Every truck driver on the road knows that finding reliable parking on any given route is a major issue in the industry. From lost time to unsafe parking conditions to paying out of pocket, truck drivers face an unfair disadvantage when it comes to securing a spot.
As with any business, owner operators are forced to get creative with their parking solutions. While there are whispers of legislation moving in the right direction to make more spaces available, drivers are still navigating a legal terrain that isn’t quite on their side.
“By state law, you can not park your truck on the side of the road—you will get a ticket.”
—Driver and TikTok user @shon_datrucker in his viral video
documenting police issuing him a ticket for parking his rig
in his own driveway.
Not to mention, although truck drivers are in many ways the backbone of America, a recent survey indicated that most Americans are largely unaware of how underserved the industry is—especially as it relates to the parking crisis. With such a major issue continuing to go largely unnoticed, what can drivers do in the meantime to cover their bases in the best way possible?
Take Parking Into Your Own Hands
The nationwide parking shortage doesn’t show many signs of improving in the immediate future, so drivers are relying on their own ingenuity as well as advances in technology to create a system that works for them.
The nature of truck driving is largely unpredictable and comes with many variables. Oftentimes, a driver will have a loose idea of where they will end their day and subsequently plan for a nearby lot to lay their head. However, with a variety of delays like traffic, long unloading wait times, or unforeseen events, it’s not uncommon for a driver to arrive at their planned lot later than expected—only to find a long line of other drivers in the same boat. There is nothing worse than reaching a lot that is already at capacity.
There is a better way.
With technology on their side, drivers have found digital tools and apps to not only allow them to plan which lot they will land in but to book their spot ahead of time for a guaranteed reservation. This ability simplifies the entire parking process and removes any concerns about arriving at an already-full lot.
With Relay’s latest Routes feature, drivers can enter their routes, find available spaces along the way, and book their spots right from their phones.
Cut down on time spent finding lots
It’s not uncommon for drivers to spend an entire weekend simply planning their parking for the week. With more than 2 million over-the-road truck drivers and less than 315,000 overnight truck parking spaces, it’s no surprise that this seemingly simple task can actually be quite time-consuming.
Not to mention drivers who are stuck looking for parking on the clock. In an industry where every second counts, cutting into available hours of service to look for parking, or worse, driving long distances off route to find it, equates to significant dollars lost and decreases productivity.
With Relay’s comprehensive in-app map showing parking lots across the nation, drivers are now equipped with all of the information they need all in one place. The instant visibility of available parking prevents drivers from having to conduct lengthy online searches for lots and eliminates the need for aimless driving in search of spots.
Prioritize safe and legal spaces
For carriers and drivers alike, finding safe, legal parking is a top priority.
"If you want to talk about finding and keeping drivers, you need to be equally concerned with the lack of safe parking. Everyone in this room knows where you’re going to put your head down tonight. Our professional drivers don't have that same luxury."
—Rebecca Brewster, President & CEO of ATRI
Drivers who are forced to park along roadsides and highway shoulders inevitably put themselves and others at risk with 84% of the driving community stating they feel unsafe when parked illegally. Not to mention, often when a driver receives a ticket for illegal parking, it must be paid on their dime.
Safe parking should be a no-brainer and is, at the very least, a core need every driver should be able to meet with ease. Thankfully, with the help of innovative technology and an intimate awareness of drivers and their concerns, digital apps like Relay are helping to not only provide safe parking options but doing so in a way that is simple, convenient, and fast.
The bottom line
Drivers deserve better.
As some of America’s most essential workers, it is imperative that greater importance be placed on driver safety, driver happiness, and driver respect.
At Relay, we’ve worked tirelessly alongside our driver community to listen to the top concerns in trucking so that we can build real solutions to real problems. With the Relay app, not only can you find on-route fuel, automate your receipts, and make instant lumper payments, but you can find, book, and pay for safe parking ahead of time, too.
Download the Relay app today to find safe, reliable parking for tomorrow.