By Clarissa Kell-Holland
The renewed push for longer, heavier vehicles has OOIDA leaders questioning where they are all going to park.
Many states are already struggling to provide adequate truck parking at their rest areas, which would have to be reconfigured for vehicles longer than 80 feet.
OOIDA Director of Regulatory Affairs Rick Craig said that if Congress passes legislation allowing more states to have longer, heavier trucks, his question is “Where are you going to park them?”
“Many of the regular parking spots are not equipped to handle longer, heavier trucks,” he told Land Line. “At a lot of these truck stops, they are making the spaces tighter and tighter where’s it’s pretty damn hard to get a conventional tractor with a 53-foot or 48-foot trailer parked.”
Some proponents haven’t even considered where to park them.
ATA Vice President of Public Affairs and Press Secretary Clayton Boyce told Land Line their highway and safety experts “predict that (parking) will not be a problem at all.”
However, some truckers disagree.
OOIDA member Rocky Myers of Fredericktown, MO, who hauls oversize loads, said it’s becoming more difficult every day to find parking. He’s seen fewer available spots because of an influx of drivers getting into the heavy-haul business.
“A lot of the little mom and pop truck stops who made accommodations for their customers who hauled oversize loads – there are getting to be very few of them left because of the economy,” Myers told Land Line recently.
At a Flying J in Houston recently, Myers saw two drivers who pulled in with 10-axle tractors and trailers, grossing 200,000 pounds apiece, and couldn’t find a place to park.
Even though Myers said they moved to an area “out of the way” and were not impeding traffic, the drivers were fined more than $850 for parking in a “no parking” area.
“I have been in this situation many times, and some of these places are only thinking of dollar signs and not about the truckers,” he said. LL