Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, March 30, 2023:
Congress once again introduces truck parking funding bill
Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming) and Mark Kelly (D-Arizona) and Representatives Mike Bost (R-Illinois) and Angie Craig (D-Minnesota) on Wednesday re-introduced the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act -- legislation that would authorize $755 million in competitive grant funding to expand commercial truck parking capacity across the country.
Originally introduced in the House in 2020, the same bill also saw action during the prior legislative session and unanimously passed the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure before lawmakers adjourned in January.
There exists only one parking spot for every 11 trucks on the road, and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association President Todd Spencer noted that "when truck drivers don’t have a designated place to park, they end up parking on the side of the road, near exit ramps, or elsewhere. This isn’t safe for the driver and it’s not safe for others on the road."
The American Trucking Associations has also voiced support for the Congressional effort.
"The lack of safe and accessible truck parking places an enormous and costly burden on our nation's truck drivers as they work to deliver for the American people,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “Given the chronic nature of this issue and its national scope, it is imperative Congress takes action to provide dedicated funding to expand commercial truck parking capacity,”
A U.S. Department of Transportation report found 98% of drivers regularly experience problems finding safe parking and roughly 70% of drivers have been forced to violate federal hours-of-service rules because of this common scenario.
Truck drivers often park whenever they find a safe and legal space, surrendering an average of 56 minutes of drive time per day, according to the American Transportation Research Institute. The time spent looking for available truck parking costs the average driver about $5,500 in direct lost compensation -- or a 12% cut in annual pay.
With more than 5,000 Interstate truck stops and travel centers providing 90% of the truck parking capacity in the U.S., truck stops and travel centers play a key role in addressing any state concerns over truck parking capacity," said Lisa Mullings, NATSO President and CEO. "Allowing grant recipients to partner with private truck parking providers to expand truck parking capacity nationwide -- and allowing grant recipients to harness the collective expertise that private travel centers can provide – affords an opportunity to maximize federal funds and increase truck parking capacity along freight corridors where it may be needed."
[Related: Owner-operators dish to the motoring public on parking, ELDs, appreciation, sharing the road]
Trucker Path launches new fuel discount program
Trucker Path announced Wednesday it is launching the Trucker Path Fuel Network, which the company said is a seamless way to buy and sell fuel via its app.
The company said its fuel network will provide drivers with average fuel savings of between $50-$70 on each transaction, with no fees to participate. The program will also offer access to discounts and additional convenience store promotions, fuel saving coupons based on gallons purchased, and rewards and additional savings for referring other drivers.
“With the Trucker Path Fuel Network, we are adding yet another money-saving convenience for drivers to our all-in-one app,” said Chris Oliver, CMO at Trucker Path. “With no cost to participate and no credit checks, they will easily save a substantial amount of money at participating fueling locations by using the same app they already rely upon every day. The Trucker Path Fuel Network is our latest driver-focused offering and another way we streamline and improve drivers’ daily lives.
For Trucker Path users, locations participating in the Trucker Path Fuel Network are easily identified on the map within the Trucker Path app or by clicking the fuel icon on the menu. Drivers can enroll in the program on the Trucker Path app by inputting a credit or debit card, and then reserving the amount of fuel they want to purchase. Upon arrival at a geo-fenced location, they click “Redeem” in the app, enter the pump number, number of gallons and begin fueling. Fuel purchases can also be made on arrival and be approved in seconds.
[Related: The origin story of the fuel-discounts app aimed squarely at independents]