News, Interviews, and Happenings From The Trucking World

Sorted By:

Tag

Trucking News (16) Trucking Industry Concerns (9) Driver Responsibilities (7) Truck Driver Safety (6) Life On The Road (6) Advice For New Truck Drivers (6) Safe Driving Tips (5) FMCSA (5) Hard Lessons Learned (5) Changing Careers (4) Truck Driver Salary (4) Choosing A Trucking Company (4) Truckers Technology (4) Becoming A Truck Driver (4) Adverse Conditions (4) TMC Transportation (4) Truck Driver Training (3) Getting Your CDL (3) Trailers (3) First Solo Months On The Road (3) Driver Solutions (3) Truck Equipment (3) Autonomous Trucks (3) Understanding The Laws (3) Hours Of Service (3) Trip Planning (3) The Economy And Politics (3) PAM Transport (2) Electric Semi (2) CDL Training (2) Guns In Trucking (2) Truck Maintenance (2) Trucking Accidents (2) CDL Qualifications (2) DOT (2) Medical Certification (2) Dispatcher Issues (2) Dry van (2) CR England (2) Truck Driving Lifestyle (2) Self-Driving Vehicles (2) Health Concerns (2) Werner Enterprises (1) Exercise and Fitness (1) Doubles and Triples (1) CDL Exam (1) Older truck drivers (1) Crete Carrier (1) Prime Inc (1) Roehl Transport (1) Truck Driving Stories (1) Owner Operator (1) Maverick Transport (1) LTL Driving (1) CDL Test Preparation (1) Recruiter Issues (1) Swift Transport (1) CDL Pre-Hire (1) Company Trainers (1) Sleep Apnea (1) Pre-trip inspection (PTI) (1) JB Hunt (1) Drug and Alcohol Testing (1) DOT Physical (1) Dealing With The Boss (1) Videos (1) Firearms (1) Weapons (1) Truck Stops (1) Return-to-Duty (1) SAP (1) Logbook Questions (1) Regional Jobs (1) Women In Trucking (1) Dealing With The Weather (1) Choosing A Truck Driving School (1) On The Road In Training (1) Company Sponsored CDL Training (1) NYC (1) Free CDL Training (1) Items To Bring On The Road (1)

Author

Date

Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks 2/15/2019 Detention - A problem still in search of a solution 2/13/2019 February Highway Angels honorees named 2/11/2019 Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets 2/8/2019 Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage? 2/6/2019 Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage 2/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team 2/1/2019 Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 1/30/2019 California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards 1/28/2019 Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers 1/25/2019 LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30 1/23/2019 2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry 1/21/2019 Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018 3/28/2018 TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award 3/7/2018 TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year 2/28/2018 Pay Raises & New Peterbilts for PAM Drivers 2/26/2018 New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018 1/11/2018 Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup 12/21/2017 Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks 12/12/2017 Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017 12/8/2017 Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way 8/10/2017 Drivers Share Their Best Tips, Tricks, And Secrets For Life On The Road 7/18/2017 Drivers Are Losing Money By Taking The Wrong Approach 7/13/2017 Truckers and Guns: What Is and Is Not Legal 7/6/2017 Preparing To Go Solo For The First Time? Experienced Drivers Share Their Best Advice 6/29/2017 The Truck Stop Survival Guide: Advice From Experienced Drivers 6/15/2017 The Worst Cities For Traffic In The U.S. For 2017 6/8/2017 We Ask Drivers How They Would Make The Logbook Rules Better 5/30/2017 Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon 5/25/2017

Detention - A problem still in search of a solution

Dave Wickenhauser on Wed, February 13, 2019

Last Updated: Tue, February 12, 2019

Detention, the on-duty but not-driving time a driver spends waiting at a shipper or receiver, is a necessary evil in the trucking industry, but the consensus among drivers is that there should be compensation to the driver for the time he has to spend cooling his heels at a facility.

In this installment of Trucking Truth News we'll take a look at detention in terms of how bad the problem is for drivers, what an equitable detention pay should be and what is being done about it.

Detention times

Those waits can be long, and costly to drivers.

Citing a typical wait, for example, FreightWaves chief insight officer Dean Croke says he has to spend six or seven hours on most Sundays waiting for grocery loads.

A FreightWaves Sonar research project found that in 2018 drivers spent an average of 2 ½ hours waiting at shippers and receivers; which resulted in some $1.3 billion in lost wages for those drivers.

