Evaluation of Truck Parking Needs in a Changing Regulatory Environment

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Date

2024-03-15

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National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence

Abstract

Commercial driver hours-of-service rules were created to ensure that operators of heavy vehicles on US roads have opportunities to receive adequate rest during and between trips. The use of electronic logging devices to replace handwritten logs, along with the implementation of automated vehicle tracking systems, has created a potential opportunity to track the location of truck drivers with respect to their hours-of-service status. It is envisioned that this real-world driving data can inform the siting of new facilities to address a critical, national shortage of safe and convenient truck parking. This investigation sought to provide proof-of-concept for the use of electronically logged hours-of-service data to determine where additional truck parking areas are needed. A sample of this data was purchased from a commercial telematics provider, and a trusted partner was contracted to transform the acquired raw data into a format that could be used within geographic database system to identify where drivers were located as they neared the end of their allowed driving time. This database would also include the locations of existing truck parking facilities so that gaps in coverage could be identified. Unfortunately, the native format of the hours-of-service data as collected and provided was not conducive to creating a continuous record of a driver’s trips that could be synchronized in time with location data. Also, the sample set of real driving data that was provided in line with the project budget contained too few records to be of practical use. Therefore, proof-of-concept was not validated with this effort. It is likely, though, that the evolution of telematic and electronic logging systems, and the perceived value of this type of information, will result in data quality improvements that will enable the type of analysis envisioned. Examples of the problems encountered are described, and lessons learned and suggestions for future efforts have been provided.

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Keywords

truck parking, hours of service, I-81, electronic logging device, commercial motor vehicles, CMV

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