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Trucker Path study says parking primary cause of driver stress; may have worsened in some respects



Professional truck drivers know all too well how being forced to park in unsafe areas because they’re out of hours can end in robbery, death or both. And, says a new parking study, parking availability has improved some, but not nearly enough. In some respects, it may have worsened.

In fact, nearly 90 percent of drivers in one survey said finding safe parking is their No. 1 work-related stress.

Trucker Path, the provider of mobile apps that help truckers report parking availability in real time, said its most recent study on the parking problem shows that on average, parking has improved in nearly every state from 2016 to 2017, but the largely urban Eastern U.S. still has a “severe lack of capacity.”

The study says truckers being able to secure spots in advance would help, but admits the idea of parking reservations is still controversial among drivers.

A recent trip to a Central Arkansas TA/Petro showed dozens and dozens of reserved spaces empty, and more than one driver has called The Trucker editorial offices to complain that they shouldn’t have to pay for parking spaces that were free several years ago.

The Trucker Path study says currently, 30 percent of drivers report using the reservation method. It goes on to say that the largest impact could be achieved by spreading out the need for capacity throughout the day since most drivers need parking spaces at the same time each day.

The study lauded the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for revising the personal conveyance rules to give truckers extra time beyond Hours of Service limits to search for safe parking.

Additionally, the report recommends using weigh stations and shippers’ facilities as additional parking locations.

It noted that parking has been listed as the No. 4 concern in the industry as a whole, but the No. 2 concern by drivers, with 48 percent of truckers reporting that it takes them an hour or more to locate a safe parking spot. This is according to a study by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), a research arm of the American Trucking Associations.

Trucker Path, Park My Truck and others have provided apps to help commercial drivers find safe parking spots, and truck stop chains have added the above-mentioned parking reservation systems.

However, the report said, “despite these efforts, the problem may have worsened.”

“When Trucker Path carried out our Trucking Parking Survey in 2017, 40 percent of truck drivers reported that they needed an hour or more to find a spot. This year, the share is up to 48 percent,” the report noted.

Also, it said 80 percent of 5,400 respondents to the Trucker Path study reported the ELD mandate has made it more difficult to find parking.

Anecdotally, truck drivers have told The Trucker they have to get to truck stops earlier and earlier to find a good spot since the mandate went into effect.

A 2018 survey conducted by Trucker Path found that 85 percent of responding truck drivers said finding truck parking was their No. 1 job stressor, followed by the ELD mandate/HOS; shippers; other truck drivers; brokers; and dispatchers.

Seventy-two percent of drivers surveyed by Trucker Path said they sometimes park in abandoned commercial property, 75 percent sometimes use store parking lots to park, 56 percent sometimes use off-ramps to get their mandated rest, and 26 percent sometimes use residential streets or highway shoulders to comply with HOS.

The Trucker Path said the safety implications are dire, ending in drivers, themselves, getting killed and/or trucks parked on off-ramps and shoulders causing  wrecks.

It quoted an ATRI study showing that a driver wastes about $500 a month searching for available parking and a fleet of 1,000 can spend an extra $6 million in unproductive driver time looking for parking.

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  1. Patrick Rutland

    August 31, 2018 at 4:00 am

    I use to drive for JB Hunt. Had a Stroke last September and had to retire. Just Thankful I don’t have the Headache I had for over 29 years of driving trying to find Parking spaces. I feel for the other drivers. It was a 29 year old problem, I am just glad it’s over.

  2. Patrick Leddy

    August 31, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Retired from this industry due to the new rules that took effect back in 2015. 35 years of having a CDL license and I always knew parking would be the number one worst outcome of new rules for drivers. The stress of having a ELD aka Rat Box I could never get used to. I was in constant violation of leaving a few minutes early or going over. Worked for a company in 2016 that made me drive for 18 hours to make an appointment. They fixed the ELD at the office. Once they realized I would run hard they constantly fixed my ELD. It’s a joke, was a joke then and it’s worse now. Drivers should not have to be scrutinized this way. I retired right before they enforced the have to take a nap in the middle of your day nonsense. All that does is waste even more time for a driver in finding some place to stop for a 30 minute nap. SMH every time I see stories like this. I feel. Bad for the driver, brothers and sisters who are out there putting up with more and more government regulations. What a shame they ruined this industry.

