Drivers, Shippers and the Parking Crisis
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s hours-of-service (HOS) regulations focus on when and how long drivers can drive by placing limits on the amount of time they drive their truck and how many total hours they can work before they are no longer permitted to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
They must always follow three maximum duty limits:
- 14-hour “driving window” limit
- 11-hour driving limit
- and the 60-hour/7-day and 70-hour/8-day duty limits.
Truck drivers face federally mandated rest breaks, but they have a tough time finding adequate parking.
A recent case study by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) indicated that due to the uncertainty of where and when to park, many drivers are spending nearly an hour looking for a place to park. This severely cuts into the drivers’ productivity and wages – a reduction of 9,300 revenue-earning miles a year – equal to $4,600 in less wages for the driver and higher freight cost for shippers.
The case study by ATRI listed possible remedies from a variety of groups. These include:
- State transportation agencies
- Truck stop operators
- Motor carriers
Shippers can help in two ways. The first is to provide carriers and their drivers more flexibility in appointment times. This would allow drivers to shift their time of operation to off-peak hours and seek parking during peak hours.
Secondly, shippers could let drivers park at their facility and consider providing electrical service. Doing so, the shippers could feel more certain that their product will be shipped and received more reliably.