OD shutdown due to Weather- Layover Charges?

Hi Folks,
Just wanted to get someone else's take on this one. Booked a driver on an OD load last week, driver gets shutdown 90 miles from the receiver (assuming the DOT pulled the plug) due to weather (heavy snow/blowing snow). I have several loads hitting this location, wide legal etc. Every carrier has called in identifying the delay, will check back tomorrow etc etc keep me posted. I get one O/O calling in demanding a layover? My issue is, my customer and I cannot control the weather, it's winter it happens. It would be the same as me calling and demanding a rate reduction because it is a day late, I am assuming the carriers answer would be the same he can't control the weather? Am I out to lunch? For the record the state is WY, it is well known to have these sort of shutdowns at this time of year, and the driver is from UT not like he can plead ignorance? It is also only 1 day in, and he keeps referring to 90 miles but won't identify where exactly that is. As an aside, I had a guy trapped out on the HWY last year for 5 days in WY, I did everything I could to make sure he was safe including telling him to leave the freight behind if need be. Any OD hauler want to chime in on this one? For the sake of the argument lets assume my rate was fair for the line haul, permits, tarping etc and go from there (it is hence why I moved more than 1 shipment).


Site Supporter
What would be the difference, if the driver had decided on his own, to stop driving due to bad road conditions? The DOT made that decision for him by closing the highway to traffic. Bad driving conditions, mechanical breakdown, etc, etc, are all part of the job. Layover charges should only apply if the receiver/shipper changes the schedule for whatever reason...... delaying the crane appt, site not ready to receive, etc.

Jim L

Active Member
I agree, its unfortunate for the driver and the carrier involved but that is the risk of bad weather/traffic etc. You should not have to pay for a layover that is completely outside of the freight payer's control.

If he is going to WY, and its winter, and roads get shut down, etc, etc, I think the carrier would have put some of that consideration into the rate. My desired rate for a Toronto pickup at 4pm is different than my rate for a 11am pickup due to the fact that my driver has to sit in traffic. Slightly different issues but you get where I'm coming from.


Site Supporter
Not a whole lot different than charging more for a trip that involves many high toll rates, or ferry charges. Snowy, mountain weather means longer transit times therefore more drivers hours, both actual driving and sitting waiting for the roads to open back up.
For the sake of the argument lets assume my rate was fair for the line haul
My thoughts are if rate for a line haul was a fair one for the time of the year and weather conditions, there should not be any extra layover charges. However, in case if there was nothing special about the rate, just a regular rate per mile that carrier can get from anybody nowadays, layover should be paid regardless of whether or not weather conditions can not be controlled. In the end, your clients' goods have tied up O/O for an extra day and he is the one who has to pay for equipment, insurance, etc., he is not going to get a break for those payments due to weather conditions.
The bottom line is, it is all coming to an argument of how fair the rate is.


Site Supporter
Wait a minute. The moment the carrier agrees to the rate, low/high, fair/unfair, there is the notion of a contract, or at least an agreement to provide a service at the agreed price. Yes, the O/O had been delayed by a day and his expenses continue to accrue, however, if the truck had broken down, wouldn't those same expenses still be there? Are you somehow suggesting that there are two service levels? One service level for a real good rate, and another for a somewhat lesser rate? I would hope not. Once a supplier says yes, I expect to get his best service, unless we have included in the agreement some kind of reduction such as extended transit time, etc.
Once a supplier says yes, I expect to get his best service, unless we have included in the agreement some kind of reduction such as extended transit time, etc.
That is exactly what O/O did, he provided his best service and got hanged for an extra day due to uncontrollable circumstances that has nothing to do with him or his equipment or his operations. Is he entitled to be compensated for that? What if it was a week, not a day, would it change your perspective on the issue?

Duke22 in the original post has mentioned of taking care of the driver who was trapped for 5 days last year. Why would a matter of 5 or 1 day make a difference? Does it become a matter of delayed period of time?

Duke22 has to find some balance, I am being impartial reviewing the issue from both sides, Broker and Carrier.
I've moved/priced LOTS of oversize shipments and NEVER in my wildest dreams have I ever charged for a down day due to weather unless it was negotiated beforehand. We did some moves 25 years ago where as O/O's we were asked to price a 24' wide move through Northern Ontario into Rouyn Noranda. On that particular move we as O/O's included in our pricing to the carrier a rate per day if we were parked and couldn't move.


Well-Known Member
Just curious, if your hourly paid office staff cant make it into work because of a snow storm, do they get paid anyway? Does a store or business get reimbursed by someone because the weather prevented their customers from getting there? Pulling over in bad weather to prevent you killing yourself or someone else should take priority over a smaller pay cheque that week.


Site Supporter
In 27 years, we have never been asked to pay a carrier because he was stuck on the road due to a legal highway shutdown because of poor road conditions. Unless the agreed rate included something like, " you will be paid for any and all eventualities occurring while in transit". Doesn't sound like something anyone we deal with would ask for, let alone something we would ever agree to.
Just curious, if your hourly paid office staff cant make it into work because of a snow storm, do they get paid anyway? Does a store or business get reimbursed by someone because the weather prevented their customers from getting there?
If you are implying to use an analogy, why would not use one that relates to the issue discussed. What indeed happened was that due to a weather factor somebody's goods end up occupying O/O equipment for an extra day, equipment he is paying for regardless. The matter of question is whether or not O/O is entitled to be compensated for equipment used to carry the goods.

If you are late, due to weather conditions, to pick up your goods from storage/warehouse facilities, would you end up paying extra day storage charges? You would, unless storage/warehouse facility would voluntarily agree not to charge you.

I am not screaming pay the O/O for extra day. I am saying that in my opinion, O/O has merits to ask to be compensated for extra day of equipment use.


Well-Known Member
In a perfect world the owner operator would be entitled and paid by who ever was paying the freight. Pretty sure that is not going to happen. The decision to pay your O/O is yours alone. If you want to keep him happy, pay him something. Probably a good investment in the long run, although you are setting a precedent. Your call.


Active Member
Really?? Charging for weather delays? Come on.....

Not too long ago, I had a driver who had to park for 1.5 days due to a really bad ice storm. Everyone knew the storm was coming but it was a lot worse than originally forcasted. Yes, it is frustrating for the driver and annoying for the carrier to have a truck delayed because of weather but I never considered calling my customer and demanding to be paid for the lost time. Should I have charged the state/county/municipality too for not clearing and pre-treating the roads adequately enough?

What about all the flooding that is happening right now? A large portion of North America is flooding right now, with no end in sight for many areas until late next week! Should we all be charging our customers for that as well?

Sometimes sh*t happens and it's nobody's fault. Just suck it up, deal with it and move on. It's called life!


Site Supporter
I think we all know that in the winter, generally speaking, things move more slowly than in the summer. We all plan a little extra time to get places, knowing that snow and bad driving conditions come from out of nowhere. We also know that in the summer, drivers can take advantage of warm weather and relatively easier driving conditions. I agree that we all take these factors into determining our rates. Yes, the driver of the truck should get paid for sitting in the truck doing nothing until the road opens. But that money should not come from the shipper, or receiver, or 3PL etc. This is because a small margin for potential downtime should be calculated in the rate for every load. I am pretty sure we all put thought into this when quoting on a load. Having said that, you can't blame the company for asking. Companies ask for weird charges all the time. It just doesn't mean you are going to receive.


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