Truck parking, detention costs, tech shortage are ATRI research topics

Updated May 16, 2023
Tractor-trailers parked at rest area

The trucking industry's leading research organization's agenda for the rest of the year includes issues relating to truck parking, driver detention and barriers womwn face when trying to become professional drivers. 

At its recent mid-year meeting in Florida, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) Board of Directors approved the 2023 top research priorities, as identified by the organization's research advisory committee. 

According to a statement from the organization' the 2023 ATRI top research priorities are:

Expanding Truck Parking at Public Rest Areas. The lack of available truck parking is perennially ranked by drivers as their top concern. This research will identify and map truck driver needs to rest stop attributes, develop best practice case studies and utilize truck driver data to identify strategies for expanding truck parking capacity available at public rest areas.

 Identifying Barriers to Entry for Female Truck Drivers. Female truck drivers represent less than 10 percent of the truck driver workforce, yet ATRI research documents that female drivers are safer than their male counterparts. This research will identify gender issues and proactive steps the industry can take to make truck driving careers more appealing to women.

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Complete Streets Impact on Freight Mobility. Complete Streets is a U.S. DOT program designed to make transportation accessible for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders. However, planning decisions to deploy complete streets often negatively impact freight transportation and those who rely on truck-delivered goods. This study will quantify these impacts and recommend approaches for transportation planners to better facilitate freight movement.   

Examining the Diesel Technician Shortage. The industry’s challenges in recruiting and retaining technicians are often cited as being as critical as the driver shortage. This research will work with government and industry to identify the factors underlying the shortage, including mapping career attributes to workforce needs, and assessing high school-level vocational training availability, industry recruitment practices, and competing career opportunities.

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The Cost of Driver Detention. Truck drivers and motor carriers consistently rank driver detention at customer facilities as a top industry concern. This research, supported by shipper groups, will include quantitative data collection to identify detention impacts, costs, and strategies for minimizing detention.