Canadian Truckers Complain About Lack of Truck Stops

2014 Canadian Trucking News – Canadian Truckers Complain About Lack of Truck Stops

More than 60 % of truck drivers say that they routinely have trouble looking for parking or places to rest while operating in Canada. Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority report that facilities and basic amenities are lacking from public rest areas and service centers across the country. The findings were reported in a Rest Area Research Project survey prepared for Transport Canada by Polytechnique Montreal and in consultation with the Canadian Trucking Alliance.

According to the survey, a number of commercial drivers feel the supply of truck stops and rest areas is extremely low in Canada, particularly in Northern Ontario, Southern BC, large parts of Alberta, and most large urban areas. The survey also found that drivers who have trouble finding a parking space say they must drive over their time limit to find one. While better food, showers and washrooms were identified as essential, drivers also pointed to a need for adequate cellphone coverage, Internet connections and security at parking facilities.

The survey, which was designed at identifying locations where parking is lacking and how this shortage affects the work of drivers, found that 60.3% of drivers surveyed have trouble finding parking en route, while 48% couldn’t find a place to stop near their final destination.

The survey found this lack of parking impacts drivers’ behavior, as 49% of drivers report going beyond their planned location to find parking spots, occasionally causing some of them to surpass their available Hours of Service. Drivers have indicated that they want more flexibility to comply with regulations when they can’t find any parking spots. More than 42% say they have been told by an enforcement officer to move away from a non-designated parking space, while 88% said that there are not enough rest areas, roadside pullouts and turnouts, or safe heavens for them to safely perform inspections.

The most popular unplanned parking locations are industrial properties, followed by shopping mall parking lots, vacant lots, roadside pullouts and weigh stations.

Most drivers reported that telephones, washrooms, ample lighting and drinking water are lacking. Drivers would like to have more public centers equipped with cellphone service in remote areas, food service, showers, and an internet connection. More than 40% of drivers also report that the operability of card lock outlets was unacceptable.

Eighty-seven percent of drivers also say that they are willing to pay for showers, but not parking, unless there is better security at the location. Seventy percent of drivers say they will pay up to $30 per night for the services.

A supplementary Transport Canada report – An Environmental Scan of Truck Stop Needs at Rest Areas, concluded that the rest stop shortage is expected to increase over the next few years in Canada and the US, and is a direct result of increasing truck traffic flows and general demand in trucking operations. The report also found that increases in truck sizes have decreased space availability, particularly along corridors which allow trucks with multiple trailers, such as long-combination vehicles.

Plans to address truck parking issues should include the construction of extra truck parking spaces, and the development of national-level guidelines for the spacing and design of public truck parking facilities. ITS technologies should be used to provide real time information about the location and availability of truck parking spaces.

CTA Canada

CTA Canada


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