According to research done by the American Transportation Research Institute, nearly 50% of all truck drivers report using undesignated or unauthorized parking at least three times per week. This means that the vast majority of drivers have parked their company truck in an unauthorized spot on a regular basis. Therefore, it is imperative for the industry to actively seek out better solutions. On January 13, the Transportation Research Board held a meeting to discuss what can be done to assuage the problem. Currently the trucks stop industry funds nearly 90% of parking solutions. Some proposed ideas include transferring some of the cost to other parts of the industry.
If more parking options were added, drivers could become more productive. For example, a driver might have to begin searching for parking earlier than anticipated which would cut into their drive time. A speaker at the conference stated that nearly half of drivers begin looking for parking over an hour earlier than their end time. This means, that if more legal options were added, truckers would not have to worry about parking and could utilize their time more efficiently.
Further, with project increases in freight volumes over the coming years, parking will become even more scarce. Even more drivers will be fighting for a limited commodity. Parking must be increased in order to increase productivity. Some solutions include creating larger rest areas, extending time limits on existing spaces, and improved locations for stopping areas. Another solution, that Carbon Express has implemented for years, is the use of hotel rooms for drivers. If companies are willing to put their drivers in hotels overnight, they could alleviate some stress and heighten their drivers’ morale and productivity.
The board is planning to collaborate with drivers themselves to learn more about the real-life details of the problem and how to create an effective solution. The goal is to make legal parking or alternative arrangements accessible whenever and wherever drivers need it to increase productivity.