It is the year 2020 and there is an app for just about anything, helping truck drivers find parking spaces to take breaks is one of them. With electronic logging devices monitoring hours of service, it is now more important than ever for truck drivers to pull over, find a safe spot to park which can be very costly and time consuming. With new technology, drivers can now locate and in some cases, reserve parking ahead of time.
According to FleetOwner.com, major truck stops like TravelCenters of America and Pilot Flying J have both developed technology enabling drivers to reserve a space for free. There are a few ways for truck drivers to find available parking. They can go directly through TA and Pilot Flying J or there are several different apps, one called TruckPark, which is available on smart phones and tablets. “With TruckPark, you can use our application and book on demand or book ahead of time,” Anthony Petitte, CEO of TruckPark, said, adding that while the app is free, drivers pay the location’s reserved rate. According to Bryn Wells, CEO of Truck Spot which is an app like TruckPark, operating a truck costs about $75 an hour. “If we can save them an hour and the stress of finding parking, paying $12-$15 for parking seems like nothing,” he said. While many spots are free for several hours, once the allotted time is up, the site will begin to charge a per hour rate in order to stay in that parking space. Some companies prepay for parking spots.
According to parking research from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), 15% of drivers said their fleet paid for truck parking reservations. “Those drivers view it as an added perk and a reason why they liked driving for that fleet. It took one less stressor out of their day,” said ATRI President Rebecca Bewster.
Safety is always a concern with cargo, while truck stops and commercial parking sites provide lighting, fencing and in most cases security, there are always going to be places to avoid. The parking apps have a spot where drivers can share information about locations to dodge when looking for a place to park their truck and rest. According to Brewster, some shippers allow drivers to park, particularly if they’ve delayed the driver. There are always liabilities associated with this though. Technology is improving everyday and it is looking very optimistic for the future of truck drivers and parking their trucks.