Detention - A Problem Still In Search Of A Solution

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DaveW's Comment
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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 his or her non-driving, on-duty time.

Detention - A problem still in search of a solution


The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

BK's Comment
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I was told that when I was waiting at a stop, I could put myself off duty. Is that correct?

Jamie's Comment
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I was told that when I was waiting at a stop, I could put myself off duty. Is that correct?

Yes it is, as long as they don't need your help in anyway.

Michael S.'s Comment
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I do not see it as a "necessary evil" in the trucking industry, rather, it is a very definative failure of the facilities to have adequate space and employees for the volume of goods moved through their warehouse, as well as, not having an efficient streamlined system in place.

Why are they set up in such a poor manner? Because they are trying to protect their bottom line by keeping their labor costs and infrastructure investments at a minimum and unfairly passing those deficiencies onto another sector of the industry.

All that being said, yes they should definitely pay reasonable detention after a reasonable wait time, and it should be paid directly to the driver immediately prior to removing the truck from the dock, in the same manner that they demand immediate payments from the drivers for lumpers, dock fees, unloading fees, or whatever other ridiculous fees they can come up with!

All part of why I enjoy flatbedding!


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
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I was told that when I was waiting at a stop, I could put myself off duty. Is that correct?

It depends...

There are Dedicated Retail accounts (Walmart) that require the driver to observe and at times supervise the unloading. I must remain on-duty during this process. If however I’m waiting for the dock to clear (which happens), I log off-duty until the dock clears and I log on-duty to dock my trailer.

Or the extreme case of Dollar General that requires the driver physically unload the freight. All on-duty.

Otherwise, for an unattended live load or unload and the time you are waiting, if you show a bit of time (15 min) on-duty before logging off-duty or sleeper to cover you for the retrieval of shipping papers and backing into the dock, you are legally covered. Use good judgement and make remarks when you change status to on-duty describing what you are doing.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
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My company requires we log everything. If that means we took 5hrs to secure a load, our logs better show that 5hrs. If I need to put in a 30min break while unloading or securing, I better be on break, and not messing with the load. Any injury that happens while logged off duty, yet working on the load will disqualify us from workers comp. They don't care about the 14 or 70, or having to reset, they want us 100% compliant and 100% safe.

BK's Comment
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! also suspect that warehouses and dist. centers are slow because of being unable to find workers. Almost everywhere I go, there are signs saying :Now Hiring.

DaveW's Comment
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What I recall about detention time, besides the lack of pay, was the damage that all that time waiting did to the 14-hour day.

No matter how much you are able to log off duty during the wait your day comes to a crashing halt when the clock hand ticks around from 14 hours to 14 hours and one second. It's sleepy-berth time then, no matter where you are or where you need to be. Many a grocery DC's long detention put me in that predicament. I have spent more than one night on the side of the road just outside a DC's gate because their long unload ran me out of the clock. I had plenty of drive hours left, per se, but the 14-hour rule "ruled."

NeeklODN's Comment
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**newbie here*** what's the point in logging "off duty" if the 14 hr clock keeps ticking? Wouldn't "on duty, not driving" be the same thing essentially?

PackRat's Comment
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No. 14 hour clock runs no matter what from the time you start. Any On Duty or Driving time counts against your 70 hour clock. That is the time you want to conserve.

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