States using technology to
address truck parking shortage
There is some good news regarding
an issue that has been vexing truck
drivers for the past several years:
Federal funding has created an eight-state initiative to begin tackling the
nation’s truck parking problems,
beginning with Iowa’s plans to make
parking easier along Interstate-80.
Phil Mescher of the U.S. Department
of Transportation (U.S. DOT) said it
was the passage of Jason’s Law in 2012
that made research and federal funding
a priority in addressing the truck
parking shortage across the U.S. The
law is named after Jason Rivenburg,
a truck driver who was robbed and
murdered in 2009 after pulling off the
road to rest at an abandoned South
Carolina gas station.
“This really brought a lot of
awareness to the trucking companies
and to the government about this issue,”
Mescher said. “And so the publicity got
the interest of Congress a little bit, so
when they passed the transportation
bill…they included some provisions
in there to help states create either
better parking, more parking or some
technologies to help truck drivers.”
The current initiative has $25
million of federal funding to be divided
among the selected eight states,
Mescher said. Each participating
state is creating a plan of action that
specifically addresses its own needs
and also works with the other states.
Iowa is the first state to announce its
plan to create an electronic system
that will help make it easier to find
available parking along I-80.
With the amount of trucks packing
the rest stops and parking along the
I-80 off ramps in Iowa, Mescher says
there is an obvious need for the state to
create a new system – especially since
truck drivers are also restricted to how
many hours they can be on the road.
“If they are getting down to where
they only have an hour or two left, it
becomes imperative that they try to
find a parking space so that they don’t
spend an inordinate amount of time
driving around pushing up against
that threshold trying to find a parking
spot,” he explained.
While many states do a good job with
their 511 transportation systems, the
problem is that they are all different
and drivers have to go to a different
website for each one, Mescher added.
Iowa’s plan is to still put information
about available truck parking spots on
their 511 system and to also create a
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new system that monitors both public
and private spots. The system will
be available as a smart-phone
application and to companies that
provide in-cab information systems,
as well as truck dispatchers.
“In this proposal, what we wanted
to do is to use some Intelligent
Transportation Systems (ITS)
technologies to provide truck drivers
with information about the availability
of truck parking at upcoming rest areas
and truck stops,” Mescher said. “We
will either have in-pavement sensors in
the parking stalls themselves at some
sites, or we will count the trucks going
in and out of other sites so we will know
The new system will be developed
and tested over the next year and
is expected to be up and running
by January 2019. Indiana, Kansas,
Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio,
and Wisconsin will also be implementing
their own truck parking information
management systems that eventually
will interconnect into a regional system.
(This story was compiled by
Truck Industry News)
Roadrunner pares losses
Systems reported a net loss of $91.2
million for full-year 2017 compared
with a loss of $360.3 million in 2016,
according to industry reports. The
diluted loss per share was $2.37 for
2017 compared with a diluted loss per
share of $9.40 for 2016.
The Downers Grove, Ill.-based
truckload and less-than-truckload
carrier reported a 2017 operating
loss of $36.5 million, compared
with a loss of $403.8 million in 2016,
financial reports show.
Revenues totaled $2.1 billion in
2017, up nearly 3 percent from $2
billion the previous year.
The truckload segment contributed
revenues of $1.3 billion, a 4.7-percent
rise from $1.2 billion in 2016. The less-than-truckload segment had revenues
of $463.5 million, up from $461.5 million.
The Ascent logistics unit reported
revenues of $328.3 million, a 2-percent
drop from $335.5 million in 2016. Ascent
provides freight management and
forwarding and other services.
“We are happy to complete our 2017
annual report, which gets us another
step closer to becoming current
with our SEC reporting,” said Curt
Stoelting, company chief executive.
He said the company plans to
release its first-quarter 2018 results
this month. That would make
Roadrunner current with Securities
and Exchange Commission (SEC)
requirements for being listed on a
The release of full-year 2017
results is part of Roadrunner’s
efforts to amend and refile its
financial statements after a
company-led investigation that
found the previous management
team made substantial accounting
errors over several years.
An SEC and U.S. Justice
Department (DOJ) investigation
of the matter led to the June 15
indictment of two former Roadrunner
finance executives for multiple
counts of conspiracy and wire and
securities fraud in a scheme DOJ
said led to a loss of $245 million in
According to the indictment, the
scheme was designed to mislead
shareholders, auditors and regulators
about Roadrunner’s financial condition
“to maintain and increase the market
price of Roadrunner’s stock.” This was
done while those charged continued
to receive their pay, stock and other
benefits, according to the indictment.
The indictment lists but doesn’t
name five co-conspirators, including a
former board member, who were part
of the alleged scheme.
For the second year in a row,
Groendyke Transport of Enid, Okla.,
selected recipients for its Jonathan
Luevano Memorial Scholarship.
This year’s recipients are Gabrielle
Parrish, of Jacksonville, N.C., and
Jacy Stroud, of Sweeny, Texas.
The scholarship honors the memory
of Jonathan Luevano, a driver at