Suffering From Detention Time?

Hey there, fellow truckers! Safety Dawg here and I’ve got a truckload of thoughts to share with you today about detention time. It is one of the most absurd things in our industry; the idea that truck drivers should wait up to two hours without getting paid for their time. Seriously, who came up with that nonsense? And for those rare companies that do invoice after the truck and driver waited 2 hours, how often do you receive that money?

It’s time to put an end to this unpaid waiting game once and for all. We can’t just change it; we need to chuck it out the window and never look back. And let’s ditch the term ‘detention time’ while we’re at it. It’s just a fancy way of saying “we’re going to make you sit around and twiddle your thumbs while we figure out what to do”.

Think about it – as truckers, we meticulously plan our routes, calculate our hours, and expect to be compensated for every minute we’re on duty. But time and time again, dispatchers forget to include waiting time into their calculations. They want the truck to arrive on time, get unloaded quickly, and move on to the next job. But let’s be real – how often does that happen? How many hours do you sacrifice and not get paid? The fact is, you are away from home, spending time away from your family and not getting paid for sitting in a warehouse dock.

And let’s not forget about the next generation of truckers. How are we supposed to entice them to join our ranks when we’re basically saying, “Hey, come drive for us and enjoy hours of unpaid work”? It’s madness, I tell you.

If we want to attract quality drivers, we need to pay them fairly. That means a decent hourly wage and compensation for every minute they are on duty. Vehicle inspections, loading, unloading – you name it, they should get paid for it.

And let’s not buy into the nonsense that some companies spew about mileage rates covering detention time. That’s just a load of horse crap. If we want to see real change in our industry, we need to demand it. Trucking company owners need to stand up to the shippers and demand fair treatment for their drivers. If a truck isn’t offloaded within 20 minutes, detention time should start – no ifs, ands, or buts.

Let’s face it, folks. Being a truck driver is simple; make your deliveries on time and damage-free. That’s what you get paid for. Sitting around in a loading dock for hours on end? That’s just plain unfair.

But here’s the thing – it’s not just unfair to the drivers; it’s bad for business too. Think about it – an owner of a truck spends a gazillion dollars on a tractor and trailer only to have it sit for hours at a time in a loading dock unpaid? And for many trucking owners, if they’re not getting paid, then they’re not paying their drivers either. It’s a terrible situation, and it’s a surefire way to cause truck driver turnover.

And let’s not forget about the toll it takes on drivers. Sitting for hours in the boring cab of a truck with nothing to do is not only frustrating – it’s downright soul-crushing. We need to treat our drivers better, plain, and simple.

So, what’s the solution? It’s simple – we need to demand fair treatment for our drivers. We need to stand up to the shippers and demand detention time. If a truck isn’t offloaded within 20 minutes, paid detention time should start – no exceptions.

And let’s not forget about the importance of transparency. Trucking companies need to be upfront with their drivers about their pay structure and make sure they’re getting compensated fairly for their time.

In conclusion, it’s time to put an end to the unpaid waiting game once and for all. We need to demand fair treatment for our drivers and ensure that they’re getting compensated fairly for their time. After all, they’re the backbone of our industry, and it’s time we started treating them as such.

Stay safe.

Chris Harris
Top Dawg, Safety Dawg Inc.
@safety_dawg (twitter)

About Chris Harris, Safety Dawg

Chris has been involved in trucking most of his adult life. He drove truck for and worked in various office/management positions for a major truck company. His last position of 5 years in the safety department where he was responsible for the recruiting of Owner Operators and their compliance. He joined a trucking insurance company in 2001 and has been in the insurance side of things until making Safety Dawg a full-time endeavour.