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Driver issuesNewsTrucking Regulation

Owner-operators seek dedicated federal funds for parking

A bipartisan bill to create a dedicated pool of competitive grant funding for new truck parking capacity will be introduced in Congress in the coming weeks, according to backers of the proposal.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), which has been working over the past year to help craft language in the bill, wants to see the bill incorporated into the next surface transportation reauthorization.

“Too many federal dollars have been spent recently on technology-based solutions that fail to address the root of the problem,” testified OOIDA Vice President Lewie Pugh at a U.S. Senate hearing on truck safety issues on Feb 4. “We’ve determined federal investment in the expansion of trucking parking capacity is key.”

The legislation, to be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, would use funding from existing highway safety programs. “We want to create dedicated funding — a ‘lock box’ only for truck parking that actually puts pavement out there.”

Collin Long, OOIDA’s director of Government Affairs, said that while only public entities will be able to apply for the funding, the bill will encourage innovative proposals that incorporate partnerships with the private sector.

“The problem is, while truck parking projects are technically eligible under a number of existing programs, they compete with highway capacity programs,” Long told FreightWaves. “If we’re able to set some of the highway money aside for use exclusively for truck parking capacity, the states are going to want it. They all know there’s a problem, and there’s no lack of interest.”

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) also supports federal aid dedicated to solving the problem. “Truck parking has not been a priority given a shortage of funds for essential highway projects,” ATA President and CEO Chris Spear testified at the hearing. “Therefore, ATA supports the creation of a new discretionary grant program with dedicated funding from the federal-aid highway program for truck parking capital projects.”

According to the ATA, the truck parking capacity shortage ranked third in 2019 among issues that concern truck drivers, behind compensation and hours of service.

Darrin Roth, ATA vice president for Highway Policy, noted at this year’s Transportation Research Board meeting that 40% of drivers are shutting down operations 31-60 minutes early just to ensure they can find parking. That leads to a yearly loss of 9,300 miles of wage-earning potential, Roth said, equivalent to more than a $5,500 potential wage loss — or a 12% cut in annual pay.

The results of the latest Jason’s Law survey, a Federal Highway Administration (FHA) survey of truck parking availability among states, will be due out within the next several months, according to the FHA, and industry officials say the results could be used to help inform the next highway bill reauthorization. However, Pugh said, “it seems all it has done so far is produce studies and research to tell us there’s a truck parking problem that we already knew existed.”

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John Gallagher, Washington Correspondent

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.

19 Comments

    1. Parking. Really. OOIDA Need to be going after the brokers, who devise all those schemes to cheat owner operators out of their money. There needs to be transparency in shipper rates, criminal charges for insider shipping monopoly, create access to all loads, by making it a first call system, put a end to the fraudulent misuse of the fuel surcharge. The fuel charge is in addition to the rate, not included. Everytime a broker quotes a rate with the fuel charge attached on the rate, short changes us owner Operator’s. We must get top dollar for our time away from our families and the hazards we face while keeping commerce moving.

  1. This is SILLY !

    Why don’t these O/O’s & carriers collectively create their own parking spots rather than mooch off the government ???

    Many O/O’s mooch off carriers , and now they want to mooch off the government , LOL !

    You see how that works . O/O’s mooch off carriers and carriers mooch off O/O’s , then the O/O’s & carriers mooch off the government , LOL !

    And they call themselves “independent” ??? , ROTFLMAO ! Bunch of tax payer LEECHES ! Fleece the tax payer and the employees , at your CONvenience , wow !

    But HEY ! They don’t want government to meddle in their fleecing affairs and render the playing field fair for employee drivers . No , no , no , then they cry and use the FAAAA preemption card because apparently being fair and classifying EMPLOYEES correctly would weigh on their rates, routes, and services , ROTFLMAO !

    In my humble opinion ………..

