Unfairness Of Pay By The Hour And The Fair Labor Act

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Ashley P.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello everybody

I am right now taking an English Composition II class in college and one of the assignments we have is to pick a topic and do research on this topic. My husband is actually a truck driver for the company swift, so the topic I ended up picking deals with what I believe is a big problem in the trucking industry today, the fact that drivers are paid by the mile rather than by the hour.

Truckers have been getting paid by the mile since the rise of the trucking industry, and even voted to be exempt from the Fair Labor Act that would have made them a by the hour pay job just like everyone else in the United States. I feel this is not fair to truckers in this day and age. This is especially true when you take into consideration the time truckers spend stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, not moving an inch, and all the time spent at loaders waiting for live unloads and live loads to finish. All of this time pretty much wasted, because you are still technically on the clock but since the truck isn’t driving down the highway, truckers are not getting paid a dime for that time. Also, the time you spend with the truck whenever you aren’t driving at all. When you are a company driver it is your responsibility to take care of that truck, yet the company expects you to do that completely for free. I know there are some companies that are exceptions to the rule, but overall this is the practice of most trucking companies in this day and age. I believe that this needs to stop and that companies need to consider becoming included on the Fair Labor Act and paying drivers by the hour rather than by the mile.

Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this, as this is a subject I feel passionately about and I hope that the industry will soon fix.

Ashley

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

The majority of companies pay layover/dention pay. Load/unload/tarping pay, extra benefits, and other payouts to compensate for the wheels not turning. True, some don't, but from my observations, they are the minority. A few companies pay percentage of load, and some even pay salary for dedicated routes, these ones also pay the extra stuff too.

If a company were to switch to an hourly pay, and paid for 14hrs a day at $10/hr, that is $140/day. Driving 7 days would gross $710.50/week base pay before the layover, etc pay.

A driver driving at .35¢ per mile, driving 500miles a day is $175 per day, or $1,225/week base pay before layover, etc pay. Granted, some days you will drive less, and some days more.

All of the companies that I am considering pay at least .35¢ once I upgrade to my own truck.

The case for hourly wages, while it sounds good on the surface, doesn't really hold weight, once you start breaking it down. Yes company A can pay $15/hr, or more, but say good bye to the extra pay, and benefits.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

The majority of companies pay layover/dention pay. Load/unload/tarping pay, extra benefits, and other payouts to compensate for the wheels not turning. True, some don't, but from my observations, they are the minority. A few companies pay percentage of load, and some even pay salary for dedicated routes, these ones also pay the extra stuff too.

If a company were to switch to an hourly pay, and paid for 14hrs a day at $10/hr, that is $140/day. Driving 7 days would gross $710.50/week base pay before the layover, etc pay.

A driver driving at .35¢ per mile, driving 500miles a day is $175 per day, or $1,225/week base pay before layover, etc pay. Granted, some days you will drive less, and some days more.

All of the companies that I am considering pay at least .35¢ once I upgrade to my own truck.

The case for hourly wages, while it sounds good on the surface, doesn't really hold weight, once you start breaking it down. Yes company A can pay $15/hr, or more, but say good bye to the extra pay, and benefits.

Now, I neglected to add in "overtime." Which would make it $1,340/week gross. But the company can always classify the pay as salary, thus eliminating the overtime aspect. I have worked salaried positions that were in reality an hourly job.

No matter how you look at it, by changing to an hourly structure, ultimately, the driver will suffer, in less performance bonuses, worse benefits, etc.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

Mr. Smith's Comment
member avatar

Most over the road drivers can't drive an average 500 miles a day and also stand by for 4 hours twice a week on a load legally.

I get paid by the hour. Local Southern California.

I driver over the road for swift for a couple months on average I brought home between 800-1100 per week with swift for the weeks I worked. it's not bad getting paid by the mile. Most of my miles were on the open road. Spending one day in a city then 3 or 4 on the road then one day in the city. Most of the times when I did hit traffic it wasn't my whole day. It was just for a very short period of one day. So per pay check there may be 2 to 5 hours in traffic and 3-4 hours of stand by at a warehouse. With 55+ hours driving hammer down at 62 mph lol.

But if I got paid by the mile now as a local driver I'd starve I average about 4 loads a day and between 230 and 275 miles a day. I currently bring home about 1000 a week on average.

Another part of your story can be those drivers that get paid percentage. Some of the other local companies running transfers and belly dumps pay per load.

Usually pre trip around 345-445 am head to the pit get loaded and sit in traffic until about 645-800 make the first drop head back to a close pit by 1000 the traffic is lightened up. So hammer down and try n get a couple more loads before 2 because that's when the traffic gets heavier. Back in the yard doing post trip by 3-5. Those guys that get percentage pay sit in traffic headed back to the yard and are not getting paid. At least the guys getting paid by the mile still will make 4 or 5 dollars for the 2 hours in traffic.

