Transportation Research Board compiles resources for trucking industry

September 15, 2020

Tyson Fisher


The Transportation Research Board has provided a wealth of information relevant to the trucking industry over the years. Recently, the research board released a lot of those resources at a one-stop-shop for the industry and others interested to use.

The first topic mentioned is a big one: truck parking. For example, TRB points to a study that looks into parking availability patterns at facilities of different types. According to the research board, this study “can allow for more efficient scheduling and routing needed to produce more accurate estimated arrival times and billable miles.”

The Transportation Research Board also has information about health, wellness and safety issues for truckers. One study finds insufficient sleep can decrease a trucker’s level of alertness, increasing the risk of crash. However, the research board does not know much about effective ways to minimize this risk. Another study finds the “connection between hours of service, fatigue and accident frequency for truckers is complicated by the difficulty of measuring driver fatigue objectively, the invasive nature of capturing measures of the amount and quality of drivers’ sleep, and many factors contributing to crashes that are unrelated to lack of sleep.”

Also included in the Transportation Research Board’s collection of resources is information about autonomous vehicles. A study released in 2017 identifies existing and emerging freight regulatory, planning, policy and operational environments and challenges for autonomous truck technologies.

The Standing Committee on Trucking Industry Research is in the beginning phases of updating the Trucking 101: An Industry Primer public document. Last released in 2010, the current document is a decade old.

To access the Transportation Research Board’s collection of trucking industry resources, click here.

Transportation Research Board needs friends

Truckers can be a part of future Transportation Research Board studies regarding commercial motor vehicle drivers. It is looking for what it calls friends of TRB’s Standing Committee on Trucking Industry Research or the Standing Committee on Truck and Bus Safety.

Next year, the Transportation Research Board will take a deep dive into trucking industry issues at two conferences. During the spring conference, the research board will look into costs and consequences of freight network disruptions and the local and national levels. The fall conference will focus on the latest applications of traditional and emerging freight data sources, development of value-added features, integration of data sets, and other innovations.

Those who sign up to be a friend of committees will receive updates on committee activities for which they can volunteer to participate.

Information about the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs can be found here.

The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council, which advises the federal government and others on scientific and technical questions of national importance. The National Research Council is jointly administered by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.