Last October, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released its survey results identifying the top ten issues the trucking industry is facing. Truck parking ranked 5th on this list among total respondents while commercial drivers rated it as the number two issue.
In response to the findings, ATRI placed the issue of truck parking as priority, launching one of their research tactics last month asking drivers to “keep a 14-day truck parking diary to document the daily issues professional drivers face finding available truck parking,” and are asked to include the “stop time and location, reason for stopping, parking availability, length of time spent looking for parking, capacity lost to RVs and other vehicles, and factors influencing stop location.” 1This initiative is ongoing and drivers can participate by visiting ATRI’s website (www.atri-online.org). The results from the study are expected to be posted this August.
In the meantime, the Truck Parking Leadership Initiative (in which ATRI, the American Trucking Associations, and the National Association of Truck Stop Operators Foundation is part of) is developing an app called Park My Truck, which will help drivers locate available parking spaces.
While there are currently parking apps available, such as Truckers Path, many drivers explained that one which is reliable has yet to be developed. “I’ve personally been in lots that had room for 50 more trucks (middle of the day) and saw its status changed to ‘lot is full, 1 minute ago,'” said one driver. “No doubt by someone who’s still 3 hours away and trying to defer others in the hopes there might be one spot open by the time he gets there.”
While we are “still many millions of dollars and years away from implementing an electronic system the can count parking nationwide,” according to NATSO’s Lisa Mullings, Park My Truck takes a stand to help drivers today by allowing any parking provider to report their parking availability through the app without cost. 2
The app, which will be free, is expected to be available late this summer.