      1. (D)rivers
        (E)volving
        (M)ovement
        (O)ffering
        (C)reative
        (R)ational)
        (A)lternatives
        (T)ogether

        TRUCK DRIVERS MUST UNITE & CREATE AN ALLIANCE !

        (I)deological
        (D)etermination
        (I)nsisting
        (O)n
        (T)ogetherness

        TRUCK DRIVERS MUST UNITE & CREATE AN ALLIANCE !

        In my humble opinion ………

  2. Well here it is, if it’s a trucking industry issue its everyone’s issue because the public and companies are the first to complain when the merchandise isn’t delivered on time. If drivers are having to shut down early to get a parking spot and if you drive OTR you know its true, it’s a problem Trucks parked all over in truck stops not even in spots because it’s over full. Trucks parked all over on and off ramps cause there is no place to go and it’s all drivers company and O/O. This problem isn’t about whether you are a O/O or company driver. It’s about the fact that there are more trucks on the road then there are parking spots for them.

    1. Parking is an issue due to ill coordinated runs and a lack of proper structure , period .

      Most truck drivers complain about the general public’s driving mentality on the roads .
      THE WAY THE GENERAL PUBLIC DRIVES DEMONTRATES THEIR MENTALITIES !

      THOSE PEOPLE ALSO HAVE OFFICE JOB POSITIONS . SOME ARE DISPATCHERS , BROKERS , MANAGEMENT AND POLITICIANS ETC !

      SOME OF THOSE PEOPLE ARE DICTATING YOUR BUSINESS ! SOME ARE YOUR DISPATCHERS , YOUR CARRIERS , YOUR BOSSES !

      And you wonder why the trucking industry is flawed ??? How could it not be with all those sorts of poor mentalities managing it ??? You’re driving among them and then they dictate your runs , LOL !

      YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE EXPERTS ON THE ROAD ! YOU’RE SUPPOSE TO KNOW HOW THE RUNS SHOULD BE STRUCTURED AND BETTER COORDINATED BETWEEN SHIPPERS & RECEIVERS ! WHY DO YOU STUBBORNLY KEEP ON POSITIONING YOURSELVES TO DEPEND ON A MIDDLEMAN/THIRD PARTY THAT DOESN’T HAVE A CLUE NOR CARE WHILE TAKING A CUT OUT OF YOUR POCKET AND CAUSING YOU GRIEF IN THE PROCESS ???

      Now that’s insanity !

      In my humble opinion …………

        1. Correct .

          There is a way to render the playing field fair . However , in order to get there truck drivers must unite . Minimally 30k members . Once established it will snowball from there due to its structure increasing driver income tremendously as the Alliance’s power increases based on its structure .

          Why 30K members ? To keep the self in house financing extremely low . In fact absurdly low . Collectively pennies add up to dollars quickly , major dollars . Once achieved then a feasibility study is conducted to ensure the plan is realistic and achievable . Those dollars need to multiply like lightening like speed . That’s the key to a rock solid sustainable foundation . Never to depend on a middleman again , ever . Then we go after market share like this industry has never seen before .

          IMHO

    2. We need to limit the number of truck permits and require all shipper and receivers to pay $50. U S or $65. Cd that do not provide overnight parking with bathrooms and in northern states 30 percent of the spots with 20 amp plugs also in southern Texas and Southern California 30 percent with electrical plugs for truck air conditioning , and showers.

  3. Yes that’s how to solve the major truck parking problem , form another study, just go north of Virginia on 81 or 95 past 6 pm . There is no place to park , stop the police harassment and allow truck parking on all entrance ramps in all states , instant fix but no money to be made from tickets so it will never happen . Should have planned better , please sign this ticket.

