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TruckPark mission eases driver parking uncertainty

TruckPark mission eases driver parking uncertainty (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Within the trucking community, it is common knowledge that finding a secure parking spot is often easier said than done. The truck parking shortage is a ubiquitous problem in many parts of the U.S., primarily due to the lopsided supply and demand equation. 

For roughly 1.6 million drivers that need to park every day to refresh their hours of service,  there are only 400,000 truck parking spaces – forcing many to park in unsecure and un-authorized places like highway shoulders, where they spend restless nights worrying about their personal safety and that of their haul. 

“The parking shortage causes a lot of uncertainty about where drivers will park. This concern about failure to find a spot within the hours of service (HOS) amplifies the stress around parking their truck, since violation of HoS could lead to heavy fines or being pulled out of service,” said Cokey Ellerbe, the vice president of strategy and growth at TruckPark, a digital secure truck parking platform. 

Fearing repercussions of being caught behind the wheel when HoS expire, many truckers are forced to park wherever they can, which in turn leads to several unintended problems. For one, truckers find themselves parking in unauthorized places that are often unsafe, and where they cannot relax or get quality rest with the risk of having their truck vandalized and/or cargo stolen hanging over their heads.

“Data tells us about 40% of drivers spend an hour or more searching for parking, which further stresses them out since these are non-revenue hours they could have used to make money,” said Ellerbe. “Persistent high stress is not good for anyone, including truckers who are already dealing with tougher living conditions that come with life on the road.”  

Soon enough, the negative impact tied to insufficient parking space will take its toll on the driver’s wellbeing. The added stress over wasted drive time, safety and payload security,  combined with already erratic sleep schedules, can easily lead to sleep deprivation and potentially compromised operational safety. 

“If a driver has a guaranteed place to park their truck, they will not waste productive drive time looking for a spot, and importantly, parking related stress or anxiety will disappear since they drive straight to their parking lane when they arrive,” said Ellerbe. “TruckPark provides secure parking spots that drivers can reserve using our free app. The parking lots we work with meet strict security requirements, which ensures the driver’s personal safety and payload security.”

TruckPark is digitalizing the process of reserving secure parking spots via a dedicated mobile platform that enables drivers to find and book spots close by. Its business model is a two-sided marketplace, where apart from catering to truckers, it also acts as a parking spot aggregator by allowing parking space owners to register their spots on the platform. 

“A key part of our mission is to help create new parking supply and make existing supply more visible to truck drivers. This increases our ability to connect drivers with guaranteed secure parking spaces that appear on the platform,” said Ellerbe. “Giving the driver the opportunity to lock-in and guarantee a place to park is a key differentiator of our platform compared to other apps in the market. A lot of them give drivers an indication of  where parking spaces “might” be available, but can never guarantee their availability – which doesn’t really solve the driver’s uncertainty problem.”

According to recent data reported by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the average marginal cost to operate a truck is $71.78 per hour. Accounting for the one hour or more spent by 40% of the drivers searching for parking spots every day, the trucking industry witnesses a massive amount of hours and resources wasted entirely due to the lack of secure parking spots. And for drivers, there are many costs, including wellbeing, that can’t be accounted for on a balance sheet. 

That said, the truck parking problem is something that the industry acknowledges, but a problem that trucking fleet operators seem to view differently from their drivers.  In the recent 2019 ATRI report on top industry issues, the parking problem did not make the motor carriers top ten list, whereas it has consistently ranked in the top five among drivers. Many fleets don’t reimburse their drivers for parking, compounding the issue. Drivers have everything stacked against them, as they waste the last hours of their HoS in a desperate search for secure parking spots, while also paying for it when they are lucky enough to land one. 

“We’ve created TruckPark to empower truck drivers. Our partnership with Reliance Partners includes efforts to shine light on the parking shortage, but importantly, to raise awareness around the issues drivers face when they can’t find a safe place to park,” said Anthony Petitte, CEO at TruckPark. “My co-founder’s brother is a truck driver, and we want to make it possible for him to never need to park on the shoulder of a highway ramp or abandoned industrial site, ever. Our driver users can book a parking space a year in advance or on demand at the very moment they need it. Anytime a driver needs to park their truck, we make it easy.”


