Truck driver shortage driven by parking
COLLEGEDALE, Tenn. (WDEF) – Business leaders and Tennessee lawmakers gathered at the Collegedale Commons today for Thrive Regional Partnership’s 2021 Freight Forum.
The title of this year’s forum was The State of Trucking.
“Every single thing you and I consume and use in our daily lives comes on a truck. And when we can’t find and keep truck drivers because for instance they don’t know where they’re going to park at night, we’re going to pay more for everything we consume,” says Rebecca Brewster, President and COO of ATRI.
ATRI, or the American Transportation Research Institute, presented findings that truck parking was one of the top 10 logistics industry issues.
“When we get our products, when they get delivered to our doors, it is so strongly affected by a truck parking issue that’s really not well known out in the general public,” adds Bridgett Massengill, President and CEO of Thrive Regional Partnership.
While federal law requires that truck drivers take a 10 hour break following 11 hours of drive time, many drivers have found it difficult to find adequate parking.
This might cause them to park along exit ramps, interstate shoulders, and other unsafe areas.
“There simply aren’t enough places for drivers to park,” says Brewster.
The lack of adequate parking has become an industry wide problem, leading in part to a shortage in drivers.
“That issue could certainly help us to attract truck drivers back into the industry if we can help them find it an attractive place to be,” adds Massengill, about the shortage in drivers.
A number of solutions were also proposed.
“A lot of public rest areas limit the amount of time that vehicles can be parked there, sometimes you’ll see signs that say two hours. If we could remove those limitations so that professional truck drivers could get their mandated hours of rest,” suggests Brewster.