The U.S. Department of Transportation’s proposed four-year, $302 billion transportation bill includes a new rule that drivers be paid for the time they’re detained at shipper’s and receiver’s facilities.

The Grow America Act, released by the White House on April 29, states that the Secretary of Transportation may require motor carrier employers to:
Track the on-duty (not driving) time of an employee whose base compensation is calculated in a manner other than an hourly wage, and separately compensate the employee for any on-duty, not-driving period at an hourly rate not less than the federal minimum wage.
In a separate analysis of the bill, the DOT explains that drivers are frequently detained for extended periods at shipper or receiver facilities and are on duty but not compensated. According to the analysis:
This situation often results in pressure for drivers to drive beyond the federal hours of services limit as a matter of economic necessity, risking driver fatigue and jeopardizing highway safety. FMCSA believes that safety could be significantly increased if drivers were compensated for these waiting periods.  
What do you think? Should drivers be compensated for time they’re detained? And, just as importantly, who should foot the bill? The current proposal states that drivers should be paid by the motor carrier employer, but says nothing about charging the shipper or receiver who may have caused the delay.

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Note: This article was adapted from DAT’s blog post on

Comments (11)

Kevin Scullin

Product Manager at DAT Solutions

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September 02, 2016


Absolutely, If a driver misses some appointments by as little as 15 mins, they have to reschedule up 1-2 days away. Now a shipper or receiver can miss an appointment for long as they want, blaming it on production, labor of the color of the moon, and we just have to sit and take it or cancel the load. If shippers and receivers are held to the same standard as the driver then they'll get off the dime and plan better. If you make them pay, they'll see the light!

July 27, 2014 7:38:51 AM

Darren - good for you. We need drivers who stand up for their rights!

July 17, 2014 7:28:14 AM

Agreed that we should be paid. My company has a paid detention time program that pays me after 2 hours as long as on time service was met. I have had a cold storage refuse to unload me because they deemed me late for my appointment. However my bol, satellite preplan and dispatch email all stated 6am ( I arrived at 05:40 ). The receiver demanded $220 late fee and to work unload in later in the day. I didn't pay the fee and was told to leave the premises until new appt was made. Turns out their scheduling office made the error, but I was never "offered" $220 OR an apology. In the future I would never deliver there unless I had an email copy of the delivery confirmation from the receiver in hand.

July 16, 2014 17:43:05 PM

Of course we should get paid. And we should get paid whatever our trucks would earn if we are running down the road. Anything less is an insult. As far as who foots the bill, the shippers or recievers should pay. I have worked my rump off to get my load there on time, and they see it as no big deal to let me sit, then just as my hours run out, tell me I'm good to go. But not legally. They should also provide safe parking and reschedule the appointments to compensate for their poor management. I need to make a living, but if I'm the only one playing fair, guess who gets screwed over?

July 14, 2014 0:11:57 AM

Yes drivers should be paid for unneccessary detention. However, that needs defining. Sitting still while the shipper/receiver loads or unloads the freight doesn't qualify for detention; that's part of our jobs. 2 hours should be the limit. Anything over that, a driver should get paid. BUT NOT mandated from the gov't.

July 11, 2014 12:16:41 PM

shippers and receivers should pay for detention
They act as if our time is worth nothing. Most the time telling us they will get to your truck when they get to it. They want us their on time and woe the driver that gets their early or late. But even when they have open docks they will sometimes make you wait because they don't want to move the product from the dock they staged it at, or unload you at a different dock. They think they hold the power but what if we stopped driving for 2 days. They would be out those today of pay being sent home do to no drivers. Or they might have to work the days they had off for that week. Thy should pay a hell of a lot more then fed min wage. If they were hit with a $200 bill for two minutes over the 2 hours the companies give them. That would make them move when we hit dock.

July 11, 2014 0:20:05 AM

I would think it's the shippers / receivers that should fit the bill, of course- I remember one pick- up appt I had in Lebanon, Tennessee (about 30 miles east of Nashville), one early September evening, and I was there on time and the woman in the very busy shipping office told me it would be several hours (like maybe 3 AM before they can give me a door and it was just after 9 PM at the time) because they are "still trying to catch up from falling behind due to being closed on Labor Day Weekend"- I asked about detention pay and she said I will have to take that up with my company (great, another mundane thing I have to remember to do!) and I then reminded her that Labor Day comes this exact same time every year, so you being "behind" in your schedule is nonsense and this delay is beyond unacceptable; MOST drivers never argue, they allow themselves to be treated like doormats. I told her that I will either have my company take me off the load (won't get delivered on time) or else I will unhook my trailer, leave it in the drop lot, they will load it whenever they get around to it, then drop it off in that drop lot and I will pick it up AFTER MY 10 HOUR BREAK (we were still on paper logs then), so I did just that and went over to a nearby truck stop and got my rest. We need to put our foot down and defend what is only right!

July 10, 2014 12:53:22 PM

Drivers have been subject to this "slight" for lack of a better word for decades. I am surprised it now is mentioned in a bill before Congress. Lets hope it passes, but whether it passes or not - does not deminish the reality that these payments are just. Thank you for this article.

July 10, 2014 11:07:50 AM

Well ... Yes

July 08, 2014 21:06:40 PM

Drivers absolutely should be paid for detention time, on-duty not driving. I believe shippers should pay that expense since they are typically the cause. You shouldn't be required to work for free and if drivers were paid for that time I think I would go a long way toward improving this industry in many ways starting with attitudes. It would also force shippers to tighten their ship and run more efficiently which would benefit everyone. Just my opinion.

July 08, 2014 8:33:33 AM

It would be a start.

July 08, 2014 6:23:23 AM