Truck Driver Wait Time
One of the biggest problems plaguing the truck driving industry today is wait time. Wait time at the shipper, wait time at the receiver, wait time at the company terminal and wait time at the truck stop. We even had a two new hours of service rules implemented within the last year that gives us more wait time. These new rules even adversely affect the most expeditious team driving operations as they are forced to have one hour of wait time a day combined. And unless your company pays you detention pay, then we never see a dime for this wait time. Maybe the government is trying to create a renaissance in the rail industry as all of this wait time is making inter modal shipping options more appealing to shippers since they don’t have to deal with these obstacles.
This could possibly severely impact jobs in the trucking industry. And what is the result of overloading the docks and ports with all of this inter modal freight? Definitely more work for the drivers around the port and the greed from the companies to cut the rates for those drivers. As we have seen in the past with multiple labor disputes at almost all of our ports. And currently in the port of Los Angeles with the labor dispute there. It is unreal to me that there is so much work to go around but, in order to try to drive down the prices, the corrupt and greedy companies aren’t putting the money where the work is earned by paying their drivers the money they deserve. After all the truck drivers are the backbone of the freight industry and if they stop it all stops.
Let’s face it, if the shippers and receivers had to actually pay for the wait time we sit in their docks, goods and services would skyrocket. Maybe this is why nobody wants to tackle this subject. I do not think that the government can come out with some magic bullet to cure this plague. At the end of the day the only people that can solve this problem is the truck driving companies themselves. And it’s gotta be the big ones that are guilty of the exploitation of new drivers and paying cheap wages. I’m not sure we could ever trust these companies to do the right thing here.
One way trucking companies could assist in curing this plague would be to have tiered charges for wait times. So for instance, the cheapest way to ship your freight would be to have it a drop and hook load. This way the driver can come in with their empty trailer, drop it at the customer location and hook to the loaded one. Then you could tier up the rates for each additional hour of wait time for the driver, one, two, etc, etc. However, I do believe that this scenario would be very unlikely since these are the companies that expect us to go in and take 20 to 30 hours worth of classes a year for free. Not only do they expect us to incur wait time for free at a shipper or a receiver, they don’t even want to pay us for our time when it comes to mandatory safety classes and meetings. I guess it all goes back to how you look at it. If you want the opportunity to make the money for turning the wheels, then you have to endure a certain amount of free wait time. Thanks for using your wait time to read this article. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions as always let us know and be safe out there!