App to locate parking spaces in works

Updated May 20, 2016

Truck drivers having problems finding a place to park — so that would mean most of you — may get some relief in a few months.

The Truck Parking Leadership Initiative — a group of trucking industry organizations — is preparing an app that drivers can use to locate available truck parking space. Park My Truck will allow any parking provider – whether public or private – to report their parking availability. That information will be posted on the Internet and access with a free app on drivers’ smartphones.

The Truck Parking Leadership Initiative includes the National Association of Truck Stop Owners Foundation, the American Trucking Associations and the American Transportation Research Institute.

The organizations encourage all parking providers – including truck stops and travel centers, state DOT rest areas and others – to participate in the initiative by providing information and reporting the number of spaces available in their lots.

The initiative was developed based on feedback from drivers, motor carriers and truck stop operators.

“ATRI’s latest research has revealed that ‘managing critical truck parking’ ranks as one of the industry’s Top 5 most pressing concerns,” said ATRI Vice President Dan Murray. “Through this technology, we will dramatically expand the scope of truck parking information available to drivers in an efficient, easily accessible format.”

Truck parking operators, including private companies and state or other administrators of highway rest areas, will need only to have internet access and the ability to count available spaces, whether by observation or by electronic means. Truck parking providers can contact the NATSO Foundation at (703) 549-2100 or [email protected] to establish an account to provide truck parking availability.

“Federal and state governments have spent decades and millions of dollars researching truck parking issues, and testing technology-based approaches to counting available spaces, but not one of these efforts has yielded nationwide data about parking availability,” said Lisa Mullings, president of NATSO and the NATSO Foundation. “We are still many millions of dollars and years away from implementing an electronic system that can count parking nationwide. The problem is that drivers need information now. We don’t want to allow our pursuit of a perfect solution to prevent us from implementing a good solution today.”

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In a related initiative, ATRI is collecting detailed truck parking diaries from hundreds of drivers who are tracking 14 days of their truck parking challenges.  The analysis of the truck parking diary information will continue through June and ATRI hopes to release its report on the truck parking diaries in August.