Driver detention refers to the extra time a driver has to spend while goods are being loaded or unloaded, over the approved 2-hour limit. The delay could lead to several problems such as:
- Running out of legal 14-hour driving limit, affecting the time of delivery.
- The driver can be pressurized to speed up to make up for lost time, leading to increased chances of accidents and other safety challenges.
- Any subsequent appointment for loading or unloading of goods will be delayed and can result in loss of work.
The driver detention is a huge problem in the trucking and fleet management industry, and it requires coordinated efforts from everyone involved. Here are a few tips to help minimize driver detention:
- Communicate: It is always better to be in contact with the shippers and receivers, and inform them of the scheduled appointment and allotted time. Also sending timely alerts of the position of the truck will help them to keep everything for the truck’s arrival.
- Planning: If a truck has to pick up goods from two or more different locations, make sure that the appointments are scheduled to allow for any unforeseen delay.
- Appropriate labor and tools: Using forklifts and additional labor can eliminate the chances of delay. Moreover, the expenses for extra labor will always be less than the operational losses occurring due to detention.
- Accountability: Most of the delay happens at the loading and unloading point. If the shippers and receivers are made accountable for the delay and are required to pay for the same, detention time will drastically reduce. Make them aware that if there is a delay in shipping, there will be a delay in delivery and will also have a negative effect on their business.
- Compensation: Having an appropriate detention compensation plan will decrease the chances of rash driving or speeding, and ensure the safety of the driver, assets, as well as the truck.
There is no technology available yet that can help minimize or eliminate driver detention. However, by using fleet management applications and ELD, the safety of the driver and assets can be optimized. Matrack Incorporation has a user-friendly fleet management platform that gives insight into any HOS violations. With this information in hand, a close eye can be kept on the driver to spot any safety violations like excessive acceleration or hard braking. Based on the data from the platform, a better safety program for training the drivers can be created.
Here is a list of 15 cities in various U.S. states that are known for some of the longest detention periods, so planning ahead for delay can help avoid safety issues as well as timely delivery:
- Fresno, California – 5.5 hours
- Erie, Pennsylvania – 5.4 hours
- Rochester, NY – 4.6 hours
- South Bend, Indiana – 4.5 hours
- El Paso, Texas – 4.2 hours
- Shreveport, Louisiana – 3.9 hours
- Duluth, Minnesota – 3.8 hours
- Little Rock, Arkansas – 3.8 hours
- Fort Wayne – 3.7 hours
- Laredo, Texas – 3.5 hours
- Fayetteville, Arkansas – 3.4 hours
- Bloomington, Illinois – 3.3 hours
- Knoxville, Tennessee – 3.2 hours
- Lakeland, Florida – 3.2 hours
- Wilmington, North Carolina – 3.1 hours