So for the long story short mileage pay did not do me wrong and neither does hourly pay. I haven't tried the percentage pay and don't plan on it unless I buy my own transfer truck. Lol

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

Most over the road drivers can't drive an average 500 miles a day and also stand by for 4 hours twice a week on a load legally.

I get paid by the hour. Local Southern California.

I driver over the road for swift for a couple months on average I brought home between 800-1100 per week with swift for the weeks I worked. it's not bad getting paid by the mile. Most of my miles were on the open road. Spending one day in a city then 3 or 4 on the road then one day in the city. Most of the times when I did hit traffic it wasn't my whole day. It was just for a very short period of one day. So per pay check there may be 2 to 5 hours in traffic and 3-4 hours of stand by at a warehouse. With 55+ hours driving hammer down at 62 mph lol.

But if I got paid by the mile now as a local driver I'd starve I average about 4 loads a day and between 230 and 275 miles a day. I currently bring home about 1000 a week on average.

Another part of your story can be those drivers that get paid percentage. Some of the other local companies running transfers and belly dumps pay per load.

Usually pre trip around 345-445 am head to the pit get loaded and sit in traffic until about 645-800 make the first drop head back to a close pit by 1000 the traffic is lightened up. So hammer down and try n get a couple more loads before 2 because that's when the traffic gets heavier. Back in the yard doing post trip by 3-5. Those guys that get percentage pay sit in traffic headed back to the yard and are not getting paid. At least the guys getting paid by the mile still will make 4 or 5 dollars for the 2 hours in traffic.

So for the long story short mileage pay did not do me wrong and neither does hourly pay. I haven't tried the percentage pay and don't plan on it unless I buy my own transfer truck. Lol

I did not account for local routes, mainly otr , and regional. Dedicated can be any of the above. But yeah, from my understanding, most local routes pay salary, or hourly. Thanks for the correction ☺(I also didn't account for ltl)

TMC, gives you a choice between % of load or cpm. They are a pretty big company, moving a lot of freight, so I can see the % pay from them being pretty good.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

I've done cpm and currently do percentage but let me say that I never had an issue running 500 miles per day. Granted, if you're running around LA all day long you might but not an otr or even regional driver. If you're not, you either have a bad dispatcher or you have some trip planning/time management issues.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

I've done cpm and currently do percentage but let me say that I never had an issue running 500 miles per day. Granted, if you're running around LA all day long you might but not an otr or even regional driver. If you're not, you either have a bad dispatcher or you have some trip planning/time management issues.

I have been watching a driver, who does youtube videos. He runs a Regional Dedicated route for Schneider. When he started with them, after 10+ years of driving, They paid the drivers on that route salary + the standard company extra pay. He made good money. After a while, Schneider switched those drivers to cpm, and he makes a lot more, as a result. He never really says how much he is paid, but it is more than he has made during his previous 10+ years driving. They run Masonite doors to the various Home Depot's in the Southern States.

These are his words, and one example, of one company. Albeit, a really good company, even though that Orange can be an eye sore!

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

So far, I've been a local P & D driver/linehaul combination driver. I've been paid by the hour at the highest rate in the city among similar companies and on days when I ran linehaul , I was paid by the mile. Were I paid by the hour in linehaul, I would make less than I would at cpm.

The regular linehaul drivers here would be very, very unhappy were they paid by the hour. The company I've been with for the last year pays linehaul well over 55 cpm. Running 60 hours in 7 days, the hard-working linehaulers who are on the extra-board without their own dedicated route , who turn on their 10 as often as possible, make well over $1,100 a week. Well over. These guys hook their sets and get out of the yard quickly. They get paid a couple of dollars for hooking, dropping, one fuel a day, and a few cents more per mile, for alternate routes, i.e., when the winds are high in WY.

They would be furious, were they paid by the hour.

I know some who have been OTR and found ways to make good money by the mile and I think they preferred it that way.

Tough subject and no doubt, one near and dear to your heart. I'm sure it would be impossible to make drastic changes and keep everyone happy at the same time.

Let us know how your paper turns out!

-mountain girl

smile.gif

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

P & D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

James P.'s Comment
member avatar

I would suggest you read this: Why Drivers Are Paid By The Mile

Rob S.'s Comment
member avatar

The hourly pay would obviously hinge on what that hourly pay would be. At perhaps $10 an hour, the math would simply not work. But $10 is pathetic for the level of responsibility this job entails. $20 might be more in-line, but this is just my opinion.

As you see, this is quite a contentious issue, with solid arguments on both sides. I myself would prefer hourly just like in every other job.

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