Poor Trucking Rest Services Spurs Private Sector
The quality and availability of trucker services and amenities has long been neglected by government. With all the hoopla over Hours Of Service (HOS) and proposals to further tighten the length of time a driver can spend on the road and mandatory rest periods, little thought has been given to the quality of rest time as opposed to the quantity. Drivers understand only too well that finding a good place to rest and clean up is important, not only for the ability to get quality rest but also to be able to recharge the batteries so they are more alert and able to continue with their driving duties.
After all, I could get as much mandated rest time at home, but if the kids are jamming up the bathroom and my daughters are playing Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber at full tilt, I know I'm just better off getting sleep somewhere else. It is not just quantity or length of time you have available to rest but the ability to make good use of the rest period available and take care of yourself properly.
Security is a major issue for over the road drivers. Cargoes and equipment are extremely valuable and a lone trucker makes for an easy target when they are resting up. One company, Terminal Exchange Services (TXS) is exploiting the appalling standard of truck rest services on the roads across North America. They are opening several new secure, hi-tech rest facilities and expanding their round-the-clock trailer drop service and yard staging.
Currently, the company operates 127 rest locations across America with a further 6 in Canada though this number is set to increase. A major selling point for the company is that these are highly secure facilities which will help stop cargo theft – the bane of every sleep-deprived trucker and truck insurer. In addition to providing a safe environment for the cargo and to enjoy rest, there are additional services available to make life easier and improve trucking efficiencies.
Services include trailer repair and equipment maintenance, container storage, trailer cleaning and washout facilities, reefer maintenance and a range of equipment repair services and facilities. TXS provides for reservations to be made using a Wireless Reservation Service so a guaranteed slot can be reserved from anywhere using a cell phone, text or Internet.
Perhaps safety advocates, looking to improve truck driver performance and road safety, would be better advised to look at the poor state of truck driver rest facilities before continuing with tightening up HOS based on dubious sleep studies. Quality rest is more important than the length of rest period ordered.