Among truck drivers, the lack of available truck parking ranks as a top concern. To help location parking while on the road, many commercial truck drivers — especially younger ones — have turned to mobile apps for help.
About 57% of drivers indicated that they had utilized a truck parking app in the past year, according to a recently released report from the American Transportation Research Institute, which summarizes the results of a 2019 survey of more than 1,100 drivers.
The report found that the use of truck parking apps is more prevalent among younger drivers, with nearly 67% of drivers under 45 years old indicating that they use them.
Similarly, use of apps was higher among new entrant drivers. Drivers with five years of experience or less are almost two times more likely to use a truck parking availability app than drivers with 11 or more years of experience.
ATRI officials point out that this result could point to the fact that veteran drivers already know when and where they plan to park, or perhaps that younger drivers are more tech-savvy.
“Given that 54.3% of the industry’s driver workforce is 45+ years of age, truck parking apps may not represent a ubiquitous solution for all truck parking needs,” ATRI officials explained in the report. “Additionally, more experienced drivers were less likely to utilize a truck parking app than newer drivers. This may be a function of more experienced drivers being more familiar with their routes and available parking locations than newer drivers.”
Other notable findings:
- Women drivers are slightly more likely (66%) to report using truck parking apps compared with men (56%)
- Drivers paid by the mile were approximately two times more likely to use a truck parking app than drivers paid by the hour
- Use of truck parking apps was highest among drivers working for larger fleets
Since 2015, the lack of available truck parking has been consistently ranked as one of the top five industry concerns among trucking stakeholders, according to the report.
In recognition of the need for real-time truck parking availability information, a number of providers launched smartphone-based apps to provide drivers with information on the number of available spaces in their area, amenities offered, and other useful information. The top three most frequently cited truck parking apps in the report were Trucker Path (46%), MyPilot20 (26%) and TruckSmart (18%).
ATRI concluded that parking information needs to be multi-functional. Respondents reported using both variable message signs and third-party truck parking apps to identify available parking
The need for more consistency in disseminating truck parking availability information to drivers led ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee to rank standardizing truck parking information systems as a top research priority for 2019. That year, ATRI developed and conducted the truck driver survey online and at the Mid-America Trucking Show. The results were released as a report on how truck drivers currently use truck parking availability systems, and their perspectives on how truck parking information is distributed.