Truck parking shortage
According to the American Transportation Research Institute’s Top Industry Issues survey, professional truck drivers ranked truck parking shortage as one of the main problems. This national issue was aggravated by the federal government’s mandated limit on hours of service and the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, it can take 1 hour or longer for truckers to find parking. Or they have to park in unsafe locations, thereby putting themselves in danger. So is there any hope that the situation will change for the better?
How to Deal With the Truck Parking Shortage
The American Trucking Association says there are more than 11 drivers for every one parking space. So what can you do?
Plan your trip
Careful planning is your path to success. You should know how long your route will take and areas where you can park. At the same time, it is worth considering unforeseen circumstances: traffic jams, road closure, or weather conditions, and the fact that the parking area can be full. It is best to have several alternatives in mind 60-80 miles from your preferred parking lot.
Use parking apps
According to the American Transportation Research Institute report 2019, about 57% of 1,100 truckers surveyed used truck parking apps. Using one of them, you can get real-time truck parking availability information, as well as reserve a spot for your truck, possibly at a cost. The most popular apps are Trucker Path, Park My Truck, MyPilot20, TruckSmart, The Pilot flying J, and Love’s Connect. Of course, not everyone is willing to pay any amount to reserve a parking space.
Talk to the destination dispatcher
You can always ask for help. If you cannot find a parking space for a long time, it is worth talking to the destination dispatcher. He or she may have some suggestions for safe parking spots. You can even call the local police in some situations. They can help you to find a safe place to park too. After all, your safety comes first.
What is the government doing to solve the parking issue?
In March, the House of Representatives introduced the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act. According to it, the funding could be used for the construction of new truck parking facilities, expansion of truck parking at existing rest areas, conversion of space at existing weigh stations, or any other innovative solution that increases capacity. Since its introduction, the act has been referred to the House Subcommittee on Highway and Transit.
Unfortunately, if we talk about the Senate’s $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, it does not include funding for expanding truck parking capacity, but the House’s bill did. So we just have to wait for a decision and hope that the problem will be solved one day.