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You don't know what you don't know

I didn't come into this job with a trucking background. 

I worked at a grocery store when I was a kid on the overnight crew, unloading trucks and stocking shelves. Years later, I was running a group of newspapers and I took weekly delivery of truckloads of newsprint rolls for our press. The time I spent lugging stuff out of a trailer was the extent of my trucking knowledge. 

When I jumped into this industry in 2012, being on this side of the curtain and seeing the choreographed logistical synchronous dance that is the movement of freight was eyeopening. It's still pretty incredible that a box of crackers rolls off a cracker-making machine in Illinois on a Monday and within a matter of a few days hops on a few trucks, into a distribution center or two, and your local store shelves before finally arriving in your bowl of chili. 

The entire world got a crash course in trucking and the role it plays during the pandemic. If you weren't working in a hospital in COVID hot-zone, there may have been no tougher job than truck driver in the depths of the pandemic. Nowhere to eat because restaurants were closed. Nowhere to use the bathroom because there were restrictions at some rest stops, state rest areas were closed, and the shipper/receiver for sure weren't letting the truck driver in to use the bathroom.

With fewer cars on the road, driving during the pandemic was a little easier (and safer), but there remained an issue that has plagued this industry for a while: parking. When states closed rest areas, that wiped out thousands of parking spaces, and there already weren't enough.

Only one parking spot exists per every 11 trucks on the road, and sometimes we have to "share" those with RV'ers, campers, charter buses, and the occasional idiot who parks their personal vehicle there for some reason. 

For those of us who don't see it up close, the idea of struggling to find a place to park is probably hard to get your mind around. Outside of Black Friday and opening night of a Star Wars movie, car-parking really isn't a problem. A study recently commissioned by CloudTrucks revealed that 56% of Americans were unaware of a truck parking shortage. Think about the last time you complained about being able to find a parking place in your personal vehicle. You probably found one, it just wasn't 100 feet from the door, and there were probably dozens of other places available that were an inconvenient hike to the entrance.