Being detained at the docks has always been an issue with drivers. Detention means drivers aren’t putting on miles or earning pay. However, with the FMCSA’s ruling on hours of service, drivers aren’t the only ones feeling the strain of a limited workday. Detention impacts everything from the efficiency of supply chains to road safety and the salaries of those making the long hauls across the country.

Detention, HOS, and Safety

A single truck driver can end up stuck in detention for hours while shipments are being loaded onto their vehicle. The entire time, the electronic logging device is ticking downtime. By the time driver is able to hit the road, they may already be tired from being awake for so long at the docks. This places added pressure on drivers to make up the time to meet the demands of shippers and results in pushing the speed limit. The conflict between detention and hours of service negate the increased safety the FMCSA set as the reasoning behind their HOS mandate in the first place. Having stressed or fatigued drivers on the road is a risk to them and other drivers.

Detention and Fleet Owners

When drivers are detained at the docks, those are hours eaten out of the workday, as discussed above. Fleet owners are trying to balance the demands for capacity loads and the availability of drivers. Detention places a big strain on supply chains and logistics by holding up the flow of shipments, which can be further delayed by the HOS mandate. This can mean fewer shipments are arriving on time, which means unhappy customers, and slowdown in revenue for everyone in a time when the economy is booming. There has to be a solution.

FMCSA Research

Due to an in-depth study on detention and safety, the FMCSA is considering making changes to their ruling on hours of service. The change would place more autonomy back in the hands of drivers, allowing them more flexibility and the ability to manage their daily and weekly schedules. There is a possibility that the 30-minute break will be revised, as well as letting drivers split their mandatory 10-hour rest time.

There is no word on when these revisions could potentially take place, but Express Freight Finance will keep you informed of any developments.