September 8, 2014
For a number of years, detention time, (or demurge, as some call it) has been a somewhat hot topic among drivers. The subject has jumped up and down with, how much they get paid, if they get paid, the excuses that shippers or recievers make for not Wanting to pay, or sometimes, the company offering reasons they will not charge a customer for detention time. Sometimes, it is out of fear of possibly losing a client, that some companies will not ever charge a customer for detention time, thereby leaving the driver with no compensation for their lost time and earnings.
Should all trucking companies, and shippers, and recievers, be required to pay drivers a reasonable amount for the time lost waiting to get loaded or unloaded? And considering how much the driver would make, while driving, how much is reasonable? Let's say a company driver is making $0.45 per mile, and he or she averages 580 miles a day driving, in about 10 hours driving time, that amounts to 261 dollars a day, on the road, which also equates to $26.10 per hour. Many companies will only offer something around $10.00 per hour to the driver, out of whatever the company is making overall from detention time, leaving a $16.00 gap the driver still has to fill in mileage. For some drivers, this is enough. For others, it is still lost income they are depending upon.
Now, place that company driver at a customer, waiting to finish getting loaded, or unloaded, for the same amount of time. If the driver is not fairly compensated, or not compensated at all, there is a lot of money that the driver has lost, which affects the money needed to pay bills at home. Money that driver relies upon, that can only be made up for, by getting out and putting in more miles through the next week, or more.
So,.... What should be done to change the standard that has been kept for so long, and how can this standard be effectively changed? How can companies be properly influenced to listen to this issue the driver faces, and what can be done, to get the government to set standards for shippers, recievers, and trucking companies to adhere to, without seeing drivers be penalized in the process??
If you are a company driver, you depend strongly on those funds, especially when it means downtime that prevents you from running. What input do you, as a company driver, have on this issue, and how would you like to see your company respond in working to resolve this problem?
If you are an owner operator, how does the company you are leased on to handle the detention time that you face, while you are servicing their customers?
December 26, 2014
Mostly what I've run into is this setup. We pay detention time. Which means we pay you detention when we collect it from the shp/rc. Guess what they never do. Sometimes you didn't send in the correct macro. We lost that macro. Half a dozen excuses. After a year or so I quit sending or trying to collect it. In the defense of some companies if they shp/rc is known to be slow they arrange drop and hook. One company I worked for dropped the shipper because of this. What little they did for them just wan't worth the trouble of tying up trucks for extended periods of time.
November 10, 2014
It's amazing how very few want the government to get involved with trucking issues such as enforcing payment of detention time, and yet how many will address and confrint the issue?
As long as shippers and receivers continue to make the rules with little confrontation, the more the game will be played the same. The complaining will continue from all ends, and it will be dirty business as usual.
The government can't force private business to pay detention time ( S&R), however, they can create laws for companies to pay their drivers. At that point, carriers will need to charge detention time to shippers and receivers, AND for those who already collect it, they'll have to pass it on to the driver.
I know many owner operators who may get fooled once, but then they learn and refuse to go back for more.
Government should not have to get involved with this, but as long as accountability is not part of the equation and is instead replaced by greed, DT complaining will continue. Then, if the government does become involved, more complaining about THAT will replace it.
Let's highlight those shippers, receivers, and carriers who believe in fairness and honesty and who actually pay detention time. Will it help? Perhaps.
December 26, 2014
This has worked for me several times. Lets say you have an open window to load. Say 8 am to 5 pm. I get there at 8 am.
"Go park in the parking area and we will let you know when we want you to hit the dock."
"I'm not sitting in a empty parking lot all day. This is a open window to load. So instead of sitting here with no bathroom, or food. I'm going to head on over to the nearest truck stop. I'll be back at 4 pm to load."
A place in Holland MI used to do this. Their widow was too 11 pm. You will sit there all day until around 9 pm. Stopped doing it. Just show up around 8 pm or so. No detention time. Show up early, can you load me, no, see ya at or around 8 pm laters. Drive off. Coming off a 10 from a truck stop that is close by plan on getting there as late as possible to load or unload. Less risk of sitting the whole time until the last part of the process.
Usually they will go a head and load/unload you instead of risking you're not coming back. Or they don't want to load/unload that late in the day.
Another way around this is to bluff them about how many hours you have left.
"I got two hours left on my 14 if ya don't get it done before that I'm taking my 10 right here in the dock and if nothing is happing in one hour I gotta leave and find a safe place to park be back in the morning."
Doesn't work? Just go out to the truck and come back and tell your company says you have to stay. Kind of save a little face. Me? No pride, whatever I gotta say to get it done.
That all being said a fair and enforceable detention policy would make all this obsolete.
December 26, 2014
I expect an honest pay for my honest work. If I'm on time I have done everything you expect of me for honest work. Cool you paid me for it. We good. If however you expect me to sit for hours and not pay me thats dishonest. Shp/Rcr don't pay me for working its those who do pay me who owe me. Whats the result for many drivers? Bad attitudes, poor performance over the long run. Breaking laws to make up for it. Driver turnover. You would think paying drivers honest wages for honest work would be a no brainier for the government on down. Employee turn over is more expensive than paying people to stay. Cost of training, recruiting, advertising, orientations, physicals, lack of production until the new ones are up to speed and working are all more expensive than just paying people an honest wage to stay. Its common sense,which has always been lacking, in American industry.
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