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Wait times

What is an acceptable wait time at a delivery dock

Response from Vicki:


Thanks for asking a question through our website.

Although we address the issues of being delayed in a dock and the wait time associated with loading and unloading freight, we did not specify "acceptable" wait times in terms of minutes.

For vans and refrigerated vans, this may depend on a number of factors, including the means by which a load is loaded or unloaded, such as:
* by forklift only;
* by pallet jack;
* by hand; or
* other.

My husband Mike hauls a flatbed and delivers to numerous customers each work day. His company has arranged it so that he doesn't have to wait any longer than 20 minutes to offload a customer's product. Even though that may seem like a short amount of time to wait, it can add up by customer:
* 20 minutes/customer x 2 customers = 40 minutes;
* 20 minutes/customer x 3 customers = 60 minutes;
* 20 minutes/customer x 4 customers = 80 minutes;
* 20 minutes/customer x 5 customers = 100 minutes;
* 20 minutes/customer x 6 customers = 120 minutes.

One of the points that we've attempted to make on this site is that professional truck drivers should be paid for their work and any time they have to wait to be loaded or unloaded. Some companies say that the first two or four hours is "on the driver." We don't think that's acceptable. The driver has only so many hours in a day that he or she can drive. If the truck was rolling, he/she would be earning money. Because a truck is stuck in a dock, that is time that the truck isn't moving and the driver isn't earning money.

So to get back to your question, let me ask you one: If you were paid for every minute you spend in a dock, would it matter how long you waited?

Let me put it in dollars and cents. I'm going to pull some numbers out of thin air to make a point. Please fill in your own numbers for an accurate calculation.

If you earn $0.38 per mile and you were able to travel 500 paid miles per day during an 11 hour driving shift:
* $0.38/mile x 500 miles/day = $190/day
* $190/day / 11 hours/day = $17.27/hour

One may argue that the hourly rate should be calculated differently (such as by a 14-hour work day or even a 24-hour daily period), so again, calculate this as you wish.

If you were paid $20 per hour (including being paid on a pro-rated basis for every partial hour) you spend in a dock, would you mind so much how long you spend in a dock?

For too long, trucking companies, shippers and receivers have "dumped on" truckers because truckers have been told how much their time is worth. In too many cases, they have been told -- and they have been willing to accept -- that their time is worth nothing! To us, this is unacceptable.

What is the solution? Truckers need to speak out and require that they get paid for their time. We think that more and more truckers are finding the pay rates unacceptable (which is why, at least in part, there is a truck driver shortage).

On the other hand, truckers may want to take advantage of the time they spend in docks to earn a second income.

I think it is worthwhile for you to approach your driver manager or perhaps someone higher up in your company about wait times and pay. If enough drivers within your company band together on this, the policy may change. Why? Because too many drivers bailing out on a company leaves the company without a means by which to haul freight, which hurts their bottom line.

We have said for years that there are two types of customers that every company has:
* internal and
* external.
It does a company no good to constantly be looking out for external customers at the expense of the internal ones.

I wish you great success in getting this issue resolved. Would you please return to this page in the future to comment on how things went for you on this matter?

My husband Mike and I wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.


Best regards,
Vicki Simons

Comments for Wait times

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Jul 18, 2014
Good comments
by: wide Load 601

Hey I kno I am going to learn more an more about trucking on this site.Cause I have learned a lot in two days by to read truckers comments Iam a beginner
thanks:C.B handle wide load

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