ITS DMS Trend 2018:  Truck Parking Information Systems That Will Save Lives

The evolution of intelligent transportation systems has experienced in a very small window of time, the interactive communication of smartphones, more efficient data collection and tolling technologies, the better use of detection devices for warning systems as well as for transportation planning, and the early onset of market implementation of autonomous vehicles. Going back to core visceral beliefs, it is still the driver and the resulting decisions to the current transportation experience over the road that impact all of our safety.  Trucking transportation best illustrates this experience.

Truck Parking Signs to post available parking spaces at strategic locations

By employing the best of new technology in vehicle detection while capitalizing on an established proven technology with tweaks, dynamic LED messaging agencies around the country from the Midwest to the Southeast are rapidly deploying both to create a more systematic method for trip planning for the long haul transportation industry: posting available truck parking spaces at strategic locations along the interstate roadways with specific message, lower cost LED signs, both current and accurate to the minute.


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Truck Parking Signs: a combination of Static sign and Dynamic display

The dynamic messaging aspect combines the low cost flexibility of using reflective highly visible, lower cost static signs to designate the destination or location detail while employing embedded or 2—4 digit single line LED signs noting parking space availability at these locations. Truck parking management systems are the most efficient and safest way for trucking professionals to garner information on-the-fly trip planning.  Reason it to say, we want those eyes on the road rather than a smartphone application which many states are now prohibiting the use of while driving. Taking valid and current data to the roadside creates safer roads and highways.


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Example of Solar Truck Parking Signs in Europe


Due to specific use, dynamic messaging signs can take on specific design as well with a number of considerations for implementation including tilt for better road visibility, type of mounting systems,  size of sign / message, number and word use, MUTCD guidelines compatibility and electrical and communication designs, from complete integration with solar power devices to communication for remote or off the grid locations.

With planning and partnership with ITS-only manufacturers, truck parking sign deployment is not only the quickest safety enhancing tool for ITS professionals for trans state volume roadways, it is the most efficient as well as a measureable approach to intelligently handling the deadliest flaw inducing aspect of driving behind drunk driving- fatigue. 

Currently there are over 10 states initiating truck parking programs for the first time in 2018 in the Midwest, South East and Mid-Atlantic areas touching less than 10% of the transcontinental interstate system alone yet appears  on the path to standardization, potentially as  relatively speaking, as spatially common and accepted as the speed limit signs (many states are moving digital Variable Speed Limit signs) are now along major corridors, both signage deployments provide safe roadway intentions interactive to the transportation professional.

When planning or implementing Truck Parking signage, use ITS-only manufacturers previously experienced in this ITS application as partners. Utilizing their experience to optimize costs and man hours, a good ITS only DMS manufacturer will be quick to share lessons learned and design elements from other agency deployments.

Here are some links to learn more about Truck Parking Signs:

National Coalition on Truck Parking

Kansas Statewide Freight Network Truck Parking Plan   


SES America Solutions

SES America offer several standard models of Dynamic Message Signs under the Messenger 5000 series and the SolarSign 5000 series for solar powered signs. This DMS can be easily customized to fit the size and dimensions of the required display in Amber, White of even full color. Customization also includes mounting arrangement and tilting mecanism. Each DMS is managed by our multi-DMS controller SCU6 which can manage several DMS from a single location.


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