Why Modular Buildings Are An Ideal Truck Stop Solution
The UK has been battling with a shortage of HGV drivers for the past few years. According to the Road Haulage Association, the situation has improved since the low point of 2021, but the threat of another driver shortage looms in the next five years because of the driver age demographic, with a significant proportion of drivers due to retire in the next five years.
The crisis of 2021 was caused by multiple factors, including the pandemic, Brexit, low wages, a backlog in testing and training caused by Covid restrictions, and drivers reaching retirement age or leaving to pursue other jobs. However, one of the biggest factors that was pushing drivers out of the workforce was the poor working conditions.
HGV driving requires long hours away from home, often involving multiple overnight stays. This is compounded by the fact that finding a place to park at all can be challenging. When parking is available, the facilities are often very poor. Overcrowding often means there are no showers or toilets available, and when there are they are dirty and unhygienic.
Drivers often find themselves having to park in unsafe conditions and sleep in their cabs with no access to truck stop buildings providing affordable nutritious food or even a place to go to the loo. The UK even has a poor reputation abroad, which is why when the government opened up 5,000 visa permits to ease the crisis in 2021, just 300 drivers applied.
Paul Mummery of the Road Haulage Association said: “A lack of safe and secure roadside facilities for lorry drivers plagues our industry. We believe there’s a shortage of 11,000 lorry parking spaces, forcing truckers to park in laybys and industrial estates without access to food, toilets and showers.”
He added: “Many truckers say facilities on Britain’s roads are overpriced and in a poor state – and the reason some leave the industry.”
The government has finally paid attention to the voices of workers and unions, and in November last year up to £100m of funding was announced for better roadside facilities. The operators of truck stops and roadside services are able to bid for a portion of £52.5 million, which will be match funded for improvements to driver facilities.
One solution that operators of such facilities have turned to is to install modular buildings at truck stop sites. These buildings can easily be customised to a variety of purposes, including showers and toilets, canteens, shops, or general breakout rooms.
Modular buildings can be installed on a stable level surface within a matter of weeks, as opposed to the months or even years that it takes to construct traditional buildings. This is because the majority of the construction process takes place in a factory rather than on-site.
They require fewer materials and less labour to install than a bricks and mortar building, and these cost savings are passed down to the customer. The cabins are designed to meet the highest standards of safety and energy efficiency, and will typically cost less to heat and maintain than a regular building, making them an ideal solution for roadside facilities.< Back to news