USDOT Vows to Find ‘True Working Hours and Wages’ of Truckers In Effort to Ease Turnover

Washington D.C. — The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) is promising newly-commissioned studies will reveal how much time truckers actually spend working and how much they earn for that work.

The USDOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is undertaking new studies into truck driver pay and detention.


As Transportation Nation Network (TNN) has reported, the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) passed into law late last year ordered the USDOT to conduct both studies.

The USDOT is vowing the new studies will shine a light on the negative impacts to the supply chain and trucking’s workforce retention rates caused by the underutilization of truckers’ daily allowable driving hours and abuse by shippers and receivers.

For the driver pay study, the FMCSA is partnering with the Transportation Research Board (TRB).


Specifically, researchers will evaluate per mile, per load and hourly pay, as well as payment for detention time, and other compensation models used in the industry.

“The study will review the amount of time a truck driver spends away from home, driving and detained to determine true working hours, and then determine true hourly wages,” the USDOT said last week.

The issue of driver detention has roiled the industry for many years exposing chronic inefficiencies in the supply chain.


The Department indicated that unlike studies looking at detention in years past, it expects the new study to provide more insight thanks to troves of data collected from electronic logging devices (ELDs).

“Unlike past studies on the impact of driver detention time, this study will use a cross section of ELD data to provide a much more detailed understanding of wait times for drivers across jurisdictions and industry sectors,” the USDOT claimed. “Data used will be aggregated and anonymized to ensure driver privacy.”


Transportation leaders are hoping identifying the problems could lead to solutions that will help to ease the ongoing supply chain challenges and boost the industry’s awful retention rates.

According to data compiled by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the annualized turnover rate at large truckload carriers averaged 90% in 2020, while smaller truckload fleets saw a 69% churn rate.

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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has repeatedly voiced his desire to address the issue.

“In some parts of the trucking industry, 90% of drivers turn over each year,” Sec. Buttigieg recently said. “Making sure truck drivers are paid and treated fairly is the right thing to do, and it will help with both recruiting new drivers and keeping experienced drivers on the job.” will continue to track these studies.

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