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Driver detention time is an issue that some truck drivers and fleet owners may not fully understand when they are starting up in this field.

What is Driver Detention?

Driver detention is the time that a driver’s route is delayed at either the pick-up location or delivery location. The purpose of driver detention time is to compensate the driver and/or carrier for any time that exceeds the agreed about time for the drop-off and delivery pick up time. Two hours is the standard time allowed for pick-up and delivery.

Issues stemming from driver detention time

Driver detention time can cause issues for the truck driver, the carrier, and the companies loading and unloading the trucks.

  • Truck drivers have a set of legal driving hours. If they exceed this amount, they are mandated to take a break. Driver detention time could cause this issue, which could lead to the goods not being delivered in a timely manner to the origin of destination.
  • The driver could be late for their next pick up and lose that load because of the time that they lost. This could cause the shipper to decide to use a different carrier to move this load and will lose money for the driver and carrier.
  • This could cost a company that has to pay these fees hundreds of dollars. Detention charges typically cost anywhere from $50-$100 per hour.

The best ways to avoid detention time for a company

Delaying a truck hurts your business because it also delays the driver from making their delivery of your goods. This could negatively reflect you. There are simple tips to follow to avoid driver detention costs for your business.

  • Be ready for the truck driver to arrive. Make sure the goods are ready to load before the driver shows up.
  • Let the warehouse workers know that the truck must be loaded within their specific hours given.
  • Make sure to have proper loading power equipment, like forklifts.
  • Strategically plan out loading and unloading appointment so that it gives you enough time to load or unload a truck.

Truck driver’s experience with detention time

Driver detention is very common. DAT ran a poll and asked some drivers about their personal experiences with driver detention time.

How often the drivers were detained longer than 2 hours:

  • Almost never: 6%
  • 1 out of 4 times: 26%
  • Half the time: 30%
  • 3 out of 4 times: 20%
  • Almost always: 19%

This shows that driver detention is a very real issue. The fact that nearly one-fifth of drivers say that they were detained over 2 hours at almost every single load/unload is astounding. This hurts the driver, the fleet, and the company who is loading/unloading the goods.

Being more cautious of driver detention time is crucial for logistics. Drivers have places to be and other deliveries to make. Companies need to make an effort to get the driver loaded up and back on their way in a timely manner every single time.