The trucking industry is essential to the United States economy. Businesses both small and big depend on truck drivers to transport everything from raw materials to finished goods safely and on-time across the country.
However, one of the hardest parts of truck driving is finding a safe and permitted place to park. There aren’t enough truck parking spaces across the country, which is concerning given the extent to which the national supply chain heavily relies on the trucking industry. Truckers deserve to park somewhere safe, secure, and accessible, but lack of truck parking spaces can force tired truck drivers to park in risky or unpermitted areas.
The Truck Parking Shortage
Trucks need to be able to reach their destinations on time, but truck parking is only accessible in a limited number of places. A surge in trucks on the road and a lack of infrastructure have made it especially difficult for truck drivers to find the space they need to park to take a break, rest, eat, or update their systems and logs. Drivers are on the road for many hours non-stop and need to meet their requirements no matter where they are on their journey.
Where Can Truck Drivers Park?
Highway rest stations
Rest stops are probably the most well-known and accessible spaces for those who need a place to park. They are easily marked by highway exit signs with access to food and gas. It is best to park in a space that is well-lit and one that you won’t have to back out of. It is best to plan and prepare your route by locating your rest stops along the way ahead of time.
In some residential neighborhoods, truck shipping containers are causing road congestion. CBS reports: “About 40% of all shipping containers entering the U.S. come through the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. The logjam of ships has interrupted the global supply chain and last week prompted […] the port complex to operate 24 hours a day to try to get goods unloaded and out to consumers.”
Residential neighborhoods are usually not permitted for truck parking, so it is best to avoid them. Not only do you run the risk of being fined, the zones are usually very difficult to navigate and can lead to accidents, which could inevitably drive up your truck insurance costs and lead to injuries.
While some drivers still use printed maps for directions, many are turning to technology and crowdsourced databases. Trucker Path is a North American mobile truckers’ app that provides real-time parking availability and daily updates with more than 100,000 points of interest sourced from the truck driver community.
Shopping centers like Walmart have large and well-lit parking spaces. Plus, drivers can take the opportunity to buy food and beverages in the store. Some locations allow truck-parking, but not all.
“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”
America is experiencing a rise in consumer demand for online shopping which will add more pressure on truck drivers and the trucking industry. Albert Einstein once said: “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”. As the demand for commercial trucking rises, so will the need for safe, legal, and accessible truck parking.
At SWAN Insurance, we advise fleet owners on safety compliance and help them meet their insurance requirements. If you have questions about the best insurance coverage to safeguard your business from the risks of the trucking industry, give us a call today.
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