Those times vary by location. FreightWaves found average waits as high as 5 ½ hours. Here are ranked cities with the 10 worst average wait times out of the 135 surveyed:

  • 10. Laredo, Texas — an average of 212 minutes
  • 9. Fort Wayne, Indiana — an average of 223 minutes
  • 8. Little Rock, Arkansas — an average of 230 minutes
  • 7. Duluth, Minnesota — an average of 231 minutes
  • 6. Shreveport, Louisiana — an average of 237 minutes
  • 5. El Paso, Texas — an average of 253 minutes
  • 4. South Bend, Indiana — an average of 267 minutes
  • 3. Rochester, New York — an average of 279 minutes
  • 2. Erie, Pennsylvania — an average of 323 minutes
  • 1. Fresno, California — an average of 331 minutes

Chad Boblett, owner and driver with Boblett Brothers Trucking of Lexington, Kentucky, in a blog article last year for DAT, admits that, "Some amount of detention may be unavoidable, and the broker can’t always influence what happens at the shipper’s or receiver’s dock. But carriers and drivers can still ask for fair treatment, including fair compensation for long delays."

Boblett, who deals with brokers for his loads, says getting detention pay can "involve some drama." These are also familiar to company drivers.

  • The broker paying after three hours of detention instead of two hours, or not paying at all.
  • Having to nag the broker repeatedly to add detention to the contract.
  • In and out times must be signed by the shipping/receiving office, but frequently office people fail to do so.
  • Doing everything right, but when the paycheck comes the detention pay is mysteriously missing.

Boblett offers advice, particularly for owner-operators, but this advice could be a heads-up for company drivers as well. Company drivers typically can't refuse loads, but they can use this advice in their planning.

  • Watch out for a "first-come, first-served" policies from a facility. This could mean they do not intend to pay detention, and you could be in for a long wait time.
  • Read DAT Company reviews.
  • Ask the broker/carrier about detention. A red flag could be if they try to side-step talking about it.
  • Make sure to negotiate detention in writing. If the broker/carrier does not want to do this, it's another red flag.

There's also a problem of driver safety. According to KeepTruckin, drivers hit with a 2-hour or longer detention know they must still make their delivery on time, so they will drive an average of 3.5 mph faster to make up for lost time once they hit the road.

The Department of Transportation took a look at detention time in relation to crash rates and found that every 15-minute increase in average detention time resulted in an increase in the average expected crash rate by 6.2 percent.

Detention pay

Many carriers offer their company drivers some form of detention pay. The typical detention formula is that the first two hours the driver has to wait is without pay. Then, the third and subsequent hours will earn the driver $20 or more per hour.

So, a three-hour detention works out to $6.67 per hour at the $20 rate. But, even if the driver is lucky enough to be driving for a carrier that offers $50/hour detention a three hour wait computes to only $16.67 an hour -- barely more than minimum wage these days.

Drivers, especially independent owner-operators, report that detention pay is hard to come by. DAT Solutions conducted a survey of 257 trucking companies and found that only 3 percent of drivers reported receiving detention pay for at least 90 percent of their claims to shippers.

Todd Dill, a writer for Overdrive, cited an Overdrive poll where 38 percent of drivers suggested detention pay be equal to total revenue per mile, and 45 percent of drivers suggested a calculation (for owner-operator drivers) of profit from net income per mile plus their fixed cost per mile.

Overdrive reported that for the average owner-operator detention pay calculated that way would come to $64 per hour.

Legal action

In recent news, U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks in Arkansas reaffirmed on January 25 an earlier ruling that a trucking company that didn't pay its drivers at least a minimum wage for on-duty time spent not driving is in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The ruling followed a class-action lawsuit by some 3,000 PAM Transport drivers. Brooks had ruled back in October 2018 that PAM must pay its drivers at least minimum wage for 16 hours each day that they work.

The ruling, however, is likely to be appealed. Angela Clark, vice president for risk management for PAM Transport, said, "We are very disappointed with the court's ruling and respectfully disagree with the court's holdings. We plan to vigorously fight this, including review of the court's decision."

But the ruling is now being used as precedent as other carriers come under the gun by drivers demanding pay for on-duty time not driving.

Some 10,000 Swift Transport truck drivers used Brooks' ruling to bolster their complaint that the carrier has violated labor laws by not paying them for some training and orientation sessions.

Other recent cases where carriers had to pony up back pay to their drivers include one in 2017 where a Nebraska court ruled in favor of 52,000 student drivers against Werner Enterprises, which had to pay out a total of $780,000 for pay practice violations. And another against C.R. England in 2016 which had to pay some $2.35 million in back wages to more than 6,000 drivers.

In answer to threats of appeals, Judge Brooks remains firm in his ruling:

"There is no ambiguity here, then, as to whether an employer must count as hours worked the time that an employee spends riding in a commercial truck while neither sleeping nor eating: time thus spent is working and any work performed while traveling must ... be counted as hours worked."

Sources: Business Insider, Business Insider, DAT blog, Overdrive, FreightWaves

Tagged Under:

CR England Dispatcher Issues Hours Of Service Life On The Road Owner Operator PAM Transport Swift Transport Trip Planning Truck Driver Safety Trucking Industry Concerns Werner Enterprises

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More