  1. Troy

    I see a benefit to having a guaranteed spot if I’m on a tight schedule. I have had to stop several hours earlier than my full 11 hours just to make sure I don’t go over 5 minutes. Hours of service is a joke and so is parking. I’m going to be retired in a few years and my kids will never drive a truck and I can’t see the attraction to this mess for any young person.

  2. Steven

    Government at work for you!!!!
    Another reason of so many deadly accidents since introduction of ELD.
    Reform of hours of service should be number one priority of FMCSA and flexibility in HOS could ease this stupid situation….if done it correctly.

  3. Steven J

    They charge $20 for 12 hours of parking! I thought the TA’s were a ripoff at $14. So if you’re out for a month that’s another $600 to your $2,400 a month truck payment. Now when we look at the rates, that when we adjusted for inflation are less than half of what I averaged in 1983, when shops were charging $50 an hour for maintenance and diesel was less than 85 cents per gallon, it’s hard to see why anyone is left in this industry. Maybe ripoff parking is another reason for record carrier bankruptcy rates in 2019?

    1. Noble1

      Government isn’t better . They charge patients parking fees when parking in hospital yards to get medical care at hospitals in certain countries , LOL !

      The system is whacked !

      In regards to trucking parking fees , it’s abusive as well . That’s why if truckers would wake up and form an Alliance this sort of abuse would cease to exist instead of getting worse .

      But hey , we can only blame our stubborn ignorant choice to remain divided .

      I’m surprised that truck stops haven’t started to charge clients to use the restroom . You know toilet paper and soap costs money , LOL !

      In my humble opinion ……..

    2. BigBlueRoadDog

      Steven, I’ve used it. You’re missing the point man.
      TruckPark is trying to provide choice for some drivers, that’s all. there are some people that like the convenience of guaranteed parking, in any situation….and paying for it ain’t a problem. Simple as that. By having a guaranteed spot, that I set up ahead of time, I drive straight into my parking lane …. zero parking stress. Plus, you mentioned the cost. Wow, do you know how much it costs you to look for free parking? I mean, if you have to stop driving an hour before your hours run out or even 15 or 30 minutes before, to look for parking, you’re losing revenue drive time right? but also every inch you move that truck, that isn’t making money as you look for a place to park is costing you moo-lah. the average cost of operating a commercial truck in 2018 is around $72/hour (fuel:$17, truck/trailer lease:$10.45, repair+maint:$6.72, insurance premium: $3.32, permits+licenses: $0.95, tires: $1.50, tolls: $1.17, driver wage: $23.50, driver benefits: $7.10, TOTAL: $72). How long do you spend driving around looking for a safe place to park and how much did it cost you this week? For a guaranteed, reserved safe place to park your truck immediately on arrival, $15 looks pretty dadgum good to me..

  4. Art Stone

    There seems to be an entitlement mentality among truckers that they have a right to an overnight parking spot without paying for it because their job is so important. I watch truckers on YouTube and streaming, and they park in truck stops without buying fuel there. Why should truck stops incur the maintenance and land acquisition expense for non-customers? Where reserved spots are available, they are generally not used even if the lot is full.

    Possibly because of the way the HoS rules were structured, very few drivers seem to take their 10 hour break during the day, when the lots are empty and drive overnight when the roads are empty. The old rule that the 34 hour reset required two consecutive 1-5 AM periods may have contributed to that. I suspect the rules also discourage husband and wife teams who do not need parking.

    Is there any evidence these rules and electronic logs have reduced accidents or fatalities? One of the problems when government set a maximum is the maximum becomes a goal. If you are not driving 70 hours every 7 days, you are losing money. Instead of listening to their body and using good judgement, the driver ends up a slave to the electronic logging device

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