The American Transportation Research Institute’s (ATRI) latest annual survey is raising awareness of the trucking industry’s biggest issues.

First of all, the driver shortage came in at number one, followed by driver retention at number two. However, creators of the survey demonstrate interest in all the other problems for both drivers and employers. Major industry issues such as these are talked about often. As a result, many of the underlying, secondary issues from the driver’s side are overlooked.

Also, ATRI President Rebecca Brewster stated, “For every motor carrier, if you really care about the driver shortage and driver retention, you’d better care what’s on that driver list of issues”.

And, she’s not wrong. Consequently, the survey uncovered a vast number of issues in trucking that go far beyond the driver shortage, and may even contribute to it.

So, here is ATRI’s 2018 list of the top 10 issues facing the transportation industry. The list is discussed by both commercial truck drivers and carriers.

First of all, top industry concerns for commercial drivers include:
  1. Hours-of-Service (HOS)
  2. Truck Parking
  3. The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate
  4. Driver Distraction
  5. Driver Retention
  6. Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)
  7. Driver Health and Wellness
  8. Transportation Infrastructure/Congestion/Funding
  9. Driver Shortage
  10. Automated Truck Technology
Furthermore, top industry concerns for motor carriers include:
  1. Driver Shortage
  2. Driver Retention
  3. Hours-of-Service (HOS)
  4. Transportation Infrastructure/Congestion/Funding
  5. Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate
  6. Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)
  7. Driver Distraction
  8. Tort Reform
  9. Truck Parking
  10. Federal Preemption of State Regulation of Interstate Trucking (F4A)


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Earlier this year, the American Transportation Research Institute asked people with CDL driver jobs to keep a two-week diary of their parking experiences in an effort to collect valuable data.

Land Line magazine published the findings in a news article that shows truckers lose nearly $5,000 a year looking for parking.

Nearly 150 diaries, representing 2,035 days and 4,763 unique stops, submitted.

Noncommercial vehicles take up much needed space, ELDs exacerbate the problem, and truckers  spend less time searching than other studies suggest. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the study, Land Line wrote, was the amount of driving time available per hours-of-service regulation after parking.

Nearly 3/4 of respondents lost 1-2 hours of driving time. Furthermore, 40% report a loss of 31-60 minutes and 32% lose 61-120 minutes.

That’s an average loss of $4,600 a year, according to ATRI. The research institute calculated average truck speeds at nearly 40 mph, 250 days worked/year, and loss time of 56 minutes/day. This generated an average loss of 9,300 revenue-producing miles.

With average wages of $0.499 per mile an hour, ATRI concluded a nearly $5,000/year loss. Another surprising result in ATRI’s study was time spent finding a parking spot. More than half claimed they found a spot within 5-10 minutes, 15.5% within 11-15 minutes and 18.3% within 16-30 minutes. These findings directly contrast studies conducted by the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials.

In June, KDOT released a study indicating that truckers were spending an average of 30 minutes searching for safe parking. A MAASTO study showed more than half of respondents spend more than 30 minutes looking for parking.

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Truck Parking App Will Help Drivers

Movers and shakers in the trucking industry have banded together to help truck drivers find available parking spots on their routes. Those with CDL driver jobs know how hard it is to find truck parking, and now help is coming through a free mobile app due out in August.

Behind the app are some of the trucking industry’s biggest entities: the American Trucking Associations, the National Association of Truck Stop Operators, the American Transportation Research Institute and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. The quartet announced the new app, called Park My Truck, on May 18.

Transport Topics wrote about the announcement.

Lisa Mullings, president of the NATSO Foundation, pays to develop the app. Overall, she said the app enables drivers to find available truck parking at commercial truck stops and state-provided rest areas in the 48 continental states.

“Professional drivers remain essential to our economy and our way of life in America,” Mullings said. “Therefore, their safety and security remain a major priority.”

In addition, ATRI Vice President Dan Murray noted truck parking ranked as the No. 2 issue on the organization’s list of industry issues.

One representative involved with the creation of the app, Rep. Paul Tomko, represented Jason Rivenburg.

Jason, a truck driver, died in 2009 at an abandoned South Carolina gas station inspired “Jason’s Law.”

That tragedy inspired Tomko to become involved in the issue of safe truck parking. “Access to safe and accessible rest stops can be a life-or-death issue as I unfortunately learned during my first term in office,” Tomko said. “Truckers deserve safety, nothing less.”

In addition, ATA President Bill Graves noted that many more trucks are expected to be on the road as the economy expands in the future. So, the need for this new app only increases as time passes.

Find the best CDL trucking job for you. Register today. It’s free!


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