  4. When i take most exits I see a large unused area inside the clover leaf or the wedge between highway and ramp. Level and pave these areas. Add a dumpster and a portajon.
    The government has created these parking situation with the ELD. its not mooching. We O/O work our asses off to be successful. The large companies are the tax evaders and the ones that abuse the system. Run drivers into the ground or leave them sitting going broke. The American Truck Driver should be a respected carreer. Not shit on by every politician, dock worker, and road raging asshole. I’ll give you my truck for a day. Lets see you accomplish 1/3rd what I do. I sacrifice family, money, and life to bring you(the ungrateful disrespectful people) your goods you buy everyday EVERY where you get it. Parking is easily solved.
    The issue is there ia no money to be made off of overnight spots for us to safely park. That’s why agree stop stufying and do something. Such as pave the inside of clover leads or the wedge of exits.

    1. REMEMBER ONE VERY IMPORTANT POINT !

      RESPECT BEGETS RESPECT !

      First I would like to state that I do drive OTR . I’ve experienced what you are saying and much more . I’ve walked in your shoes . Therefore I know where you’re coming from , I understand your frustrations , and appreciate the service you bring just as I appreciate every other labourers services .

      There is much more than an ELD and a lack of parking that is involved in this poorly structured industry .

      While you blame government , you cry to them for solutions . Haven’t you noticed that government causes problems ? Stop depending on them ! Many of the problems we experience in this industry can be solved by us collectively ! Stop competing against one another and create a true brotherhood and start respecting one another .

      The truck driver comradery of yesteryear has DIED ! REVIVE IT ! You keep ranting about being at the center of the world and if it weren’t for drivers the world would stop ! THEN CHANGE IT !

      If you’re that important and so powerful then how come you can’t improve your own world/industry ??? Why do you keep crying for those on the outside to come in and improve it for you ???

      UNITE ! Ahhhh what a concept ! TAKE RESPONSIBILITY ! Taking responsibility gives you the ability to respond and create a change . A change you desire . A change that would render you all prosperous equally collectively !

      You haven’t tried that yet . WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR ??? Haven’t you suffered enough ? Haven’t you been ripped off enough ? Haven’t you been disrespected and abused enough ???

      Apparently not .

      The trucking industry is broken ! It desperately needs to be restructured ! Not by some bureaucrat at this stage, but BY YOU FOR YOU ,TOGETHER !

      You have no idea how simple and fast this would be if you could simply get along with one another and revive that comradery by being a friend and making a friend no matter where you come from , the color of your skin , or the language you speak !

      Be that pioneer ! Be that example for others to follow ! Take your industry back and improve it TOGETHER !

      Rather than complain about the ELD , use it as an example to realize that the industry is flawed . The ELD itself is not the problem . The one who created it(Werner) didn’t have a problem with it . The problem began when it was imposed on the whole industry because the industry’s structure is flawed !

      I could go into many details to prove my point but then this comment would never end .

      The problem in this industry is between your two ears ! Fix that , UNITE and we can revolutionize this thing of ours real fast and fair .

      The money we would need and where it would come from is not the problem ! The problem is our division !
      You could be one heck of a force to be reckoned with if you united . You don’t even all need to unite . Just 1/4 to a third of you . Slowly but surely . Focus on the US & Canada at first , then Mexico and so on and so forth .

      How do you accomplish this ? FIRST YOU DECIDE & COMMIT ! That’s how .

      In my humble opinion ………..

  5. Sounds Good…., but OOIDA is not a insurance company for truckers ,.. just don’t think it’s a good idea for them to representane all the truckers when more than half of the brokers out here want except they insurance because they feel like they do shady business ,.even if Congress does pass, OOIDA still want open up doors for you to do business with any broker u want to deal with to make money out here with your own authority.., I just don’t think it’s a good idea for them ,, they or grade b or c insurance company ,so why Congress should listen to them , OOIDA not trying to better they insurance company for the drivers so why should Congress go to a grade A system that would work for the drivers when you have a grade B or C insurance company asking….I’m just saying !

    1. What ???

      The article is about asking government to allocate federal funds to increase commercial truck parking capacity !

      Please , try that again , LOL !

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