Mar 25, 2019
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Where To Park My Rig?

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At this very moment, many cross country big rig drivers are looking for a place to park their rig and recuperate from being on the road for hours at a time. There are approximately 1.7 million big rig truck drivers working across the nation. They are carrying merchandise from one state to another every day, to make sure stores stay filled with merchandise.

Unfortunately, there is a shortage of big rig parking facilities and lots for truck drivers to pull into after driving 10 to 11 hours a day. Truck drivers are paid by the miles driven and not by the hour. Therefore, drivers try to stay on the road as long as possible to make their desired day’s pay.

Truck driving is a $680 billion a year industry. The truck driving industry moves over 10 billion tons of freight annually. The industry operates more than 4 million Class 8 trucks and requires more than 4 million truck drivers. Without the smooth operation of this industry, our economy as we know it will come to a halt.

In December of 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), ruled on the ELD (Electronic Logging Device) Mandate, requiring all big rig fleet services to install the ELD devices in their trucks by December 2017. The ELD devices replace paper logbooks used to record Hours of Service(HOS). These devices also record the amount of time the truck driver operated the vehicle, and much more.

The ELD mandate will affect approximately 3 million drivers. Federal law states big rig drivers can drive up to 11 hours within a 14-hour window. After 11 hours, the drivers must stop their vehicle for a 10-hour rest break. The ELD devices record the time the vehicle is spent in operation and send the information to the fleet safety managers.

Due to the implementation of this mandate, big rig drivers are forced to park their vehicle and take the ten-hour break or risk disciplinary actions for not being in compliance with the rules of the ELD Mandate. Due to the lack of big rig parking facilities across the nation, many drivers park their rigs in unsafe places like:

  • Highway shoulders
  • Freeway ramps
  • Shopping plazas
  • Highway rest areas

Big truck parking has been a problem in our nation for a long time. And now, with the 10-hour rest stop mandate, it is becoming a bigger problem than before.

There are a few park and pay truck stops in the nation. However, they can charge up to $20 a night to park. It is estimated that truck drivers spend one hour per run looking for a place to park and take the mandatory 10-hour rest. This time wasted looking for a parking spot and the additional charge to stay in a park and pay, adds up and reduces the truck driver’s take-home pay.

Authorities are aware of this problem. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration has conducted and released a survey indicating the lack of truck parking information and parking capacity across the nation.

The Administration has called for a national coalition to address this looming and growing problem. They have teamed with the American Trucking Associations, Federal Highway Administration, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the National Association of Truck Stop Operators and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the USDOT and National Coalition on Truck Parking and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, to find a solution to this on-going problem.

These organizations will address the problem with state and local governments, law enforcement and the business communities to engage in a dialogue and work together to design, develop and implement and develop truck parking solutions across the nation and to meet the on-going needs of truck drivers everywhere.

Until there are enough big rig parking lots and spaces across the nation, this will continue to be a problem. It is not safe for truck drivers to park their vehicles on highway shoulders, freeway ramps, in shopping plazas, rest areas and large store parking lots. This industry operates all year and is the backbone of our economic system.

This industry has a very high turnover rate. Yet, it still continues to employ almost 2 million truck drivers across the nation. Trucking companies and independent drivers are in dire need of solutions to this growing parking problem.

Unfortunately, until more big rib parking lots are opened across the nation, truck drivers will have to continue parking on highway shoulders, freeway ramps, in shopping plazas, rest areas and large store parking lots.

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