As a truck driver, most of your time will be spent traveling from one location to another. However, you’ll occasionally need to wait around between shipments if there’s a delay from the receiver or shipper, in which case you’ll get layover pay. In other cases, there may be delays during shipment, and you’ll get what’s called detention pay. This guide will go into more detail about these situations.

What Is Layover Pay?

If the wait between loads is beyond the driver’s control, truck drivers will get layover pay. However, keep in mind that not every company offers this.

As an example, you may have dropped off a shipment on a Tuesday, but the delivery time isn’t until Friday. As a result, you may miss out on loads on Wednesday and Thursday. Your company may compensate you for lost opportunities by providing layover pay. This is especially important for truck drivers who get paid by the mile.

What Is Detention Pay?

This is the compensation you’ll get for delays during the loading or unloading process. However, many companies will only provide detention pay that begins two hours after the scheduled drop-off or pick-up time.

For example, you may have an appointment to pick up a load at 10 A.M. but get there at 9 A.M. If the receiver doesn’t load the truck until 1 P.M., you’ll get detention pay for the time between 12 P.M. and 1 P.M., as the clock starts two hours after the appointment time — not at the 9 A.M. arrival time. 

If you’re an owner-operator, it’s crucial to discuss detention pay with the shipper prior to arriving. As a company driver, the pay rate and policy will depend on your employer.

Keep in mind that some shippers and carriers don’t offer detention pay. Fortunately, the Grow America Act is a bill that ensures drivers get paid at least the minimum wage for on-duty hours, whether they’re driving or not. 

How Can You Avoid Detention?

Loading or unloading delays can reduce your income, especially if they happen often. To prevent them, contact the shipper or receiver before your appointment to confirm the details. Never come late to an appointment, as they may no longer be able to accommodate you. Finally, if you think that you’ll arrive early, call the receiver or shipper while you’re on the way to see if they can begin the loading or unloading process before the scheduled time.

If you’re looking to become a truck driver, reach out to our team at (330) 239-2229. Serving Medina County, OH, our program will teach you best practices for thriving in the trucking industry, from how to avoid detention pay to driving safely.

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