Thursday’s storm creates turmoil at two Monument-area truck stops

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MONUMENT, Colo. (KRDO) — The manager of the Pilot truck stop on Baptist Road said that it’s not unusual for all of his 112 of parking spaces to be filled when winter weather hits, but he’s never seen demand as strong as it was Thursday morning.
According to the manager, as many as 150 semi trucks parked in the lot, lined the entrance lane waiting to park, and even parked in the center median on Baptist Road hoping to get in.
The manager said that he called police to send an officer to keep trucks from trying to enter the lot.
There are differing opinions among trick drivers as to why the situation happened; the state law requiring commercial drivers to apply chains to their truck tires when traveling on Monument Hill may have been a factor.
“Because they’re not experienced,” said Pueblo driver Ray Evans. “These drivers don’t want to chain up. They’re probably traveling north. A lot of them are so inexperienced, they don’t have any experience on a snow-packed surface, and they don’t know how to throw chains on, or they’re too lazy to throw chains. Or they sit there, they plug up the fuel islands out here, and then you get a big pile up.”
But another driver, Ray Marrero, blames the weather entirely.
“I’d say about more than 75% of drivers probably don’t have chains or anything because the weather came out of nowhere,” he explained. “You know, it wasn’t like this like earlier today. It got like this, like in the last 6 hours. Maybe it wasn’t snowing as bad. So, maybe most of these drivers are not ready for it, of course, because, you know, you can’t watch the news on the truck, so you don’t really know what the condition is.”
A Pilot employee said that many of the trucks became stuck in the snow and couldn’t turn around.
By 11 a.m., however, the situation improved to the point that around a third of the trucks moved on.
Another truck stop, along Highway 105, experienced a similar demand as many drivers pulled over for the night to wait out the storm; those drivers awoke to find their trucks covered in at least a foot of snow and likely needed time to return to the highway.

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