Truck Stops

Welcome to PREMIUM and QUALITY Parking along the Motorway

With a new open system for ” Autohof” truck stops, VEDA and industrial safety experts are committed to better security, systematic monitoring and control of parking facilities and to better comfort for truck drivers and their cargo. Access control and video monitoring are the main focus of the new PREMIUM Parkings along the motorway. Any Autohof as well as any operator of truck parking areas may join this system. Their common goal is a network of powerful partners and protection against an increasing crime and cargo theft rate.

Your PREMIUM and QUALITY truck stops in Germany


Your PREMIUM and QUALITY truck stops along the motorway

22 Autohof truck stops already offer PREMIUM Parking, and by the end of 2018 another large parkings at truck stops will emerge and certify as „PREMIUM PARKING“ along the motorway. We already have the commitments from the truck stops, and the structural arrangements are under way. By the way: Any Autohof with a truck stop can join this open system and plant their flag for better security, systematic monitoring and better control of parking areas, and better comfort for drivers and their cargos.

„truck-parking.com“ is an open system that will not require VEDA membership. Our common goal is to offer PREMIUM or QUALITY truck parkings along all major transport routes, and to provide drivers and carriers better comfort and security.

Visual presence

All the partners in our „truck-parking.com“ system receive the signage PREMIUM or QUALITY Parking on the Autohof truck stop for a positive signaling effect to truck drivers – we also pursue a direct signage on the motorway itself. For the drivers, this will be their guidepost to a restful, comfortable and safe driving break.

How trucks from eastern Europe are coming to dominate German roads
Trucks on the motorway on the way Germany from Poland. Photo: DPA.
If you drive on the motorway and on country roads often, you may have noticed not only an increase in trucks, but that these vehicles hail from countries such as Poland, Czech Republic and Romania. This development highlights several issues.

The mileage of lorries with a gross vehicle weight of 7.5 tonnes or more on roads in Germany rose to around 25.2 billion kilometres between January and September 2017, according to surveys conducted by the Federal Office for Goods Transport (BAG).

This figure is 3.5 percent higher than the figure determined for the previous year, thus demonstrating strong growth in automobile freight transport across the country.

Earlier predictions saw an average annual growth rate of only 2 percent. But those predictions have now been surpassed due to Germany’s positive economic development and favourable diesel prices.

Not only are there more and more lorries on roads across the Bundesrepublik, current data show that many of them are coming from outside Germany.

READ ALSO: Austria files lawsuit against Germany over autobahn 'foreigner tolls'

Lorries from countries that have become EU members since 2004 accounted for 33 percent of heavy goods traffic between January and August this year. Ten years ago, this figure was almost half the amount at 18 percent in the same period.

The largest share of this figure consists of trucks from Poland - just under 16 percent. Trucks from the Czech Republic and Romania follow suit with about 4 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.

But this development isn’t necessarily a good thing for German freight forwarding agencies, as this is the tenth year in a row that their share of traffic has steadily declined.

In the period from January to August 2017, trucks with domestic license plates accounted for under 58 percent of heavy goods traffic. Ten years earlier, it was almost 66 percent. The situation is similar in other founding EU member states, according to Die Welt.

Meanwhile, associations in Germany are concerned about cheap competition. According to truck lobbyists and independent market experts, a significant growth in truck transport in the country highlights among other things a difference in wages and social conditions for lorry drivers across the EU.

Many trucks from abroad for instance are permanently stationed in Germany and drivers are only home every few weeks or months. These drivers mainly come from central and eastern European countries and they are paid on the terms and conditions of their home countries.

In August, French President Emmanuel Macron pushed to overhaul the scope of the controversial so-called Posted Workers Directive rule which allows EU firms to send temporary workers from low-wage countries to richer nations without paying their local social charges (e.g. health and welfare systems). Backed by Germany, France wants the job duration of posted employees to be limited to 12 months.

In Germany, there is a lack of truck drivers to fill demand. According to the Federal Association of Road Haulage, Logistics and Disposal (BGL), the effects of the shortage of skilled workers in logistics are taking on previously unknown dimensions.

While over 16,211 apprentices and trainees acquired a truck driver’s license in Germany last year, some 30,000 truck drivers retire each year.

SEE ALSO: Six reasons why I never want to drive on the Autobahn again

The development is also something that affects everyday car drivers on German streets. Non-truck drivers might be able to relate with the feeling of arriving at a rest stop on the motorway only to have to leave again because it’s so crowded.

