People want their stuff – and they want it cheap and in a hurry. We drivers get this. We want to deliver it quickly – and safely.
But we hear time after time about communities that don’t want truck stops or rest stops too close. They complain about the noise, the smell, the fluids dripping from our engines… (I don’t know a trucker who wants something dripping from his engine.) As truckers, we need to know what places to stay for the night that are safe, secure, and protected from the unwanted bang on our doors in the middle of the night.
The truck parking issue hits everyone.
People want the store shelves filled, but don’t want the truckers who deliver the goods to stay. This hurts everyone. When we spend time and fuel looking for a place to spend the night – required by law – but does anyone think about the cost?
- We have to stop earlier to find a place – which means it takes longer to get the goods delivered.
- When we spend hours looking for place to park which wastes fuel – which adds to the cost of the goods.
- We are at risk when there isn’t a safe, secure and protected parking area or rest stop so frustrated drivers quit – which drives up the cost of goods because premium shipping prices will be charged.
It only makes sense for everyone that this issue get the attention it deserves.
“No Truck Parking” Hurts Everyone
I hear truckers say they can’t find a safe place to stop for their rest breaks and I totally get it. It seems that sometimes people want their goods but don’t care about how they get there – unless there’s a big accident with a fatigued driver. Then we drivers get hit with more regulations controlling our hours on the road – but no way to get off and get a decent rest. It’s not just a problem here in the U.S. There were tweets from Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands… it’s a real issue that even has Jason’s Law, an addition to the US highway bill, to focus on creating more safe places for drivers to rest.
I have an app for smartphones called RoadBreakers. A trucker with over a million miles during 10 years on the road who had an idea for an app to solve this problem.
Truckers need to know where they can stop for a rest that’s safe.
The problem is a real one. According to the US Department of Transportation, in 2012 there were over 133 million trucks on the road. There aren’t enough spaces for truckers to pull over for the mandatory rest breaks, forcing truckers to stop on the side of the road, or worse. Everyone wants a place where there won’t be someone banging on the door at 3 a.m. telling them to move. That might be the best scenario – reports of attacks on truck drivers range from robbery to murder. Women truckers, in particular, are looking for safe locations.
Million-mile trucker Richard Shore has a laser focus on what RoadBreakers should do. Truck parking and that’s it. This is the need that RoadBreakers wants to fill.
Drivers are crowd-sourcing the data. The drivers send in locations of places they’ve found. The Roadbreakers app doesn’t just depend on the truck stops to give us their information, which sometimes the GPS locations aren’t quite right. Drivers can report a location that otherwise might never be known.
Truck parking’s human facilities also noted
There are apps for the various places that may be okay such as Walmart parking lots or some low-cost hotels. RoadBreakers knows what is needed and this is what they’re going to produce. One feature of the program that did make the cut is the chat option. Drivers are encouraged to post their comments about the locations – good showers, bad surfaces, whatever another driver might want to know.
If Roadbreakers hears about a robbery or trouble at a site, they get that information out there. Drivers want to know that.
At this time, the RoadBreakers app is available for free for both the Apple IOS and the Android platforms – and the users are growing.
Roadbreakers.com has the links to both Google Play and the Apple Store for the app.
As truckers, how are you dealing with your truck parking problems? Do you have another solution?