Now that the ELD mandate has been fully implemented in the US, the fleet industry is experiencing even more problems with parking shortages because drivers don’t have time to drive around to look for one.
Finding a safe place to park your truck is not a new problem. It has been ongoing for more than a decade. Despite the growing debate, a resolution to the issue has been slow in coming mainly because as freight movement has increased, infrastructure has been unable to keep up with it. Now that the ELD mandate has been fully implemented, the fleet industry is experiencing even more problems with parking shortages because drivers don’t have time to drive around to look for one.
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), there are over 3 million fleet truckers in the U.S. while there exist only 300,000 legal parking spaces including private truck stops and public rest areas. As drivers continue with the struggle to find parking, many law enforcement officials are reporting an increase in unauthorized parking in metropolitan areas and along major transit corridors.
Another contributing factor is that many states throughout the country have closed down interstate rest areas permanently or seasonally in an effort to cut costs because they just don’t have the money to maintain them. South Dakota, Michigan, Ohio, and Florida are some of the states who have closed their rest stops over the past few years. In Canada, thousands of parking spaces have been lost in recent years, due to the closure of locations such as Fifth Wheel Truck Stops.
Fleet managers and drivers are increasingly turning to technology to deal with the parking problem. In-cab communications and smartphones provide a lifeline to truckers who are having difficulty finding a place to park and rest.
Although they are far from a perfect solution to the truck parking shortage, these technology solutions and apps do provide practical and efficient options for truck drivers who want to save time while looking for somewhere to park and rest.
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