The average over-the-road commercial truck driver spends 56 minutes a day searching for available parking, costing them approximately $4,600 per year in lost wages, according to the American Transportation Research Institute.
The lack of available truck parking is recognized as a national problem that results in drivers staying on the road past their federally regulated hours.
"Federal regulations state that drivers can only drive 11 hours within a 14-hour period and are required to take a 10-hour break before driving again," said Steve Fry, Commercial Truck Instructor for Schneider International. "Being able to find a safe place to rest before driving hours expire is critical, and that's why this ground-breaking system is so exciting."
The system – the Truck Parking Information Management System (TPIMS) – uses sensors and cameras to collect real-time information that is then displayed roadside on the TAPCO dynamic message signs. Available parking is also broadcast on 511 Wisconsin and third-party mobile apps.
"The new signage of available stalls will help drivers find a location that is available instead of parking on an exit ramp or on the side of the road," said Fry.
The goal of Truck Parking and Information Management Systems are to:
- Increase the efficiency of freight movements
- Maximize usage of truck parking resources
- Reduce fuel consumption by reducing the amount of time a driver spends looking for parking
- Reduce damage to highway shoulders and ramps from trailer parking
Four TPIMS systems have already been deployed, with seven more scheduled for installation in 2017. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation received two grants that provided funding for the project — a $1 million dollar grant from the Federal Highway Administration and a $3 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
For more information about Truck Parking and Information Management Systems, check out this video.