Layover vs Detention

Layovers and Detentions are a common occurrence in the trucking industry. It is important for a driver to understand the difference and to know what the company policies are if you’re a company driver. You should also know how best to avoid them.

Trucking Layover is when a driver is delayed by a shipper or receiver for one or more days. Layover pay is the rate that the driver is paid by the trucking company or the company of the shipper or receiver. Layover pay is dependent on the company. Most companies have policies on when layover pay starts and at what rate they will pay it out. The standard is layover pay does not start until after you have been delayed for a full 24 hours. Then continue to pay out for every 24 hours of your delay. Some companies have an even longer minimum time before they payout layover pay. The actual amount that the driver gets paid can vary as well. Some companies pay a percentage of what they are getting paid by the shipping or receiving company. Others pay a flat rate. The flat rate can vary as well from $20 to $200 every 24 hour period. I have heard of companies putting drivers up in hotels if they know it is going to be a 24 hour plus delay so the truck is not idling that whole time. They may also do it as a good will gesture to the driver so they have more space to roam and can get a shower.

Detention Pay is somewhat similar, but is paid out on a shorter time scale. A golden rule is that the shipper or receiver gets two hours to get you loaded or unloaded. This window may narrow in the future with the ELD’s going into effect, but nothing is certain and shippers and receivers do not have to abide by the golden rule. Companies will go after detention pay after one of their trucks is delayed past the two hour window. From there it falls in line to be similar with the layover pay. The company may or may not pay the driver anything, they may pay a percentage of what they got paid, or they may pay the driver an hourly rate after the two hours. Typically the average hourly rate is $10 to $20 an hour. In most cases a company may have their layover and detention payout combined. For instance if you are delayed they would start paying you the hourly rate after the two hour, but cap the pay off at a 24 hour maximum.

It is important to know what your company’s policies are so you know exactly what to expect and what is expected from you if you ever come across a delay. Of course it would be idle to never come across a delay and there are certain things that you can do to help avoid such delays. Huge is communication. Communicate with the shipper/receiver. Contact them beforehand and make sure the details of your trip are correct. Some places you may have set appointments, call on your way to see if they would be willing to take you early if you’re looking to arrive before your appointment time.  

What to do with yourself when your trip has been delayed…find a safe place to park, get out of the truck and take a walk around. Stretch your legs as they say. Getting out of the truck will help pass the time and not make the delay so stressful or frustrating. Nobody likes to be tied up especially when their clock is ticking. A good company understands the value of your time so make sure you know what policy they have in place if a delay should occur. Our hourly rate is $18 per hour with a $150 day cap. We run one program for detentions and layovers. We also pay the driver regardless if we get paid from the shipper or receiver. We understand how valuable your time is.