FMCSA asks truckers how much of their time is wasted loading and unloading

The Federal Motor Carrie Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a public call for truckers to deliver information on how much time they spend waiting to be loaded and unloaded.

The FMCSA says that they need more information on trucker detention time at shippers and receivers in order to understand how those delays impact highway safety.

Starting on June 10, the FMCSA will accept public comment on the topic of trucker detention for a 90 day period. You can click here to learn more about how to submit comments to the FMCSA.

Specifically, the FMCSA is asking for public comment on the following questions:

1. Are data currently available that can accurately record loading, unloading, and delay times?

2. Is there technology available that could record and delineate prompt loading and unloading times versus the extended delays sometimes experienced by drivers?

3. How can delay times be captured and recorded in a systematic, comparable manner?

4. Could systematic collection and publication of loading, unloading, and delay times be useful in driver or carrier business decisions and help to reduce loading, unloading, and delay times?

5. What should FMCSA use as an estimate of reasonable loading/unloading time? Please provide a basis for your response.

6. How do contract arrangements between carriers and shippers address acceptable wait times? Do these arrangements include penalties for delays attributable to a carrier or shipper?

7. What actions by FMCSA, within its current statutory authority, would help to reduce loading, unloading, and delay times?

A January 2018 study issued by the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General estimated that waiting at loading docks reduces income by “$1.1 billion to $1.3 billion for for-hire commercial motor vehicle drivers in the truckload sector.” Detention time costs individual truck drivers between $1,281 and $1,534 per year, according to the report.

The study also found that even small increases in detention time were associated with higher crash rates:

“We estimated that a 15-minute increase in average dwell time—the total time spent by a truck at a facility—increases the average expected crash rate by 6.2 percent.”

The DOT study speculated that not only does detention time increase fatigue, but it can also “cause frustration and reduced income and may contribute to dangerous behaviors such as speeding and violations of (hours of service) requirements.”

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