With all of the perks carriers use to entice new drivers to hire or sign on, it is surprising to me that I hadn’t heard more on anyone trying to “go to bat” for their drivers against the increasing difficulty finding parking at night. When I was able to experience the benefit of using paid parking on my trip to GATS in Dallas and back last year, I talked in my blog titled “Pay to Reserve Parking” about how I thought everyone should be using this service when scheduling allowed for it. With a new driver running for me on a lane that requires the occasional layover from time to time, I decided to be proactive in the war on parking and take the initiative to make sure my drivers have one less thing to worry about with a new company-wide policy.
When a delay occurs on the LA to Vegas lane, it typically happens on the Las Vegas side of the run, resulting in the driver not having enough hours to make it back to their home terminal in Southern California in our case. With safe parking in the Vegas area typically in short supply during the evening hours, this driver was having difficulty finding any good spots primarily after 3-4pm most weekdays. I researched through my truck stop apps to find out that some of the truck stops there have “pay to park” spots and decided that it was just easier for the driver to pay for a spot in advance when we knew delay was happening to alleviate the worry of not having somewhere to park. I began to think of this a little as just transferring one burden to another though, since now this driver would have to worry about incurring a cost of anywhere from $10-$15 per night to park on these runs. To some it may not sound like a lot, but it can easily add up over multiple nights pretty quickly.
After much though over a couple of these trips involving paid parking, I decided to alleviate all burden from the parking headache from my drivers by taking a step I had not heard of yet as being mainstream. My own company policy now is to reimburse the cost of paid parking to any of my drivers that see it more convenient to do so on their own accord just by simply turning in their receipts. With all the things we have to worry about out there on the road to stay safe, making sure that there is somewhere safe to park shouldn’t be one of them. Although I haven’t heard of any carriers doing this, or even offering it as any kind of a perk, I would like to think it could catch on! I know if I worked for a carrier as a driver of theirs, I would look favorably on the option of being “paid to park” through a reimbursement. I know it was never made an option to me, but I wish it would have on many occasions!