Parking Shortage Research

Topic 32614 | Page 1

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Wyatt P.'s Comment
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Hello TruckingTruth users. I am a student at the University of Central Arkansas. I'm currently taking a class in Safety and Motor Carrier Policy and am conducting ethnographic research on the parking shortage that truckers face within the industry. In order to aid my research, I ask that you provide any of the following:

Interesting stories related to truck parking

Complaints about truck parking

Details regarding your parking routine

Possible solutions to alleviate the parking shortage

Truck parking dangers/concerns

Any contributions to this thread may be used in my research paper and/or directly quoted Thank you for your time and contributions in advance!

P.S. I tried this on reddit first but after being banned from 3 subreddits and then muted by moderators when I asked why, I gave up. I'm hoping for better results here. After all, this is the "friendliest" trucking forum on the internet. Any input would be greatly appreciated.


Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
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A.T.R.I. (American Transportation Research Institute) has been researching this for years. The group has tons of data on their website you can look at.

Here's a snapshot of what you will see:

1. There's more trucks than there are parking spaces. This increases each year.

2. This has been an issue for at least 40 years.

3. The closer to any larger city, or any large body of water, the less the parking options.

4. The closer one gets to either east or left coast, the parking decreases.

5. Communities enjoy having trucks bring goods that can be sold, then enact laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations to prevent drivers from taking needed rest breaks in these same communities. "Bring us crap then leave" is the mindset of many.

6. Local, state, and the federal governments have already wasted millions on this issue, yet very little had changed.

The truck parking problems could be fixed nationwide for 1/10,000th of the money the current administration illegally sent overseas to fund a pseudo proxy-war against Russia in Ukraine.


Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Wyatt P.'s Comment
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Apologies for not being more clear, but I'm not in search of that sort of data. I'm looking for personal anecdotes, stories, etc... detailing daily issues regarding the parking shortage. For instance, what does your routine look like when you must find a place to park? Or have you had any dangerous encounters due to the fact that parking was unavailable and you had to resort to parking in unsafe places? I've seen some truckers carry homemade devices in their cabs that allow them to essentially barricade themselves in when parking overnight in sketchy locations. There's no lack of data or research on the issue itself. I'm just trying to collect personal accounts.


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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I when I have some time tomorrow

Davy A.'s Comment
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I consistently run swing and nights. I usually run til 2 - 4 AM. Most truckers seem to be solar powered, leaving no parking available at the large travel plazas such as Loves, Flying J, Pilot, Petro and TA. They are all filled long before I shut down.

I build my driving time around where I will park for the night. If I can, I'll shur down at the reciever as my first choice but very few of our recievers and shippers allow overnight parking.

I primarily park at independent old school hole in the wall truck stops for a variety of reasons.

1. Availability, it's not clogged up with people who can't or won't responsibly park.

2. My truck is less likely to be hit as most of the drivers there are seasoned veterans and been parking there for decades.

3. I like supporting small businesses, I always but a little something from them.

4. A lot of them have great independent restaurants.

I'll grab my shower with shower credits at the major brands that my company fuels us out of during my morning (for me anway) break. They are empty by then and the showers ate cleaned.

It's vital to understand the relationship between when and where to park and our Hours of service. This is what makes the parking shortage so bad. We are governed on how many hours per day before we must park, we are also governed on how long we must rest before driving again. It's a constant balance between our clocks. Productivity and location.

At no time, unless it's an emergency do I use off ramps or simply park on the side of the road. If a driver is doing that, not only are they creating a safety hazards, it indicates that they are failing to plan their trips and failing to manage their hours of service.


The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Davy A.'s Comment
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Please pardon the ducking autocorrect typos, was using my phone.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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Now that the recession is in full swing, more trucks are sitting longer, meaning less parking as well.

