Highway Jottings-6

5 min readMay 27, 2024


On a tranquil early morning workday, as I turned onto Gurugram-Sohna Road, which links National Expressway 4 (the new Delhi-Mumbai Expressway) at the Kadarpur Crossing near Badshahpur, the tall vehicles were ‘highly’ (pun intended) visible — not one but two, one behind the other, parked on the roadside under the elevated carriageway.

The shops on the left were shut. Which business establishment will be open at half past seven in the morning? I instantly knew these vehicles were car carriers. Had I not travelled almost 13,000km in such vehicles since 2010 as kalasi (driver assistant) to understand the challenges long-haul truck drivers confront on the highways with their cargo-laden vahan?

As I approached the vehicles, the logo on the hydraulic-operated rear door caught my eye. Transystem, one of India’s leading car carrier companies, is known for its commitment to safety. This Indo-Japanese joint venture between Mitsui and TCI group prioritizes driver welfare, ensuring a safe journey for their cargo and vehicle.

I applied the brake, and my Duster stopped a few metres away from the Transystem vehicle. What were these vehicles doing here at this early hour, parked on the roadside? Had the drivers gone for a tea break? I exited my car and noticed the Karnataka-registered tractor trailer bearing KA 42 A6739 — black letter on a yellow background number plate, silent.

Spotting trucks parked in that location in the early hours is not new for me; I have been doing so since I moved into this neighbourhood six months ago. I noticed this is a favourite location for trucks to park. As far as car carriers are concerned, their belly filled and lasso-ed with passenger cars — mostly Maruti Suzuki because the company has two manufacturing plants in the Gurugram-Manesar belt — would have left the loading bay late in the previous evening.

Perhaps the drivers, committed to their delivery schedules and the safety of their cargo, chose to spend the remaining night at this spot until daybreak before continuing their journey on the National Expressway 4. This is a common practice among truck drivers, who prefer to sleep between midnight and the next morning for road safety reasons. Their dedication and wise decision-making should be acknowledged, especially considering the valuable cargo these car carriers transport, underscoring the urgent need for secure parking facilities.

I went around the two Transystem trucks but found no sign of drivers. Maybe they were sleeping inside the cabin. Why do I say drivers and not a driver? It is well known that Transystem follows a two-driver format from a road safety perspective again.

My concern was not just a passing thought but a serious question: Why halt at these public places? The risk of cargo theft is high in unsupervised areas. Moreover, the absence of dedicated parking yards in the vicinity is a glaring issue. I also noticed a few more tractor-trailers loaded with hay near Transystem vehicles. Their drivers, too, were absent.

The absence of dedicated truck parking is not just a point of interest but a pressing concern. Parking lorries with cargo on the edges of highways is a common sight, and it is not out of choice but due to the lack of such essential wayside amenities in India. The cargo is precious and expensive, underscoring the need for secure parking facilities.

Consider the potential financial loss. If we assume the Transystem vehicle has eight low-end Maruti Suzuki passengers in its 18.75-metre lengthy cargo bay, each costing approximately Rs. five lakhs (Rs.500,000), the total amount would be Rs.40,00,000. Cargo theft, a real and significant threat in unsupervised areas, could lead to devastating financial setbacks. In such cases, availing of insurance benefits would be a complex and time-consuming process, adding to the trauma that transporters and drivers must endure. This is a situation that cannot be ignored. Not to be missed is the cost of vehicle -another Rs.30 lakhs approximately. If they are curtain trailers, add another Rs.500,000 per vehicle.

Once these Transystem car carriers hit National Expressway 4, they can use spacious truck parking facilities built by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). But what about until they reach their destination?

I decided to explore further down the Gurugram-Sohna Road. I spotted a large vacant parking area less than a kilometre after crossing the Ghamroj toll plaza (two km from where Transystem vehicles were parked). It was under construction and not ready for occupation, but it could accommodate fifty or more lorries.

I drove into the spacious parking yard. Site officials said the wayside amenity is being finished and will be opened before the monsoon (end June). Drivers would not mind paying a parking fee for such secured yards. Driving is a hard job anywhere in the world, but it becomes more challenging in the Indian climatic conditions.

Indian trucks are not air-conditioned yet. However, this situation will change in 2025, with the government mandating air-conditioned driver cabins. Of course, this regulation would kick in for the newly-built heavy commercial vehicles and not for those millions of iron horses that already ply to feed and clothe the 1.4 billion populace. The chances of retrofitting the existing trucks with air conditioning are low.

Secure wayside amenities are not just a luxury but a crucial element in reducing road fatalities. It is a well-known fact that a well-rested driver is more alert, thereby significantly enhancing road safety. The need for such facilities is not just important but urgent and cannot be overstated. Ensuring the safety of our drivers and their cargo should be a top priority for all of us.

Once the Ghamroj Parking Yard is ready, we hope Transystem drivers will avoid parking on unsupervised roadsides.




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