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Trucking Industry Saves Millions in Driver Detention Pay

Truck Driver Detention time

Truck Driver Detention time

The Federal Government currently has approximately 4.1 million employees with an average annual salary of $78,500.  This figure would work out to be about $37.74 per hour.

If each employee would work one hour a day for free, this would save the government  $154,734,000 in salaries paid per day, and approximately $36,363,490,000 per year; quite a hefty sum that could go toward paying off the U.S. National Debt.

Perhaps the government should look at asking their employees to work for free, just one hour a day?

Of course, this will never happen, yet the large majority of professional truck drivers are required to do this, at minimum, every day. In fact, truck drivers can easily provide several hours of work, per week, for free. Based on contracts that motor carriers have with shippers and/or receivers of freight, the driver is required to provide the first hour of “waiting time” at no pay.

After the first hour, most are supposed to begin receiving at minimum, about $15.00 per hour; still, most drivers will not see this pay either. Local drivers are not exempt from this as well. A local driver can load 3-4 times per day, with each load requiring the one hour wait time, racking up 15-20 hours per week of “free time.”  It is all intertwined within the debacle that is known as “detention time.”

Take for instance, a motor carrier with 3,000 drivers. Each driver gives up one hour per week, no pay. This saves the motor carrier $45,000 per week in driver pay, $2,340,000 per year. Professional truckers, especially long-haul drivers, can very often spend several hours per week due to “waiting time.”

With 3,000 drivers giving up five work hours per week to the carrier, the company could now see a savings in driver pay for $225,000 per week, $11,700,000 per year. Rough figures of course, but you get the point; with thousands of motor carriers employing millions of drivers, there are big money savings for the carrier due to the detention time agreements. Every day, drivers provide hours of work for free to the carrier, while the company still retains payment from the shipper or carrier.

House bill, H.R. 756 – Driver Detention Time, was introduced by Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR-4)on February 17, 2011. The purpose of the bill was clear:

“to direct the Secretary of Transportation to prescribe standards for the maximum number of hours that an operator of a commercial motor vehicle may be reasonably detained by a shipper or receiver, and for other purposes.”

Furthermore, Section 14103 of title 49, U.S.C. is amended by adding language that “prohibits a shipper or receiver from detaining a person that operates a commercial motor vehicle without providing compensation for time detained beyond the maximum number of hours” that the Secretary determines, by regulation.

Legislative bills that will directly affect truck drivers in a positive way, are most often set aside; such is the case in H.R. 756.  The bill,  would have required DOT to set standards for the maximum number of hours that driver could be detained by a shipper or receiver without compensation before the loading or unloading of the vehicle.
The bill, which did not advance, had 12 cosponsors.

For now anyway, truckers will continue providing labor hours for free, unlike any other industry in the nation.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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2 Responses to Trucking Industry Saves Millions in Driver Detention Pay. - Post a Comment

  1. […] 2)      Carrier charges shipper detention time, however carrier does not pass it on to company driver. “Trucking Industry Saves Millions in Driver Detention Pay” […]

  2. Michael Harrington

    So people want detention pay.

    I hate being a critic but I can be a critic because I see a flaw. There are some who would fake detention for higher pay, those do happen already where someone just wants to be lazy.

    But worse is how the carriers would respond. Pay cuts on the mileage portion. You see they have to make their buck, and the market being as it is, and with truck prices increasing, they cannot be squeezed too very much. So they will drop the per mile rate, or the per haul, or the percentage of the load, to compensate.

    In the 6 years of driving I have done I have been on a per mile, per hour, and percentage pay scale. Some other compensations also existed in a few companies such as per dock (fixed pay) and per hook/drop.

    The thing I am trying to say is… There is already a wide and diverse set of pay types and ranges out there for us, far more than the average worker in different industries has access to. Carriers try to match their pay schedules to what they think is desirable, and yet still make money, to truckers.

    Truck drivers is what makes these companies work. No drivers means no company. This should be understandable to all. So these companies already try to balance the needs of drivers with the needs of the company.

    Forcing a 1 size fits all is not a good approach.

    I am the Trucking Politician and I endorse this statement!

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