Here's a funny story. I was doing a straight line back into a space that was the last in a raw and against a curb. I was new and pulled up far. But this guy swooped in with a blind side so quickly and got in before me. As I backed up, he got out and laughed at me while smoking a cigarette. I kept backing and stopped a few inches from his front bumper, parked and grabbed my shower bag. He was now blocked in as I parked along the curb. He came yelling. "wtf do you think you are doing?" I explained I was intending to go take a shower and go to bed.

At that point he was yelling he needed to make a delivery in a couple hours and would call a tow truck. "Good! I bet they will get here about the time I get out the shower....making you late".

He decided it was better for him to pull out and let me park in the space. He parked in front of me along the curb. 😁

I have lots of these stories. I used to pull the brakes in the aisles when guys yelled at me for taking too long and wouldn't help. Then I would close the curtains and tell them I was going to bed. Help me or wait.

Xero O.'s Comment
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For safety, I have seen other truckers use something like this or other homemade devices to keep from having unwanted guests enter while they were sleeping.

Ryan B.'s Comment
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My contribution is going to sound similar to Davy A., with some differences. I went through training and was first taught drive as far as I can, then shut down wherever a spot can be found, even if it is an on-ramp/off-ramp. I received better training after that and learned to look for the smaller truck stops, diners, and restaurants that typically have parking at any hour. I use the TruckerPath app to locate where I plan to park at the end of my driving shift. I do this before I start driving. I already know how far I will be able to drive and what my schedule needs to be beyond that driving shift, so I pick a spot that lines up well with the time that I will be arriving in the area and is a distance that works with the schedule that I am planning. I try to drive at night a lot, by preference, but that is limited by my appointment times for pick up and delivery. Ideally, I start my driving shift at 8 pm and park at 8 am. It makes for finding a spot a bit easier because most drivers are leaving by that time. I am also opening up a spot for another driver coming off the road in the evening. I often drive along I-80 through PA, OH, and IN. I have roughly 4 or 5 spots along that route that I know are sure bets to have parking available at any time. Weather plays a substantial role in the when, where, and why of parking. I think every driver who posts here regularly will say that they are monitoring weather and using that as part of the trip plan in deciding when and where to park. Sometimes the plan started with at the beginning of the day doesn't work at all for a variety of reasons, and in those scenarios, we have to be adaptable.

Some key points: 1) Have resources at my disposal to find parking when needed.

2) Don't wait until I need to find a place to park to find a place to park.

3) Look for places that many drivers don't consider.

4) Be prepared to have my trip plan adjusted for any number of reasons.

Shippers and receivers not allowing overnight parking is our biggest hurdle in trying to find a place to park. The reason being is that is when we have the least amount of control for when and where we will park. We have little control over when we will be departing the shipper or receiver. We are often out of hours to be able to drive, so we have to then use a status called personal conveyance. FMCSA is quite strict on how personal conveyance is to be used, and it becomes a problem when departing a receiver after 10 pm in a major city. If these companies allowed overnight parking, it would alleviate a substantial amount of the problem. It's for good reason that many companies don't allow overnight parking, unfortunately. In short, we have brought this problem upon ourselves, as truck drivers, by not being cleanly and professional at shippers and receivers, thus the reason most do not allow overnight parking. When I say overnight parking, it means once loaded or unloaded, a driver must leave the facility in a timely fashion.


The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.


Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle


Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing


Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Operating While Intoxicated

NaeNaeInNC's Comment
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I am always aware of where my parking options are. Like others, I try for Mom and pop locations, but some of those are pretty sketchy.

My trip planning process usually has three parking options.

The first is: Oh snap, everything went sideways, and I only drove a couple hours.

The Second: This is where I reasonably planned to be at the end of my day. Some slowdown, but that was already built into my plan.

The Third is a "Hail Mary" parking option: "sliding in with my hind end on fire, nothing went wrong, I hit all green lights, didn't miss a turn, hallelujah everything was perfect and I have five mins left on my drive clock" kinda parking solution.

You can bet I'm using the second option the most! 🤣


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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