In Germany, rest and leisure time for truck drivers are legally prescribed, meaning that car parks on motorways are often full - partly due to an abundance of parked lorries.

A car park on the autobahn. Photo: DPA.

Germany's Autobahn may be the most famous road system in the world, but that doesn't mean that it isn't sheer hell to drive on for a part-time motorist.

First up, let’s make this clear. I am by no means a petrol head. As a child I literally used to vomit at the thought of getting into a car, so prone that I was to motion sickness.

And my aversion to those lurching chunks of metal hasn’t decreased much since. I grudgingly got round to getting my licence in my mid-20s but did so in the north of Scotland, where one of the few obstacles during my test was a renegade sheep.

I have made use of that ticket to adulthood most infrequently since. But that isn’t to say that I haven’t had my share of nerve-wracking driving experiences.

I’ve driven a wobbly little Skoda from Prague to the eastern border of the Czech Republic, where cruising speed is slightly below 200 km/h. I’ve also navigated my way through the Gordian knot that passes for a traffic system in Malaga, Spain. Neither were my idea of fun, but I’d reluctantly do them again.

The only place I won’t be going back in a hurry is the German Autobahn. Here’s why.

1. Logjam

As if driving on a huge, ugly motorway isn’t bad enough, when I turned onto the Autobahn from Munich to Salzburg last weekend, I was immediately swallowed up by a flood of humanity spluttering its way south.

Apparently every resident of southern Germany had decided to take exactly this route down into the Alps at the very same time as me. The experience of inching along in first gear certainly helped my clutch control. But two hours staring at the back of the same VW Passat wasn’t exactly the start to my ski holiday I’d been dreaming of.


Photo: DPA

2. Speeding

The one saving grace of traffic jams is that it means that Germans can’t attempt to break through the sound barrier. But as soon as traffic thins out, that’s exactly what they start to do.

Driving down the Autobahn you get the impression that every other motorist is terribly late for the birth of their first child.

But since Germans gave up having babies a long time ago, I think there is a more mundane truth at work - a lot of the people on “the greatest road on earth” are self-important twits who think it’s their God-given right to get from Munich to Hamburg in under three hours.

3. Aggression

This one goes hand-in-hand with the speeding, and it is a terrifying cocktail. In Austria, where the speed limit on the motorway in 100 km/h, the Germans drive at 130 km/h, because that’s already slow for them. As soon as they’re back in their homeland, they really put the foot down. And if you get in their way, they’ll immediately let you know it.

At one point on my my Autobahn white-knuckle ride, I checked my mirrors and ventured onto the fast lane, thinking the coast was clear to overtake a truck. Before I knew it, a van was about to plough into the back of me while madly flashing his lights, apparently threatening to ram into me if I didn’t move immediately. The vehicle was travelling at such a speed that I hadn't even seen it when I prepared to change lanes.

On another occasion, a particularly impatient driver overtook me on the slow lane, despite the fact that I was driving at the speed limit.


Photo: DPA

4. Huge trucks

I can’t say if it’s like this on every stretch of the Autobahn, but between Salzburg and Munich there is a never-ending stream of trucks clogging up the slow lane.

That means you're left to battle for survival in the lane with the semi-manic "I have to get home before Tatort starts" brigade, or the "I didn’t buy this Audi to drive under 200 km/h" types in the outside lane.

The ultimate nightmare is when one truck tries to overtake another on a hill, leaving you with no choice but to move into the certain-death lane to get past.

Trying to do this at night when there are cars dancing across lanes behind you at top speed is guaranteed to leave you a twitching mess, cursing the day Gottlieb Daimler was born.

5. Crappy driving

Aside from the aggression and speed, in my six hours of hell on the Autobahn to Austria and back, I saw so much poor driving. People leave their indicators on when they are not changing lanes, people don’t indicate at all before changing lane, people change lane for no reason whatsoever and then change back seconds later.

Germans probably aren’t any better or worse at this than most other people, but when everything happens so fast, it seems like the margins of error are that much smaller.

Locals insist that most road deaths take place on smaller roads. But I don't think it's a coincidence that the United Kingdom, with strict speed limits of 70 mph on motorways, has a much lower road fatality rate than Germany.

6. You don’t have to join the rat race

At the end of the first stretch of my journey, I met up with a German relative, who is much more familiar with the roads here than I am.

She'd managed to get from Munich to Austria only using country roads - and it'd taken her an hour less than it took me, partly because the roads she drove down were free from heavy traffic.

If you value a healthy heart - and you want better views - just avoid the Autobahn altogether. I know I will next time.

Runkel, 65549 Germany