New Podcast: Is Mileage Pay Fair?

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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Hey everyone, we have another new episode of our podcast "The Road Home" and it's titled:

Is Mileage Pay Fair?

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Getting paid by the mile, or as a percentage of the gross revenues, has been the norm in the long haul portion of the trucking industry for decades. The normal laws that govern most hourly jobs, like mandatory overtime pay after 40 hours, simply don't apply to long haul truck drivers. Some drivers complain that at times they're being forced to work for free. Is this really the case? Are drivers being taken advantage of? We'll take a look at how mileage pay works and whether or not it's fair to drivers.

Enjoy!

Is Mileage Pay Fair?

Dm:

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.
Donald S.'s Comment
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Thanks for the break down! It was well thought out and is spot on. I have worked construction most of my life and know exactly what you mean by employees whining about overtime. And the ones who whine the most are the same ones dragging their shoes and milking the jobs for every penny. There are many jobs that pay better. But when considering the fact you dont have to bleed and beat your body to a pulp. And your not stuck in a trench or in some basement running a 90lb jackhammer in 100 degree weather. Also if you stay fit you have the option to drive well into retirement years its not a bad gig

Marcus K.'s Comment
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Can't say as I completely agree with you. The reason I would never drive OTR is the pay. Perhaps some lucky drivers get paid well for that sweet union run but as a whole I see the big guys paying new drivers a couple hundred a week to train. That in it's self would stop me from thinking about it. I would not get off my couch for that. Then they pay a little more but still only a few hundred more and again I would not get off my couch for that. 500 a week is not enough to move me off the couch and into a truck. Then go onto being on the road for a month or so at a time. Living in a truck is miserable and you still have to pay for your house and the upkeep. So now you have even more expenses unless of course you have someone at home taking care of that but then that is more money in bills they are racking up. Companies pay new drivers crap. Most of them pay crap even at their highest per mile pay scale. I normally make a 900 to 1000 and sometimes more a week and go home every day. OTR would require at minimum 3k a week for me to even think about it.

Now on to that fair per mile stuff. Like you said , if you are happy with what you make as a whole then it is good. I have never been paid by the mile but figure it might be about the same as % depending on the per mile rate. How ever one must figure in some things that just are not fair no matter how you slice it. When you are stuck waiting and getting paid nothing and the reason you are waiting is the fault of the customer then you should be getting no less than $20.00 an hour as a company driver and far more of course as a O/O. I ran grain. Some companies paid after 2 hours of waiting no matter what the reason. Some paid nothing no matter what the reason. When I pick up a load at the customers request of course , and deliver it and get told they do not need it or have room for it or are broke down, I expect to be paid for all them hours and sometimes days I sit because of them. That never happened to me. I always sat for nothing. There is nothing fair about that. Now I did make good money as a whole but still yet when you figure that only made maybe 700 in a week that I had to sit for a day or so then in the end I am out money. My yearly pay would be far more if paid for all that NON work stuff. Heck I would rather be doing something and not being paid than sitting in that sleeper staring at the walls and not getting paid!

Might as well get ready for the big crash. It is coming soon. the gov is trying to stomp out all small guys with their massive regulations. Every bite they take out takes out a small company and lends more power to the big greedy companies. Soon enough there will be nothing to do but drive for them and the rates a re going to drop like a rock in water. The prices of goods are going to soar as it gets harder to deliver them with the driver shortage brought on by the low pay. Just wait till next year when them e-logs get stuffed into grain and rock buckets. It will put many thousands of them out of business and the cost of living is going to go through the roof. I can tell you for certain sure that the small guys can not survive that e-log if they can even afford to put one in their trucks in the first place. All of that is going to come back on the drivers in the form of less pay per mile. Everything is connected.

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.

Old School's Comment
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Marcus, I'm not sure what planet you are living on, but I just have got to address a few of the crazy things you have said here.

Let's just start with the fact that you obviously don't like Over The Road , and that is fine with me, but just because you don't like it doesn't mean that it is a terrible gig. You make this claim...

OTR would require at minimum 3k a week for me to even think about it.

So, you seriously think that you are worth that much (over 150,000 dollars a year), and then you start griping about how prices are going to soar because of the greedy companies. I guess the prices will drop if those companies give up all their greed and start paying their drivers three times what the market has determined that they're worth? So why is it that driver greed is so much more nobler than corporate greed? And how is it that paying drivers three times what they are making now will help keep the prices of goods down? I know you are concerned about keeping prices down or you would not be so worried about the effects of government regulations and corporate greed.

I'm curious if you are even a driver right now. You actually said a couple of things that make me wonder.

