Newbies - Geography - Northeast
New York City
New York City is where millions of immigrants first set their feet on American soil at Ellis Island. It is home to the Empire State Building, one of the most famous buildings in the world that stands 1,454 feet tall and took seven million man-hours to build. Beneath the city lies a complex underground infrastructure of subways, sewers and water tunnels. And above ground, well, get your maps.
In any big city, have an up-to-date street map. Confirm directions given to you with the map before heading into town. Have your route planned.
Go in early and save time. It's best to be at your destination by 6:00 a.m. before the traffic starts. If you get stuck in rush hour traffic, you'll waste two hours.
Most of Brooklyn and Bronx is accessible to trucks. Manhattan has passed very strict laws regarding truck traffic. Only a short tractor and trailer can go in, with a maximum total length of 55 feet and no more than 8-feet wide. The fines are very high and you cannot simply pay one off. You have to return to the jurisdiction where the fine was given, hire a lawyer and appear in court.
Be safety-wise. Always lock your truck. Keep your money in your front pocket or hidden from sight. Never have your wallet where someone can snatch it. Don't act afraid or intimidated; you'll look like an easy target. Go about your business, but keep your eyes and ears open.
If you get disoriented, especially in Brooklyn, be wary of someone offering to guide you back to the freeway. Most likely, he'll ride on your sideboard and direct you until you're in a position that you have to rely on him to get back out. Then he'll demand money for his "services."
The Hunts Point Market in Bronx is a common delivery spot. However, trucks are not allowed on Hunts Point Avenue so don't plan that in your route. Since many trucks come to that area with food and produce, it's a prime spot for hoodlums to help themselves to the edible cargo.
If someone breaks in your trailer, they probably have a lot of help. It is not advisable to jump out and try to scare them off. Keep driving and don't stop. A moving truck makes a harder target.
Trucks go in and out of the city everyday. Just be careful and stay away from prostitute hot spots where there's always trouble, scams and drugs.
Let us know about what its like to drive in other parts of North America by emailing us at layover.com