Most professional truck drivers contend that in many areas, finding a safe and secure place to park the big rig is a big problem. The general motorist population can see it too, by the dozens of trucks parked along the road ways stretching out from many rest areas, to the 18 wheelers sneaking in on commercial retail lots.
Why then, would NATSO and various organizations disagree? NATSO performed an independent study and concluded that there is plenty of parking spaces available, and provided this information to the appropriate Governmental bodies. The study was conducted by counting the number of empty parking spaces, taking into account the number of trucks on the road and then divided by the number of days in a week. This is where the problem comes in.
When there was talk about building more rest areas, NATSO lobbied hard against the proposal, eventually providing the results from their independent study. However, the study had two major flaws:
- At what time of the day were the parking spaces counted? 5-8 PM or 10 AM?
- They included Saturday and Sunday in the week division – the two days when parking is at its least capacity
The study should have counted the spaces during the heaviest times for parking and then, only divided by 5 – Monday through Friday – the heaviest days for traffic. By figuring in Saturday and Sunday, the parking space average would drop drastically. There would be a big difference in the number of trucks parked at 10 PM compared to the numbers parked at 10 AM. Another factor that would drop the average way down.
Naturally, NATSO does not want truckers parking at rest areas. They want the drivers at their truck stops spending money. Although I do believe economic times for state government is now playing a role in the proposed shut downs for rest areas, it would also force truck drivers into the truck stops, one way or the other, and consumer spending could get rolling more.
The NATSO independent study was easily manipulated by the two factors above, in order to produce the required result: “there is plenty of parking spaces available at truck stops for our drivers” – which many of us know, is just not the truth.
© 2009 – 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.