In a recent Trucker Tools survey, we asked company drivers, owner operators and carriers about the current challenges of truck parking, including short term, long term and overnight parking. Eighty-six percent of the nearly 200 truckers who responded to our survey told us that they struggle to find truck parking. Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed also told us that overnight truck parking is the biggest problem. In the survey, we asked truckers and carriers about their strategies for finding truck parking, whether they typically pay for truck parking and what kinds of amenities they look for at parking facilities. 

Check out these five ways smart truckers find truck parking — from your fellow truckers and carriers.

1. Park Early

As one of the smart truckers who responded to our survey put it, “Location and time make the difference.” Truck parking availability varies greatly according to which part of the country you’re in and what time of day you’re trying to find truck parking. Many of the truckers and carriers who answered our survey said that if they know they’re going to be driving into a region where truck parking is difficult to find, they’ll make sure to park early. Some truckers told us that they run at night because truck parking is easier to find in the morning.

2. Call Ahead and Reserve a Parking Space at a Truck Stop

If truck parking isn’t available at shipper or receiver locations, it’s a good idea to try to reserve a spot at a truck stop as early as you can. You can see how many parking spots are available at truck stops along your route using the Trucker Tools app. Simply tap on the Truck Stop Guide within the mobile app, enter the location and you’ll be shown a list of truck stops in the area. Each truck stop listed in the search results includes the number of truck parking spaces offered onsite and the phone number for the truck stop. You also can filter the search results so that you’re only shown truck stops that offer truck parking.

3. Check Rest Areas for Free Parking

According to our survey, smart truckers find truck parking at rest areas, as well. As one of the folks that answered our survey noted, rest areas have wide off and on ramps, which is a big plus. Parking at rest areas usually is free, which is another bonus. Of course, any free truck parking spots, including those at rest areas, will fill up quickly so you’ll want to arrive at rest stops early to get a spot. To find rest areas on your route or nearby your start/end points, tap on Rest Area in the Trucker Tools mobile app for iPhone and Android. You can search for free, public parking in the Trucker Tools mobile app, as well, by tapping on the Parking icon. The information on public parking spots that you see in Trucker Tools mobile app is provided by several Midwestern states that are working together to make it easier for truckers to find free, public truck parking.

4. Pay for Parking If Arriving Late

Forty-nine percent of the truckers and carriers who answered our survey told us that they always look for free overnight parking, while 36 percent told us they’ll pay for overnight parking, but only when and if they have to. One trucker told us, “If it’s dark, I don’t plan on finding a truck parking space at a truck stop.” Several other truckers and carriers also told us that they plan to pay for parking if they know they’ll be arriving at their destination late in the day, especially late at night. 

5. Look for Parking Facilities with Amenities 

When faced with different options for truck parking, you may want to consider what amenities are available onsite before reserving and/or paying for your truck parking spot. Most of the truckers and carriers who responded to our parking survey told us that they look for parking where restrooms, showers and dining facilities also are available. Choosing parking facilities that have these amenities can save you time and reduce the number of stops you have to make. You can search for, book and pay for reserved overnight parking right in the Trucker Tools app. Each parking facility listed in the app includes information on onsite amenities, including restrooms, showers and more.  When you search for parking in the Trucker Tools mobile app, you’ll also be shown available public parking spaces.

Read Three Things Truckers Should Know About Trucker Tools’ New Parking Feature to learn more about the new truck parking reservation tool in the Trucker Tools mobile app. To download the Trucker Tools app, visit https://www.truckertools.com/web/carriers/