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Fuel for Thought

Detention Pay?

By Greg Huggins
Posted May 11th 2018 8:07AM

It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the things we have to do as owner operators to keep our business profitable. After all we do just to get to a load, then the customer keeps us waiting for our load. We do not earn any more revenue, unless you count detention pay, for time spent waiting on them to handle the business transaction needed to allow both parties to move on through the process. Does anyone consider the reverse? When the customer loads a driver quickly and then the driver expects to linger and just hang out at the shipper? Maybe the driver doesn’t have to be in a rush to get the load delivered or maybe they just didn’t have the log hours to leave the parking area. Either way, now it is the driver and his or her truck that could be interfering with the customer’s business. Maybe they need the space for drivers coming in to load, or just have limited parking and now this driver will not leave. When we are inconvenienced by the customer, we tend to get upset and almost immediately resort to “ I need more (money) to be stuck here waiting”, but what if the customer told you “You are interfering with our business, if you want to stay here it will cost you? We don’t make any more money by letting you stay here after our business with you is done.” Maybe we, as drivers and business people, should consider both sides.

On a similar note, there are fewer and fewer truck stops these days with full service, sit down restaurants where drivers can get a meal served to them rather than just fast food. The ones that are still around rely on customers, plural. Sure, we tend to linger a little longer in a truck stop restaurant than we would at a dinner with family or friends when we are home, but could we be a little more conscious of the fact that your wait staff at the truckstop restaurants rely on customers, plural. If the place is busy, your cup of coffee and that $1 tip for 2 hours of holding up that table is hardly worth it to the waiter or waitress. If the managers of these places posted a policy for the mandatory required tip amount for 2 hours at a table (like detention pay for you), would that help some of you realize the value of their time? Just like your shipper, this is a business transaction, and they expect, and are required to, make money for their business or go out of business.


See you down the road,



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