The Mid America Trucking show (MATS) welcomed thousands of truck drivers March 24-26 to the Kentucky Exposition Center. While attendees spent plenty of time eyeing new show trucks, checking out useful (and just funny) products and filling their swag bags, drivers also had an opportunity to share their thoughts on the top challenge they face while out on the road: Parking.
The Parking Struggle is Real
Earlier in March, Truck Drivers USA published an article about the urgent need for safe parking for truck drivers. At MATS, FreightWaves interviewed several drivers and most called the lack of safe truck parking a daily struggle. As Truck Drivers USA noted previously, there are more than 3.5 million CDL holders in the U.S. but only around 313,000 truck parking spaces.
Your voices are being heard
At a press briefing at MATS on Thursday, FMCSA Acting Administrator Robin Hutcheson said truck parking is among the top two or three issues her agency hears about from truckers.
“Letters have gone, let’s say, to the top of the U.S. government, highlighting this issue,” Hutcheson said. “And it’s not something we didn’t know about before, but we’re really feeling the urgency of the situation.”
She said FMCSA looks forward to working on this issue and “picking up some of the really great work that the Federal Highway Administration has done to try and accelerate it. We know we need to work on it,” Hutcheson said. “We know this needs to be addressed because we hear over and over again, ‘I would be a safer driver if I could have a place to rest.’”
Hutcheson said FMCSA will closely work with the Federal Highway Administration on the truck parking issue. She also said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg recently testified about ways to fund truck parking to Congress.
“He listed all the eligibility that states have today to use their funds to invest in more truck parking,” Hutcheson said. “The agency is looking at what eligibility, what money there is today that can be used for truck parking and how every state’s freight plan should include truck parking, truck parking needs.”