Two major trucking groups that seldom see eye to eye on many policy issues joined together to urge the federal government action to address the need to expand parking availability for truckers.
American Trucking Associations and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association issued the call for action in a letter they sent to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.
They assert that the shortage in truck parking shortage has “plagued America’s truckers for decades, with a wide range of consequences for highway safety, driver health and well-being, supply chain efficiency and the environment.”
“Washington needs to listen to our nation’s truck drivers and respect their most serious needs,” they added. “They are the heartbeat of our economy and directly support the frontlines in the fight against COVID — a battle that will only be won with the help of the trucking industry.”
ATA President Chris Spear said, “Year after year, surveys show the severe lack of truck parking ranks amongst drivers’ top concerns.
More than 98% of drivers report problems finding safe parking, burning more than 56 minutes of available drive time every day to find it, he said. “That wasted time amounts to a $5,500 loss in annual compensation – or a 12% pay cut, he said.”
There are about 3.5 million truck drivers in the U.S., but only 313,000 parking spaces set aside for them when on the road. This means there is only one truck parking space for every 11 drivers.
The upshot is that they are forced to park in unsafe or illegal locations. “A staggering 70% of drivers have been forced to violate federal HOS rules because of this common scenario,” the letter said. “The bottom line is that safety is compromised when truck parking is not readily available.”