When the general public thinks of ‘truckers’, they many times will associate these men and women driving down the highways as those who are deliberately driving as many hours as they can without sleep, without concern or care about their fatigue, their safety, or the safety of others sharing the roads. Unfortunately, this is the image that has been portrayed for many years in the past by much of mainstream media. It is sensationalism at its worst and at the expense of others. It is irresponsible, taking focus away from the sources and root causes which has affected the health, well being and safety of both professional drivers and the motoring public. This diversion of focus has not just created apathy for drivers, but even worse, almost a loathing of them. Seen as selfish greedy individuals trying to make as much money as they can at the expense of others.
Here is the simple truth. Drivers want to make a decent wage and they want to REST SAFELY when they are tired. That sounds easy enough, right? Why all the distorted confusion?
As professional drivers however, we know it is not that easy, as was the case for Michael Boeglin and Jason Rivenburg, both murdered because of a lack of safe truck parking.
Drivers are allowed to drive for 11 hours in a 14 hour window. They are paid only for the hours they drive. That driving window includes all possible scenarios which could occur, such as detours, highway accident delays, delays at shippers and receivers (anywhere up to 14 hours or more), weather conditions, etc….
There are a lot of factors which dictate a drivers driving day. Industry and driver priorities (not necessarily the same) include being on time, using all available hours to drive, remaining compliant (regulations), and most importantly, taking mandated time to rest to avoid Truck Driver Fatigue.
Simply put, in order to remain compliant, rest properly and avoid truck driver fatigue, drivers must be able to park safely. The serious repercussions of the lack of truck parking, although known for decades to exist, has now become more apparent as the Hours of Service (HOS) rule is strictly enforced, especially since more trucks are equipped with ELD’s. The Truck Parking Shortage had been downplayed in the past, until recently.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently posted an article, Too Many Trucks, Too Little Parking. Journalist Betsy Morris took a deep look into the industry and shared a serious issue with millions. She interviewed many within the industry trying to determine the causes of major issues, and truck parking was one of those issues that kept showing up.
Her research included extensive interviews, including one with veteran driver Dave DellaMaggiore, who was selected to share real life experience with the WSJ. Dave and fiancée Robin Search created the FaceBook group, Give Truckers Room, educating drivers of passenger vehicles on how to drive safely around semi trucks. Well known throughout the trucking world, Hope Rivenburg, known for Jason’s Law shared her story and the long uphill battle for more safe truck parking, a story that although known by most within trucking, was not common amongst the general public.
The WSJ article has created an elevated awareness nationally and within the industry, revealing the seriousness and fatal consequences that the Truck Parking Shortage can and has caused. It’s not a bunch of drivers complaining, it’s a national safety risk and one that creating more regulation will not solve.
One article which stood out and came to our attention was from UtraShipTMS. It included a solution for the truck parking shortage, along with this statement to the trucking industry:
“An actively managed yard provides managers with a clear inventory of available spaces which could be used in theory to allow truckers to dwell as they wait – sometimes for hours – for loading or unloading. Extra yard space for those with ample lots could be made available to truckers for overnight parking. Keeping drivers off of public streets, freeway ramps and vulnerable, remote parking places like abandoned lots is a laudable goal. It is also one that logistics as an industry is going to be forced to address.”
A powerful call to action to the industry, and an example of what the newly formed website and coalition North Amercian Trucking Alerts has aimed to achieve: accountability and action, confronting and offering solutions to the issues of the trucking industry.
Join us Thursday 1/29/15 on AskTheTrucker “LIVE” as we have as our guest, President and CEO of UltraShipTSMm, Nicholas Carretta. Mr. Carretta will discuss the truck parking shortage and the need for industry involvement in order to help resolve the issue. He will also share with us their YMS, the UltraShips’ solution to help resolve the shortage within the logistics segment.
Also joining us is veteran trucker Dave DellaMaggiore, the driver interviewed by the WSJ and an advocate for the industry. He will be sharing in the discussion his suggestions as well.
Truck Parking Shortage Receive National
Call In Number 347-826-9170
Related Articles and Info:
North American Trucking Alerts
Tim Taylor and NetworkFOB lead the way in support for Jason’s Law and Trucker Safety
Parking shortage hits the mainstream
Supply Chain News: Forget the Driver Shortage – Parking Spots for Truckers Increasingly Hard to Find
© 2015, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.