Maximizing Detention Pay and Layover Pay for Truckers


In the trucking industry, detention pay and layover pay are essential elements that owner-operators and truckers should be aware of. When dispatchers and truck drivers book loads, they rarely inquire about detention pay or layover pay. I hope to clarify these crucial points in this blog post, highlighting the importance of knowing your rights and negotiating for fair compensation.

1. The Importance of Knowing Your Entitlements:

Detention pay and layover pay are benefits that truckers are entitled to when they spend an extended amount of time at a shipper’s or receiver’s site. However, it is crucial for truckers to be proactive and inquire about these compensations. By asking the right questions, you can ensure that you receive what you deserve and avoid wasting valuable time.

2. Detention Pay: When Does It Start and How Much Can You Earn?

Detention pay typically starts after a specific waiting period, often around two hours. Most brokerages offer a detention pay rate of $50 per hour after the two-hour mark. However, it’s important to note that different freight brokers may offer varying rates, typically ranging from $25 to $100 per hour. Some unscrupulous brokers may try to take advantage of drivers’ ignorance by providing lower prices than the shipper. Therefore, educating yourself about industry standards and negotiating for fair compensation is crucial.

3. Layover Pay: Maximizing Your Earnings During Delays:

Layover pay comes into play when truckers have to wait for an extended period, such as overnight, before loading or unloading. This scenario is more common in the flatbed community, where machinery or specialized equipment might require overnight storage. It is important to negotiate for a fair rate, typically ranging from $300 to $500. Never accept less than the best because your truck’s downtime needs to be fairly compensated to guarantee profitability.

4. Negotiating with Freight Brokers:

When discussing detention pay and layover pay with freight brokers, it is essential to maintain open communication and negotiate effectively. Be aware of your worth and the time value of your services. Ensure that you clearly understand the rates and conditions before accepting a load. By negotiating for fair compensation and having agreements documented in writing, you protect yourself from potential disputes and ensure you receive what you’re entitled to.

detention and layover

5. Maintaining Documentation and Communication:

To strengthen your case for detention pay, it is crucial to maintain a paper trail. As soon as you arrive at the site, send an email to the freight broker to establish a record of your arrival time. Then, after the two-hour mark or any specified waiting period, notify the broker that you are entitled to detention pay. When you are leaving the facility, ask them to write your check-in and check-out times. By following these steps, you ensure transparency and accountability, which will help you receive the compensation you deserve.


In the trucking industry, time is money, and understanding your entitlements for detention pay and layover pay is essential for maximizing your earnings. By educating yourself on industry standards, negotiating effectively, and maintaining proper documentation, you can ensure fair compensation for your valuable time. Remember, as a trucker, you have the right to advocate for yourself and secure the compensation you deserve. Stay informed, communicate effectively, and make the most of your trucking endeavors.

1 thought on “Maximizing Detention Pay and Layover Pay for Truckers”

Leave a Comment