Line One
Your Feedback
How serious is the parking problem?

As most of you are all too aware, finding a place to park your truck in order to get some sleep is sometimes an iffy proposition. Since the FHWA Safety Summit in 1995, the problem has been getting more attention from federal officials. One study concluded that, nationwide, there was a shortage of 28,000 truck parking places.

In the S/O issue of Land Line, we asked our readers to tell us, on a personal level, how serious the parking problem is. In December, The FHWA will hold a special meeting following the Safety Summit, specifically to address the parking issue. OOIDA will present your responses to FWHA officials at this special meeting.

First, we asked how many nights per month drivers spent in their sleepers. Most of our respondents (34 percent) told us they spend 16 to 23 nights a month in the sleeper. Twenty-five percent spend 24 or more nights in a sleeper berth each month. Twenty-four percent occupy a sleeper five or fewer nights per month. And 17 percent of our readers said they spend six to 15 nights a month in the sleeper.

Time limits on rest area parking has long been a sore spot with truckers, many of whom feel that the practice can put dangerously tired drivers on the road. But is it a widespread problem? When we asked if any of our readers had ever been awakened in a rest area and told to move because of a time limit on parking, a whopping 44 percent replied that they had.

A few states have begun allowing truckers to park in weigh stations and sleep. We asked our readers, if they were allowed, would they park in an inactive weigh station to sleep. Seventy-seven percent of the truckers who responded to our survey indicated they would.

Finally, we asked our readers how often they had difficulty finding a parking place in a rest area when it was their intent to sleep there. Twenty-seven percent indicated that it happens to them every night. Twelve percent told us they have a problem finding a space five nights a week. Twenty-six percent said they have difficulty finding a parking place in a rest area three times a week. Twenty-five percent answered once a week, and 10 percent indicated they never had a problem finding a space in a rest area. This last group may include truckers who prefer not to park in rest area to sleep, but instead opt for parking at a truckstop or other location. LL