Iowa adds restrooms for truckers at two scale locations

March 5, 2024

Ryan Witkowski


Truckers needing a restroom break along Interstate 80 in Iowa now have a couple more options.

On Sunday, March 2, the Iowa State Patrol’s Commercial Motor Vehicle Unit announced that public restrooms now are available at the scale locations in Jasper and Dallas counties. The facilities are available 24/7 for drivers.

In addition to the new restrooms, overnight truck parking also is available at the scale sites.

“It may seem like a small issue to some, but truck drivers know how difficult it can be to find parking and restrooms,” ISP said in a recent Facebook post. “We hope this makes the truck driver’s life a little easier and more convenient!”

Sgt. Alex Dinkla, public information officer with the Iowa State Patrol, said there are “about 30 or so” truck parking spaces at each scale location. Dinkla also said parking at the sites is readily available, adding that he has “never seen all the spaces full.”

One reason for that could be a shared apprehension among truckers when it comes to parking at a scale – that they open themselves up to being inspected.

“This is a common concern among drivers,” Dinkla told Land Line. “They are not more likely to be inspected when they sleep at the scale. We want drivers to have a safe place for rest without the fear of being inspected.”

Dinkla added that inspections do occur in “extreme cases” but that unless there is a “major issue that we have no choice but to address,” truckers can expect to be left alone.

The need for restroom access and reliable truck parking have been longstanding issues within the industry, with legislation introduced to address both.

The bipartisan-supported Trucker Bathroom Access Act, reintroduced in June 2023, aims to ensure truckers are allowed to use a restroom facility while they are waiting for freight to be loaded or unloaded.

If approved, the legislation would mandate that truck drivers be granted access if a business has a restroom available to its customers or employees. Businesses without current facilities would not be required to construct new restrooms.

Last month, the resolution gained additional support, adding a pair of co-sponsors to bring the total to four.

Another bill gaining steam is the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act. Introduced in both the Senate and House, the bill would allocate $755 million over three years to the construction of new truck parking. According to the bill text, all parking created under the legislation must be publicly accessible and free of charge.

Since its introduction, the House version of the bill has accumulated 46 co-sponsors from 25 states and Puerto Rico. The Senate version of the bill currently has 14 co-sponsors from 11 different states.

On top of being addressed at the federal level, truck parking is the focus of a number of bills introduced by state lawmakers.

Fighting For Truckers

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has applauded the introduction of both pieces of legislation and is working with others in the industry to help push the bills over the finish line.

In November, a coalition of industry stakeholders led by OOIDA sent a letter to the Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure urging it to prioritize the bill in the Senate.

“Truck drivers are the backbone of our nation’s economy, ensuring the efficient delivery of goods that sustain our everyday lives. The reliability of our supply chain depends on them, and it is imperative that we prioritize their safety and well-being,” the coalition’s letter read. “The Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act represents a crucial step toward achieving this goal.”

The Association encourages drivers and other stakeholders to contact their representatives and senators about co-sponsoring the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act and the Trucker Bathroom Access Act. To find your lawmakers’ contact info, go to LL