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The Nation

Love’s, its customers raise more than $3.75 million for children’s hospitals



Love’s showed additional support for CMN Hospitals on National Coffee Day, which took place September 29-30 during the store campaign. To honor the day, all hot beverages were discounted to $1, with sales going to CMN Hospitals. (Courtesy: LOVE'S)

OKLAHOMA CITY — Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores and its customers raised more than $3.75 million for sick and injured children through its five-week store campaign to raise funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. In the 20th year of the campaign, the company surpassed its goal of $3.6 million and set a company record for the most money raised during a campaign.

“We are so thankful to our employees and customers who not only donate at our stores, but who also go out of their way to raise money for sick and injured children in creative ways,” said Jenny Love Meyer, vice president of communications for Love’s. “Each year, we enjoy seeing communities come together for this effort and we couldn’t be prouder to have raised over $3.75 million for this year’s campaign.”

From August 26-September 30, customers could purchase Miracle Balloons, round up to the nearest dollar at registers or pumps or participate in events like 5k runs or fishing tournaments to donate money to CMN Hospitals.

Love’s showed additional support for CMN Hospitals on National Coffee Day, which took place September 29-30 during the store campaign. To honor the day, all hot beverages were discounted to $1, with sales going to CMN Hospitals.

“We are excited about the results of this year’s Love’s fundraising campaign,” said John Lauck, president and CEO of CMN Hospitals. “Not only did 2019 mark a 20-year milestone of partnership between Love’s and CMN Hospitals but more exciting, Love’s also crossed $31 million in donations to help sick and injured children treated in our hospitals across the U.S.”

Of the 170 CMN Hospitals throughout North America, 107 benefit from Love’s annual campaign.




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The Nation

Average price of gallon of diesel increase half a cent



The price for the week ending October 14 was 34.3 cents lower than the comparable week in 2018. (The Trucker file photo)

WASHINGTON — The average price of a gallon of on-highway diesel increase four tenths of one cent to $3.051 for the week ending October 14, according to the Energy Information Administration of the Department of Energy.

Normally posted on Monday of each week, the average price chart was released Tuesday because the federal government was closed Monday for the Columbus Day holiday.

All but two regions of the country posted increases led by a 1.9 cent increase in the Rocky Mountain states (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado).

The New England states (Maine, Vermont, Hew Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts) was the only region showing a decline at five tenths of one cent.

The price for the week ending October 14 was 34.3 cents lower than the comparable week in 2018.


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The Nation

DeFazio asks IG to investigate reports of Chao’s conflicts of interest



In requesting an investigation of Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Rep. Peter DeFazio cites newly-obtained information from a recent media report that suggested Chao used her office to give preferential treatment to organizations and projects in Kentucky where her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is currently seeking re-election. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is requesting an investigation into Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and her reported conflicts of interest.

Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., made the request in a letter to Department of Transportation Inspector General Calvin L. Scovel III.

The letter, sent October 11, cites newly-obtained information from a recent media report that suggested Chao used her office to give preferential treatment to organizations and projects in Kentucky where her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is currently seeking re-election.

Politico reported that 25% of Secretary Chao’s meetings with local officials between January 2017 and March 2018 were with individuals from Kentucky.

DeFazio said the report noted that requests for meetings with Chao are typically forwarded from McConnell’s office to Chao’s chief of staff, who previously worked on McConnell’s Senate campaign, DeFazio wrote.

The Office of the Secretary of Transportation took exception to DeFazio efforts.

DeFazio said the Politico report followed an earlier report that Chao had asked her chief of staff to serve as an intermediary between her office and McConnell’s office, and that he had helped advise the senator and local Kentucky officials on federal grants of particular significance to McConnell.

“These allegations were first raised by left wing advocacy groups and hashed out in the media, and the department has previously fully responded to them. They are politically motivated and intended to waste time. While the Department will always be cooperative and responsive to appropriate requests, DOT looks forward to a prompt and final resolution of these questions,” a DOT spokesman told The Trucker Tuesday.

“Allegations included the steering of discretionary grants to fund these projects,” DeFazio wrote.  “I would expect Secretary Chao to meet with individuals from her home state more regularly than other states, but the sheer volume of meetings with local officials from Kentucky when compared to meetings with local officials from the rest of the country creates an appearance of favoritism that is troubling.  Even more troubling is the fact that McConnell’s campaign touted the Politico article on social media saying, ‘Mitch McConnell is a Kentucky Asset.’”

DeFazio said news reports have also raised questions about Chao’s adherence to her federal ethics agreement in which she agreed to divest certain assets to prevent her personal finances from creating conflicts of interest.

In particular, it has been reported that the secretary retained stock in Vulcan Materials, a stone and asphalt producer, as opposed to accepting a cash payment for her stock options in the company, as provided for in her ethics agreement.




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