leave their bottles of urine, leave their trash, and sometimes even try to use Walmart parking areas as “garages” and think it is ok to make repairs to your vehicle on their property. This is NOT acceptable behavior!
Walmart is NOT at fault….the DRIVERS are at fault. Don’t park your truck at a Walmart, get out, lock your doors, and then leave your truck sitting in their lot for the weekend or more. Your truck WILL get towed. Don’t leave your truck at Walmart and then go into your sleeper to take your 10-hour break…you are at risk of getting woken up and told to move your truck, which not only upsets you, but it also upsets the person who was asked to wake you because chances are you have taken your anger out on this person in the words you’ve said to them.
My husband and I live on the road and we do ALL of our shopping at Walmart. We have never once had an issue of shopping and then moving on. We do not hang out in their parking lot or treat it as a truck stop and stay overnight. When we know we need to shop, I get on the phone to talk to the management of the local Walmart to make sure that we can either bobtail in or if needed be able to bring our trailer. The managers have all been very nice and have informed me that as long as we are shopping and not making it an “extended” stay, they have absolutely NO PROBLEM with our truck being there.
We have been to states across the U.S. and we have come across some independently owned Walmart’s where we are not able to park to shop but we just keep moving on and find the next available Walmart. So, next time, before you get upset at Walmart, pick up the phone and contact them for yourself to make sure you can park there to SHOP. Out of 100 times, I can guarantee you that 98 of those times, you will be told that shopping is encouraged; however, using their lot as a truck stop is HIGHLY discouraged.