Truck parking is in high demand and this trend is likely to continue over the next several decades as road transport remains one of the top modes of freight transportation.
This article will explain in depth the concept behind a truck parking business. Furthermore, city bylaws, truck route requirements, and parking lot design will also be briefly covered.
Challenges with Truck Parking
There many challenges with the current organization of truck parking across North America. Firstly, truck drivers and dispatchers spend a considerable amount of time searching for legal parking spaces while the truck is on route. Secondly, secure tractor trailer parking for high value cargo is a demand that is increasing each year. Thirdly, illegal truck parking due to lack of parking spaces is endangering the travelling public and resulting in tickets/fines for drivers
City Truck Parking Bylaws
Most municipalities have zoning bylaws which govern which parts of the city can be allocated to the development of truck parking facilities. The three most common types of zones are residential, industrial, and agricultural. Truck parking lots can generally only be established in industrial zoned sites. Truck parking in agricultural zones may be permitted but certain requirements must be fufilled and the number of units that can be parked is limited.
Parking and entry of heavy commercial vehicles in residential areas is for temporary purposes. Most class 8 trucks are generally not permitted to enter residential areas, even for delivery purposes. Hence, this is a reason why you’ll commonly encounter smaller, 5-ton trucks making deliveries in residential zoned areas.
Hard-surfacing of the parking lot is also a common requirement amongst most municipalities. Truck parking facilities that do not meet this requirement are usually subject to apply for a temporary use permit.
Semi-truck parking space dimensions
How much space is needed to park a semi-truck with or without a trailer? An average trailer is between 48FT-53FT long although 53FT trailers are the most common type. Semi-tractors by themselves can be in the range of 20-25ft depending on the wheelbase of the specific truck. Sleeper trucks will have a longer wheelbase as opposed to day cabs. Therefore, it is fair to say the standard length for a tractor unit parking must be at least 30ft. An estimated 15ft should be allocated to the width of the parking stall. As a result, semi-truck parking space dimensions are 30ft x 15ft = 450 sq. ft. Up to 40 tractor units can be parked in one acre of land depending upon the shape (ex. square vs rectangular vs triangular) of the lot.
Financials of a Truck Parking Business
Now that the total required parking space per semi-truck is known, calculations for the financials needed to turn a profit can be made. As stated previously, up to 40 tractor units can fit in one acre of land. Therefore, a standard rate of $175 per stall for 40 tractor units equals total potential revenue of $7,000/month. To turn a monthly profit of $2,000 (operating income), the maximum mortgage value could be around $1,200,000 with a 3-year fixed-closed mortgage paid bi-weekly with an amortization period of 30 years and an interest rate of 3.62%.
How to Scout Potential Truck Parking Facilities
With city bylaws, zoning requirements, and financial budgets in place, finding suitable property for the development of a truck parking facility can be a cumbersome task. Some tips to find these development sites follow. Firstly, get acquainted with the different zone classifications in the various communities that make up the city. Also knowing the abbreviations for each zone classification is another crucial step to take. Secondly, understand the process it will take to submit and have approved a rezoning request. The reason behind rezoning is that many commercial development and business use zones may be viable options to conversion to an industrial zone. Therefore, become familiarized with what it may take to successfully rezone a related zone to one such as an industrial zone that permits the development of a truck parking lot. Avoid residentially zoned and some agricultural zoned areas because they will likely be involved a lower chance for successful rezoning. Lastly, search for development opportunities in the most prominent real estate website in your area. For instance, setup alerts to be notified when a property meeting your criteria for a truck parking business is posted. Furthermore, consider using the map search feature that most websites must find properties more efficiently. Also, don’t forget to include neighboring cities and townships as considerations in your truck terminal scouting.
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