ATRI ‘parking diaries’ reveal ELDs make finding parking more difficult

| December 14, 2016
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To see Overdrive‘s in-depth reporting on the parking struggles faced by owner-operators, click here or click through the photo above.

Parking diaries kept by nearly 600 truck drivers for two weeks this year revealed truckers spend an average of 56 minutes per day searching for parking, costing them nearly $5,000 a year in lost wages, according to a report on the diaries issued this week by the American Transportation Research Institute.

The roughly hour-per-day average accounts for all parking attempts, including those for truckers’ required 10-hour break and others throughout the day. “With average driver pay at $42,500 annually, the lack of available parking is effectively reducing the average driver’s wages by 10 percent annually,” ATRI notes in its report.

The report, based on input from truckers who documented their parking experiences during two week periods between June and September, provided a few obvious notes, like finding parking is most difficult between 4 p.m. and midnight and parking’s scarcest on weekdays. However, the report also provides insights into other factors, like use of electronic logging devices extends the amount of time drivers spend searching for parking.

Overdrive reported earlier this year in-depth on the country’s parking crunch and how it impacts owner-operators. See the full “Parking Perils” series at this link or the links at the bottom of the story.

Truckers using ELDs more frequently reported spending more than 30 minutes searching for parking than those using paper logs. Drivers using ELDs spent 30 or more minutes searching for parking 10.6 percent of the times they sought parking, compared to 5.7 percent of the attempts of drivers using paper logs. Likewise, truckers using paper logs found parking in less than 15 minutes 77.4 percent of the time, compared to just 70.7 percent of the time for those using ELDs.

“ELD leaves no room for dealing with full truck stops making it nearly impossible to preplan,” said a flatbed driver from Alabama who submitted a journal to ATRI.

Parking: Data on rest areas v. truck stops

Parking: Data on rest areas v. truck stops

Data show that parking issues aren’t limited to states showing a high percentage of publicly controlled spaces or those with a high percentage of private ...

However, only 15 percent of the drivers who kept the parking journals use paper logs, so the numbers may be slightly skewed.

According to ATRI’s report, 63.4 percent of parking attempts that took 15 or more minutes to find a space occurred between 4 p.m. and midnight; 34.8 percent of attempts that took 15 minutes or longer occurred between 7 and midnight, while 28.6 percent occurred between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Truckers in the diary program spent the most time searching for parking on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Nineteen percent of parking attempts on those days took longer than 30 minutes. Truckers spent the least amount of time searching for parking on Tuesdays, with 93 percent of attempts taking less than 15 minutes and just 13 percent of attempts taking over 30 minutes.

Top 20 worst states for truck parking

Top 20 worst states for truck parking

Though California tops Overdrive's weighted rankings of the worst states for truck parking at No. 1, Northeast states occupied Nos. 2-6. Access news of new ...

According to the journals, there was little variation in parking time regionally.

The truckers that kept parking diaries were mostly company drivers, 72.3 percent. Two percent were independents with their own authority, while 25.7 percent were owner-operators leased to carriers. More than half, 56.1 percent, pull van or reefer truckload, while 20.9 percent pull flatbed. The remainder was split among LTL drivers, tanker drivers, intermodal and “other” and “no response.” Fifty percent of the drivers who kept journals work for carriers with 1,000 or more power units.

To see the full report, which also includes information on reserved parking and more, click here.

More from Overdrive‘s “Parking Perils” series:

Parking: ‘It’s bad all over’

With a major study out and a new national coalition beginning regional meetings, the heat’s up on the increasing need for safe parking.

Parking: Data on rest areas v. truck stops

Parking: Data on rest areas v. truck stops

Data show that parking issues aren’t limited to states showing a high percentage of publicly controlled spaces or those with a high percentage of private ...

'Do we need any more trucks in our community?'

‘Do we need any more trucks in our community?’

What happens when a service shop wants to put in secured truck parking on their property -- citizen backlash, citing "every kind of crime" trucks ...

Top 20 worst states for truck parking

Top 20 worst states for truck parking

Though California tops Overdrive's weighted rankings of the worst states for truck parking at No. 1, Northeast states occupied Nos. 2-6. Access news of new ...

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