| All we all want is to get loaded and unloaded in a timely manner.
I read Jeff Clark’s blog titled “A Case for Mandatory Detention Time.” Let me start off by saying that I agree with many of Jeff’s comments on the issue of being compensated for our lost time. As a driver and owner of my own company for many years, I can tell you that I’ve experienced everything he has mentioned in his post.
It is my thoughts that drivers should be compensated for our time lost at the dock. It’s very frustrating sitting for hours waiting to load/unload when the shipper/consignee is not prepared when you arrive. The stress comes in when you’re on a time schedule and required to be here or there by a certain time. Let’s face it… there are only 24 hours in a day and as drivers we are required to be finished 14 hours from the time we begin our day on duty. For many of us, that doesn’t leave much time for “sitting/waiting.” Our time gets away quickly and should be accounted for as detaining us means lost profits for our business.
I must disagree with Jeff on one point in regards to government mandated detention pay. For example: Let’s say I accept a shipment and the shipper will pay me $10,000 to transport this load 5 miles down the road. This particular (specialized) load requires lots of time to disassemble and reassemble onto the trailer. I realize this load will take time to complete and the miles aren’t really a factor into the equation. How would someone determine the rate of detention fee for this load?
Over the years, I’ve worked with shippers/consignee’s that I knew would hold me up when I arrived to load/unload. In such cases, I pre negotiated the rate accordingly or had the customer agree to a detention charge. Have I always been successful in such circumstances? I can tell you the answer is… NO. However, I chose to leave these customers and no longer be a carrier of their freight. Not every business decision is a profitable one.
I, like every driver want compensated for all my time. I look at this issue in much the same manner as when fuel prices increased rapidly. Due to market forces, carriers quickly added fuel surcharges to their rates. This makes me think about the much hated electronic logging device. Could this device shift the market forces to finally put a value on a driver’s time? Electronic logs would make it impossible for drivers to make up lost time at the dock from weather, traffic jams and anything else that would detain the driver.
Could mandatory detention time actually be making the case for electronic logging devices?