Parking ‘Pucks’ Help Put Safety First for Tired Truckers Passing Through Minneapolis, MN

In the age of electronic logging devices, the end of a legal work day comes a lot earlier than many truckers prefer. As a result, drivers heading through Minneapolis, Minnesota need a place to safely park until they can resume their journey.

Up to this point, finding an open parking space at a rest area was a matter of making a fortunate find or having a friend who might tip you off over the radio or by cell phone. The Minnesota Department of Transportation is joining an interstate effort to help drivers find a safe place to land.

MnDOT is rolling out what is being called the “Regional Truck Parking Information and Management System” at seven rest areas along the busiest stretches of Interstates 94 and 35. These are routes where truckers who have reached their time limit and need to quit driving often have trouble finding places to park.

After rest areas fill up at night, truckers often find themselves forced to park on exit ramps and other less desirable places. It’s a dual problem as drivers try to comply with federal rules and fight fatigue.

Minnesota is expected to be ready before at least seven other states which are developing similar systems. The goal is to create an interstate network by early next year that will include Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin

MnDOT is putting sensors about the size of a hockey puck under the pavement that can detect a truck. That information is sent to the Regional Transportation Management Center and then relayed to highway message signs that display the number of available truck parking spaces at rest areas. The parking information is also displayed on the agency’s trucker 511 highway information page and forwarded to trucking company dispatch centers.

Minnesota is one of the states with the most severe parking problems as truckers pass through Minneapolis. The technology will be deployed on eastbound I-94 rest areas near Alexandria, Albany, Enfield, and Maple Grove, on westbound I-94 at the St. Croix River, southbound I-35 in Forest Lake, and northbound I-35 near the Northfield exit.

It’s another safety innovation that Bay & Bay Transportation is happy to support. Bay & Bay prides itself on safety and reliability in the Minneapolis area and on the many short and long-haul routes we handle across North America. We offer competitive compensation and benefit packages to make every mile count for you.

It’s also why Bay & Bay is known as a quality driven tradition. If you’ve got the right stuff, call (888) 801-3026, or visit our web page for more details and information about how you can join our growing team in the Minneapolis area and at many other great places across the country.