NEW JERSEY (MY9NJ) - Millions of trucks roll through the New York metro area each year carrying everything from food to fuel. Truckers can drive 11 hours out of a 14-hour work day, according to the law. Push it and you're risking your license, so you've got to stop -- even if it's on the side of the road.
"Like you said, ain't nowhere else to park until you get way up yonder and stuff," truck driver Johnny Dorsey said. "And when you run out of time -- you gotta stop."
Dorsey had his 18-wheeler pulled off on the shoulder of I-287 Thursday night, just short of the Mahwah, New Jersey exit. There's a small truck stop there, but he doesn't pull off. There's room for maybe 15 big rigs at the truck stop.
"Every time I go there and stuff, the parking lot's full," Dorsey said.
There are other truck stops, but if they're in the wrong direction or expensive to get to or use, drivers say the side of the road isn't their favorite option, but depending on circumstances, it's not the worst one.
"There's no parking around here," driver Arthur Semple says. "If you are coming from the north and going south and not the south going north, you have to be lucky."
Drivers say you can plan a trip in an effort to not get hung out in a no-man's zone but construction, traffic and accidents can all lay those plans to ruin.
One trucker explained to Bill Spadea's Morning Show on NJ 101.5 that once a driver starts that 14 hour clock, there is no stopping it for any reason. They can drive 8 hours and they then are mandated to take a 30 minute break. They can then drive an additional 3 1/2 hours in that period. They they have to be off the road for the next 10 hour period, even if they were not on the road the full 11 hours in the previous period. The federal rules went into place in 2013.