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Trucking Parking Shortage an Issue

Mar
9,
2009
15

Professional driver, W. Thompson is clear to point out the serious problem concerning trucking parking shortage for the big rigs.  Rest areas, truck stops and various parking lots across the country simply do not provide enough spaces for our professional truckers.  As Mr. Thompson makes clear, it can be a big problem trying to find a parking spot in many areas, especially after 5:00 – 6:00 PM.

Recently, our Government performed a survey and concluded that there were plenty of parking spaces available for our truck drivers.  I wonder who would really know best:  the Government . . . or the drivers?  On the other hand, a recent study by the Federal Highway Administration, reported that there will never be enough public rest areas to meet the needs of the professional truck driver.  It also reported that in most states, the combination of private and public areas were sufficient to meet the demands.

Also, to make things worse, just today, March 9th, 2009 – The state of Virginia is considering closing all four rest areas along I-81.

What do you think?  As a professional driver, is there enough parking spaces available for truckers?  Where ever you are?  Why do politicians, who have probably never even set foot in a big rig, believe that finding a place to park in an 18-wheeler is not a problem?  Instead of looking at Government data, here is a suggestion for the political experts out there:  go spend about 4 weeks in a semi and visit the real world!

As Mr. Thompson said to me, “I don’t know about you, but when I’m out there running it’s almost impossible to find a spot to shut down after 5 PM.”

Is the Government listening?

* Special thanks to Mr. Thompson for his contribution to this post.*

© 2009 – 2013, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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15 Responses to Trucking Parking Shortage an Issue. - Post a Comment

  1. Paul

    It’s absolutely a problem here in the KC 35/70 area. I haven’t ever seen so many tractors hauling up in abandoned commercial real estate as I’ve seen here lately.

  2. Allen Smith

    Hey Paul
    I know, KC is horrible.
    Another City that wants to keep trucks out of sight!

  3. jim madison

    I THINK ITS ABOUT TIME WE REALIZE THAT THE GOVERMENT DOES NOT CARE ABOUT TRUCK DRIVERS.IT IS TIME WE STAND UP FOR OUR RIGHTS.THE WAY SOME THESE OTR COMPANIES TREAT THERE DRIVERS IS DISRESPECTFUL.I THINK ALL YOU DRIVERS OUT THERE NEED TO CONTACT YOUR LOCAL CONGRESSMAN AND INVITE THEM TO RIDE WITH YOU AND THEN THEY WILL SEE WHAT YOU MEAN WHEN WE SAY THERE ISNT ENOUGH PARKING FOR US.ITS A SAFETY ISSUE.I THINK ITS TIME FOR ALL OF US TO GO ON STRIKE AND SO THIS COUNTRY HOW IMPORTANT WE REALLY ARE.AND GET THE FAIR TREATMENT WE AS DRIVERS DESERVE.WITHOUT TRUCKS AMERICA STOPS LETS SHOW THEN THIS TO BE TRUE.

  4. Desiree

    I talked about this in “My Green Idea” because California is my home state and I know how “out of touch” they can be.

    I was suprised when the VDOT Rest Area closures when Infrastructure Funding should be making Safe Trucker Parking a high priority.

    On Twitter I was asked to comment even though I have not been a Trucker very long and I don’t live in Virginia, I happen to be traveling up I-81 that particular day and got an eyeful.

    Much of what I saw and experienced happened in the late night hours between Midnight-4am, it was unbelievable the crowding & activity as Trucks tried to cram in for sleep.

    At dawn I took pictures and made comments that caught the attention of Fox 5 News in DC & Appomattox News in Virginia.

    Since then, people have been commenting that they had no idea how this affects Truckers.

    I’m posting the link so more people will comment.

    http://www.appomattoxnews.com/2009/dear-vdot-sincerely-truckerdesiree.html/comment-page-1#comment-1375

    Also, a new Petition is being circulated in response to the Trucker Shot who was parked in an abandoned gas station

    “Jason’s Law” aims to start raising awareness about the need for safe parking for Truckers.

    He leaves behind a Wife, Son & Twins on the way.

    We all need to talk & keep talking. WE CAN DO THIS!

    http://www.landlinenow.com/2009/03/petition-drive-seeks-safe-parking-for_11.html

  5. Angela

    This is a horrible problem in a lot of states. While traveling with my husband we drove for 2 hours in LA looking to stop and ended up parking on some long dirt road in middle of nowhere. Sounds safe doesn’t it? We had the same problem in TX and GA that week. The truck stops are slammed packed full of rigs and there is nowhere to pull over. I think it is highly dangerous and completly insane!

  6. Seeker

    I’ve been a truck driver for 11 years and I run all over the United States without any problem finding parking. I work the night shift of a team operation. I agree every rest area and corporate truck stop, ie. Pilot, TA, Petro, Loves, etc are full beyond capacity after 5-6 pm every night. However, there are thousands of “mom & pop” truck stops all over the country, even I-81 in VA, where it never fills up.

    On any interstate in the country I can find parking, often even front row pull-through, at 1am to 3am. Most of the Mom & Pop places are well lit, clean, and much friendlier than the big corp stops, also. I feel much safer at them than in most big name travel centers. I often see trucks parked on the shoulder at on/off ramps within a few miles of really nice mom & pop’s and I don’t understand why a driver would choose to put themselves in such a dangerous spot when better options are available.

    So yeah, I agree with the govt on this one. There is plenty of parking – drivers just don’t know how to find it. Most drivers say the worst state to find parking in is VA, but I’ve never ever had a problem finding safe parking there, not once in 11 years.

  7. Kathy Hagle

    I just remember this but this addresses this parking situation and I thinks needs to be mentioned.

    This is a directory of truck stops in America, that my husband will not drive without… So I would recommend and use this when making your trip plan. As this is a good way of remaining safe.

    http://www.truckstops.com/moretf.html

  8. Desiree

    I never had a problem parking when I was working team either because you don’t have to park for the night very often.
    If you start dozing at the wheel , you slide in somewhere & tell you partner you need them to drive.
    You rarely run out of you Federal “Hours of Service” to legally drive in a day or week because there are 2 people.
    Lots of major differences

  9. David Robson

    I remember a while back they did a survey and it may be true that there was enough truck parking on a national scale. The problem is there isn’t enough parking in the heavy traffic lanes ie. the north east U.S. If this is true then there are parking spaces somewhere never being used.

    Now they are starting to close what little parking spots we have. There will be no action to expand truck parking facilities until the trucks parking on roadways and exits become a safety hazard in the public view. Then it will take some serious casualties before the government will create a budget to expand truck parking facilities.

    Until then all we can do is complain until the issue becomes a public safety hazard. Trip planning will be more important than ever.

  10. Allen Smith

    In 31 years of driving, I was always able to find a parking spot as well …. but does that mean there is not a “problem?” Of course not … we all know that there is in certain parts of the country …. I don’t believe “we” are complaining … we are working through the legislative process on trying to find a solution for the “problem.”

  11. Fergeson

    I agree with the folks who say any gift is a good gift if it comes from the heart most up-to-date Coupons

  12. Rip VanDriver

    I quit trucking because of a lot of issues, and a lack of parking, day or night, was one of them. The working conditions, hours worked, and lousy money is comparable to 1910, not 2010. It`s about time we had a nation wide shutdown.

  13. Michael Smith

    Parking has been a problem for a long time. While this article is several years old now, the content still holds true. More so now in 2014 than even at the time it was originally published

  14. Mike S

    I haul chemicals and I say hell no, never enough legal or illegal parking space around PA or OHIO.

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