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Friday Short Haul - New eCascadias, Top cities for truck driver jobs, Push against driverless trucks 8/23/2019 Decision on California drivers' employee/contractor status coming down to the wire 8/21/2019 UPS jumps on autonomous bandwagon with TuSimple investment 8/19/2019 FMCSA publishes proposed HOS rule changes 8/16/2019 Fleets, drivers coming to like automated manual transmissions 8/14/2019 CVSA asks for new truck crash study 8/12/2019 Friday Short Haul - HOS revisions delayed, AEB mandate proposed, Koch sued for sex discrimination 8/9/2019 Kodiak Robotics takes lead in autonomous truck industry race 8/7/2019 New York City combats rash of cyclist/truck clashes 8/5/2019 Friday Short Haul - CRST wins lawsuit, OOIDA opposes insurance hike, UPSNav 8/2/2019 Mechanics shortage equals driver shortage in intensity 7/31/2019 DOT announces almost 1$ billion in grants to fix infrastructure 7/29/2019 Friday Short Haul - DOL on sleeper pay, UPS drone delivery, Geowiz ELDs 7/26/2019 FMCSA takes a look at assault, harassment of female and minority drivers 7/24/2019 It's hot out there, what's a trucker to do? Can't idle. 7/22/2019 Friday Short Haul - Utah truck rollovers, aging truckers, lifetime CDL bans 7/19/2019 Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire 7/17/2019 Trucker 'drones on' with unique approach to teaching driving skills 7/15/2019 Friday Short Haul - Rhode Island tolls, human smuggling, contractor vs employee status 7/12/2019 ELD mandate deadline looming, many still not compliant 7/10/2019 New "boot" device being deployed to threaten Walmart overnighters 7/8/2019 Friday Short Haul - Prime Inc vs Amazon, mother fights HOS changes, truck drivers appreciation week 7/5/2019 Proper way to fly the American flag on your truck this Fourth of July 7/3/2019 Roundabouts are becoming popular; but are they best for trucks? 7/1/2019 Friday Short Haul - Skills test proposal, driver shortage, hemp sentencing, driverless trucks 6/28/2019 Experts warn of active wildland fire season 6/26/2019 More states signing on to enlist truckers against human trafficking 6/24/2019 Friday Short Haul - Shippers of Choice, insurance rates, wheel spikes, WIT award 6/21/2019 Freight numbers not holding up to 2018's highs 6/19/2019 Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers 6/17/2019 Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo 6/14/2019 HOS waiver coming soon for fireworks haulers 6/12/2019 FMCSA takes a further look at detention time 6/10/2019 Friday Short Haul - Autonomous delivery, HOS rules changes, CDL retest 6/7/2019 Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week 6/5/2019 Hemp arrest prompts USDA memo 6/3/2019 Friday Short Haul - Waymo big rigs, Move over sting, Under-21 comments 5/31/2019 Severe weather prompts renewed emergency declaration 5/29/2019 Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts 5/25/2019 Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles 5/24/2019 Autonomous trucks on USPS test run 5/22/2019 Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules 5/20/2019 Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC 5/17/2019 Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA 5/15/2019 Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins 5/13/2019 Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole 5/10/2019 Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South 5/8/2019 Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets 5/6/2019 Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers 5/3/2019 'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states 5/1/2019 Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers 4/29/2019 Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business 4/26/2019 ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for 4/24/2019 Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks 4/22/2019 Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings 4/19/2019 Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels 4/17/2019 Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business 4/15/2019 Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise 4/12/2019 Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need 4/10/2019 Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border 4/8/2019 Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules 4/5/2019 Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates 4/3/2019 Don't get scammed by skimmers 4/1/2019 Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking 3/29/2019 Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers 3/27/2019 Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy 3/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap 3/22/2019 Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising 3/20/2019 FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website 3/18/2019 Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award 3/15/2019 The hidden danger of looking but not seeing 3/13/2019 Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout 3/11/2019 3/9/2019 3/9/2019 Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire 3/8/2019 Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases 3/6/2019 Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness 3/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports 3/1/2019 New tax changes hit drivers hard 2/27/2019 FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military 2/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use 2/22/2019 Congress committee looks at state of America's highways 2/20/2019 Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same 2/18/2019 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 11/30/-0001

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

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