To help address a shortage of truck parking in many areas of the country, the recently formed Truck Parking Leadership Initiative is developing a free app called Park My Truck to locate truck parking information and find available spaces. It is expected to be available this summer.

The Park My Truck app will allow any public or private parking provider to report their parking availability for free. Drivers can access the information on any mobile device with internet access.

The Truck Parking Leadership Initiative is made up of the NATSO Foundation, American Trucking Associations, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and the American Transportation Research Institute. It was developed based on feedback from drivers, carriers and truck stop operators who were familiar with the critical need for truck parking availability.

"Through this technology, we will dramatically expand the scope of truck parking information available to drivers in an efficient, easily accessible format,” said Dan Murray, ATRI vice president. “It is gratifying to be part of a collaborative team that is generating real-world parking solutions for truck drivers and motor carriers alike."

The group has encouraged all parking providers to participate in the initiative by providing information and reporting the number of available spaces in the lot, including truck stops and travel centers, state rest areas and others.

"We are still many millions of dollars and years away from implementing an electronic system that can count parking nationwide,” said Lisa Mullings, president of NATSO. “The problem is that drivers need information now. We don't want to allow our pursuit of a perfect solution to prevent us from implementing a good solution today."

Truck parking operators will need only to have internet access and the ability to count available spaces, whether by observation or by electronic means. Providers are encouraged to contact the NATSO Foundation to establish an account to provide truck parking availability.

ATRI is also collecting detailed truck parking diaries from hundreds of drivers who are tracking 14 days of truck parking challenges. The group will analyze the information through June and ATRI hopes to release its report on the truck parking diaries in August.

"Access to safe truck parking is a critical issue for the trucking industry," said Bill Graves, ATA president and CEO. “Efforts like this to inform drivers about the availability of parking spaces can only help drivers as they deliver our nation's economy and move us forward.”