8 Feb 29

Last month we asked truckers how bad detention times have gotten. The reader poll included two questions: How often are you detained for more than 2 hours, and how often do you collect a detention fee?

We got a huge response, and most of your votes and comments confirmed what we already thought – detention is still a big drain on small businesses. 

Out of more than 800 votes, about 30% said that they're detained half the time. That makes it hard to manage your hours of service and schedule your next pickup. 

Detention fees can help ease the pain a little bit, but they don't make up for missing your next load. Unfortunately, it looks like you're lucky if you're even able to collect a fee; 41% said that they're rarely paid one.

For those of you who are rarely detained and almost always collect a fee, got any negotiating tips to share? Do you avoid certain shippers because of detention times? Let us know in the comments.

Comments (8) -

Luige mendoza
Luige mendoza

i feel like someone has to set up some type of regulations for this company's that are killing us with cheap freight and detention time, they always get away with everything leaving us in a hole!

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Henderson Trucking
Henderson Trucking

I NEVER want to go back to another WAL Mart DC AGAIN!! It is RIDICULOUS how long it takes for you to get moving again!! My advice to anybody who is going to one, DO NOT schedule another pickup because 9 out of 10 YOU WILL MISS IT!!

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Company drivers are the one's getting detention O/O don't and detention is worse in the produce houses anywhere from 7 to as much as 18 hours waiting after appointed times with no recourse because brokers will not pay. When this industry goes full blown E-Log the drivers will be the only ones to suffer unless the Feds step on the necks of the Shippers & Receivers and make them comply as well with time restraints otherwise It will never work

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STS trucking llc
STS trucking llc

Most of the time we wait more than 2 hours never get any detention money

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As a broker and Ex-Truck driver. I always try to get a shipper to pay detention, but if they don't and we paid every carrier for detention with no money coming in for it from the shipper the business would go broke. I am a very giving person and I would love to accommodate every driver but as I stated business wise we would go broke. Our brokerage doesn't have huge commissions on the load and 60% goes to the agent. 40% to the company and once all bills are paid there really isn't a lot left over. I have a couple of shippers that there is no problem getting detention but it seems to be very rare, the shippers are also looking to keep their freight bills down.

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CLARK WHITNEY
CLARK WHITNEY

I avoid using Brokers that will not go to bat for detention pay when it is indicated.  I avoid taking loads from shippers who are slow to load because they are unorganized or simply don't care.  One way I avoid them is raising the price upfront When I Know what is going to happen. Then I don't get the load or I get paid Detention time in the original price. I believe Some Shippers are unaware that a truck that is rolling with freight Should be grossing $800 to $1,000 a day with current fuel prices.  $35 an hour doesn't begin to cut it for lost revenue. Perhaps too many drivers and companies have "Trained" the shippers by waiting unreasonable times to get loaded or unloaded because they needed the cash flow to make a huge truck payment on the new truck they were required to buy to drive in California.  Any time Detention Pay is collected, it is because the driver documented on the BOL Time of Arrival and Load and or unload time. This should be signed by shipper and receiver.  The broker or dispatcher needs a call, e-mail or text at the time this occurs.  One trick I used at a place that took 4 hours to load me was to thank the fork lift drivers for doing a good job and giving them each a fiver for soda pop.  Next time I came in I was loaded in an hour and a half without cutting line.  Sometimes kindness works.

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We are a small trucking company, and we most certainly keep track of who does and doesn't pay detention!  We don't want the detention, we want that truck moving in under 2 hours!  Detention pay eases the driver's temper a bit, but it doesn't cover missing a load.  If the shipper can't get it together, we won't haul for them.  Period.  Another HUGE problem is brokers.  They are driving down the rates, and don't have a clue what line-haul and fuel surcharge really is.  My drivers bust their hump whether fuel is 2.20 a gal or 3.00 a gal.   There are several out there who keep the driver's 'tarping fee' or 'multi stop' fee.  They're going to need regulation too!

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I rack up detention just about Evey other week. The worst is Land O Frost in Searcy,Ar which can be 8 to 12 hours. As a 1 truck company this is a major problem in this industry.

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