Rebecca Brewster, the president and CEO of the American Transportation Research Institute, spoke to fleet executives at Overdrive sister publication Commercial Carrier Journal‘s Solutions Summit in Phoenix, Arizona, final week about clashes between the priorities of huge fleets and their drivers. According to Brewster, and the info, whereas fleets stay involved about staffing challenges, the drivers they’re trying to make use of principally fear about kitchen-table points, like how they will pay their payments and whether or not or not they will have a protected place to sleep tonight.

While Brewster’s speech targeted primarily on the outcomes of a brand new survey on what drives the selection between gear possession or work as an organization driver, she additionally supplied compassionate and detailed evaluation of the hardships many drivers face each day.

Here’s a take a look at the breakdown of the highest ten issues for each fleets and drivers.

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While the controversy round driver compensation v. a perceived “driver scarcity” is well-worn, Brewster pointed to driver concern round truck parking as trigger for a serious wakeup name for fleets.

“If your high points are discovering and preserving drivers, then please take note of what they’re involved about,” Brewster advised the fleet-focused viewers. “We have a tie for the primary time within the high spot between compensation and truck parking” on the truck operators’ aspect of the ledger.

Most doubtless, drivers will at all times push for increased pay and fleets will at all times lament the shortage of drivers keen to work beneath present circumstances, however in line with Brewster, the difficulty with truck parking is untenable and easily not one thing staff of any sort ought to deal with.

“The lack of truck parking is a giant private problem for me,” she mentioned, stating that most of the convention attendees doubtless drove previous vans parked on the shoulders and ramps of highways for lack of parking. “It shouldn’t be occurring. This is an untenable place drivers are confronted with.”

Fleet executives, in line with Brewster, cannot simply settle for these hardships on behalf of their drivers, particularly inside such a good freight market. “If you need to speak about discovering and preserving drivers, you must be equally involved” with the shortage of protected parking, she mentioned. “Everyone on this room is aware of the place you’re going to place your head down in a mattress tonight. Our skilled drivers do not have that very same luxurious.”

Besides the apparent moral case to be made for locating protected locations for truck drivers to park, Brewster’s evaluation of the business illustrated a number of methods through which the scarcity of parking could certainly even be inflicting the “driver scarcity” that tops the listing of fleet issues.

Truck parking the important thing to undoing the so-called ‘driver scarcity’?

MIT’s Dr. David Correll, a analysis scientist who spent the final 4 years observing and speaking to 4,000 OTR drivers, lately made headlines for a research that concluded that regardless of drivers having a possible 11 hours of driving time per day, the typical he noticed drove simply 6.5 hours. The “driver scarcity” of 80,000 drivers, an estimate from the American Trucking Association, might due to this fact be solved with an extra 18 extra minutes of drive time a day achievable in each driver’s present schedule.

Previous ATRI analysis has indicated that 44% of drivers discovered truck parking a lot more durable or considerably more durable than in years previous. Brewster attributed this partly to public relaxation areas closing throughout the COVID pandemic.

Brewster recalled a 2016 research the place ATRI “really had drivers preserve a superb old style diary of the whole lot about their truck parking,” whereby drivers reported a troubling frequency of unauthorized, undesignated parking. The diaries additionally discovered drivers spending a mean of 56 minutes a day on the lookout for parking.

‘Why had been drivers giving up hours? Even if they’ve extra drive time they’d say ‘I’m simply afraid I gained’t be capable of spend it and discover parking,'” mentioned Brewster.

The parking problem additionally blends into drivers’ No. 2 concern: Detention occasions. Despite seemingly limitless consideration to logging and reporting hours of service, the reality of the business is that the majority drivers do not run out of drive time. Rather, they run out of time to attend on parking or loading and unloading.

[Related: And the No. 1 barrier to truckers’ hours utilizaiton is …]

Brewster mentioned shippers and fleets can demand that warehouses permit drivers to make use of the services and to park on-site, when wanted, however that fleets also needs to advocate for his or her drivers politically. Besides pushing for extra money for truck parking in federal budgets, as OOIDA has performed, they will contact their native authorities.

“Please make certain your state DOT understands that closing relaxation areas is a nasty factor to do for the business, whether or not it’s a short-term resolution [as during the pandemic] or long-term for price range points,” mentioned Brewster. “And discuss to your clients. They have a task on this, a really massive function. Particularly in the event that they’re going to be holding their driver up for a very long time. Warehouses can’t say, ‘Sorry, too unhealthy for you, you need to go park down the road.’ They have to offer a protected haven.”

In that very same vein, Correll prompt that carriers and drivers ought to create a system to offer warehouses and shippers letter grades, to assist information them when choosing masses similar to you may use a well being division letter grade that will help you choose a restaurant.

[Related: Truck parking info-delivery systems study points to key limitations — accuracy, accessibility in-cab]