More than three years ago we talked about this concern on our blog, Trucking Carriers: Can Your Drivers Find Parking? It hasn’t improved much since then. Truck parking is a huge problem.
On June 15th of 2015, while driving to make a delivery at a factory in Detroit, expectant father and truck driver, Mike Boeglin, talked with his wife about the impending arrival of their new baby. They talked about preparing for the baby, and what they would do when he got home. He never made it. His body was found shot and burned beyond recognition 150 yards from the factory entrance. — Wall Street Journal: Truck Drivers Face Shortage of Safe and Legal Places to Park.
In a recent study conducted by ATRI (American Trucking Research Institute), they found the problem of truck parking to be prevalent and costly. The study covered 4,700 stops over a 14-day period and found among other things.
- After 4 PM until Midnight finding anywhere to park was a challenge often leading to parking in unauthorized spots such as access ramps and highway shoulders.
- The average trucker spent 56 minutes a day searching for parking. This translates to a revenue loss of $4,600 per year.
- Because of driver restrictions, cost, and lack of parking, drivers often had few options other than parking in unsecured spots.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Open the Gates
The factory that Mike Boeglin was delivering to didn’t allow drivers to park on their lot after hours. Don’t get me wrong; they weren’t responsible for Mike’s death. He had other parking options that he didn’t choose because of time and cost. However, factories opening their gates after hours would help.
Network and Help Each Other
The more drivers and carriers share the availability of safe parking the better it will be for all. There are crowdsourcing apps such as, Driver Path and Telogis a Verizon Company making great headways for sharing available parking, HOS tracking, as well as sharing weight station and fuel stop information.
Look for Nontraditional Parking
Walmart has allowed semi-tractor trailers to park in approved retail lots for a number of years. There are 17 approved locations in Indiana alone; Walmart’s with Truck Parking. Is it possible to reach out to other retailers and institutions that may be able to offer safe and secure parking overnight for truckers? We think so.
- Expand parking capacity at existing facilities
- Seek funding for new parking spaces
- Get the government involved in creating parking areas
It’s Not One Size Fits All
There’s no easy answer, and there’s not one answer. It will take a combination of actions to reach a solution. Increased capacity, new spaces, and creative solutions will all be needed if we never want to put a driver in the position to risk his or her cargo and life over a parking spot.