Detention time is the amount of time it takes for either a shipper or receiver to load or unload the driver during a scheduled appointment. For example, a driver has a scheduled delivery for 10:00 AM. The driver arrives 1 hour early and the receiver is unable to take the driver early. The driver waits for his appointment time. At 10:00 AM the receiver is unable to take the driver. The driver ends up waiting until 2:00 PM until the receiver is able to start offloading the driver. It ends up taking the receiver 1 hour to fully unload the driver. In this scenario the driver would have a total of 5 hours of detention. The load appointment was scheduled for 10:00 AM and the drivers load was not fully finished until 3:00 PM.
Driver typically do not like any amount of detention time because if the driver remained on duty during the scheduled delivery then the driver’s clock would have continued to run.
Many trucking companies pay the driver an additional per hour detention time pay for any detention time that has occurred. Common practice is that drivers must give the shipper or receiver a standard time of 2 hours of detention time before any additional compensation is due. In the above example, the driver with 5 hours of detention time would only be owed a total of 3 hours of detention pay. When comparing trucking companies be sure to ask what the company’s detention time policy is. How much per hour does that company pay per hour for detention and how many hours of detention is given for free? Also, some companies do not automatically pay detention time, instead, they require the driver to ask for detention time on a case by case basis so be sure to get all of these questions answered when researching various job offers.