HOUSTON — Commercial truck drivers now have a new option for safe overnight parking in Houston, and the service is expected to soon expand into other areas.
Last week, Secure Trailer Lots Inc., a Houston-based company that offers yearly leases for commercial truck parking, announced that overnight and monthly parking are now available at its Houston location.
“All you have to do is ask drivers that are reserving space at our Houston location where there is overnight parking in Houston and they respond, ‘There is none!’” said Doug Chappelear, owner of Secure Trailer Lots.
Houston is recognized by the transportation industry as a “truck-parking-crisis” zone. In February, the Texas Department of Transportation’s Truck Parking Inventory and Utilization Memo noted that the Interstate 10 corridor provides 5,772 truck-parking spaces. However, the total daily demand is 9,860 truck-parking spaces, leaving a gap of more than needed 4,000 truck-parking spaces.
Chappelear said the federal government’s changes to hours a driver can be behind the wheel and mandatory rest breaks has caused unexpected stress of drivers searching for safe parking in high-density metropolitan areas of the country, particularly in Texas. Without safe, secure parking facilities for drivers, a safety concern becomes a critical issue not only for truck drivers but for the traveling public as well, he continued.
Recent surveys by the American Transportation Research Institute show that the average over-the-road driver spends more than an hour each day searching for overnight parking. This translates into $5,000 a year in lost revenue for a single over-the-road driver. Take $5,000 per driver per year, with 48% of 1.9 million long-haul truck drivers losing one hour of driving time, this number translates into almost $5 billion per year — 0.5% of the total transportation cost across the United States.
“Texas has made solutions to our truck-parking challenges a priority,” said John Esparza, President and CEO of the Texas Trucking Association. “Working hard to solve this issue will not be possible without the private sector, and Truck Parking Reservations will play a big role.”
Truck Parking Reservations, formerly known as Reserve 24-7, provides truck drivers, truck managers and trucking-company owners an easy-to-use parking reservation and pay experience, and provides owners of parking facilities a low-cost reservation-management solution.
Chappelear said Secure Trailer Lots’ Houston yard is the first of many sites for which the company plans to implement online truck-parking reservations.
“Providing overnight parking would not have been a service offering of Secure Trailer Lots in the past,” he said. “However, with the simplicity of Truck Parking Reservations’ mobile-ready platform, it was an easy decision for me to enhance our services to include overnight parking.”
Founded in 2006, Secure Trailer Lots started with three yards along the Texas/Mexico border and has expanded into 40 cities in 21 states. Each lot provides local and regional drivers with a place to park their equipment during off-duty times.