I'm actually going to refrain myself from touching on many of the points that I wanted to speak to, but I am still curious about this one...

Just wait till next year when them e-logs get stuffed into grain and rock buckets. It will put many thousands of them out of business and the cost of living is going to go through the roof. I can tell you for certain sure that the small guys can not survive that e-log if they can even afford to put one in their trucks in the first place. All of that is going to come back on the drivers in the form of less pay per mile. Everything is connected.

You want to play both sides of the coin when you say that they can't afford to put e-logs in their trucks, but you also think they can afford to be paying drivers 150,000 dollars a year. So how is it that you propose that tripling driver pay will only improve things, but a much less investment to put e-logs into trucks will just about cause the country to collapse?

I'm serious here, I have been a business man all my life, and I like to see solutions that work. I'm actually open to hearing your answers, but so far you have posted nothing but a bunch of disgruntled driver foolishness that makes absolutely no economic sense.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Marcus K.'s Comment
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Old School ; Not so crazy. I live in the real world where I can see how people are treated. Corporations are very greedy and they can tell all the tales they want about how tight money is but it is only tight for the little guy. 1 week , home every day. up until I quit there to go regional grain I had never slept in a truck. Now you tell me what living in a truck is really worth when I can do this and live at home and not unload a 72 foot trailer or put up with all the other things you put up with.

Nothing is terrible for you if you like it. But as a whole I would consider living in what amounts to a tiny closet and having almost no activities to do like as in a normal life, to be miserable. Maybe that is just me.

I also consider truckers to be the most valuable " commodity " this country has. " One day without a Mexican ? Without a woman? " yes but maybe try one day without truckers. The country would have almost unrepairable damage. So to that note I say we are all worth far more than the average trucker makes. If everyone parked their trucks at the same time for one day the pay would jump way up fast. Sure the small guys can not afford that but all them big guys could eat it and not blink an eye. You work for a small grocery store stocking shelves and make minimum wage. you work for Kroger and get 10.00 an hour doing same thing. So everyone cant afford a big wage but big guys can. It all depends on where and what you do and who you do it for. Google is an example of how to treat employees. On a far less cash scale , look up the box company in Ca. that guy is amazing. His employees get what others dream of and he is not bankrupt nor is he google cash rich. Just depends on the CEO's and how greedy they want to be. }

I am absolutely worth that and so are you. You have no real life. No family life to speak of. Most married people no doubt get divorced . Can not blame them I would not want to sit around waiting on my spouse to come home for a couple days every month or two. It is not the market that sets them prices. That is insane. The cost of goods and living rises like crazy yet the cost of a truck to deliver it has not went up since what? 1976 . I don't know for sure but it has been straight lined a long time. It is not greed to want to get paid a good wage. Living in a truck is a specialized deal for special people and I bet most would rather not do it. If I can make 1k and go home and not do half the work you do then what are you worth? Work just ain't loading and unloading. It's sitting and waiting and being bored stiff and fighting for a space to park ... Pay could be much more. Now I might be a little high strung on the 3k a week but that is what living in a truck is worth to me. Maybe 2K. But then I love sitting at home and watching TV and having a glass of whiskey in the evening. Yea I know I ramble on a lot . That is why I am a blogger. I also go a little over when I am ranting on something. No, I would be driving but made mistake of hauling grain. Want a good one? I was fired from last job , where again I made in the 900 to 1k a week range but regional. Home a lot. I refused to pull a trailer Tulsa to Wichita that had no blinkers. They demanded I did. Second time they demanded I pull that trailer like that. Told them no way. This time they fired me for not pulling it to Wichita. Thing is they said they pay me well I should just do it. No money worth a wreck or me going to prison over it.

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.

Marcus K.'s Comment
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E-logs Not at all. I was speaking of the small guys on that. Fact is that something like 53% ? I think that was the number , of small companies are going to go out of business over the e-logs. That is from a survey done by who ever it was any way , OOIDA ? They simply cant afford to put them in trucks in a lot of cases. The other factor is a little shady but it is necessary. If you knew the grain and aggregate side of stuff you would understand why . Hauling grain: it is very hard to get the job done. Have to do so many loads to make the money. The elevators like to close at 3 or 4 and open at 8. If you are not the first in line at a lot of these places you going to be there all day and maybe longer. Next unload late a day. Next load late a day or more maybe... Running " illegal" is the only way anyone gets this done. Except for the big guys, they have other trucks doing things that make up for grain losses. Small guys with only 2 or 10 trucks have to do what they do. Faking a log so you can go a couple hours down the road to be there at 3 am so you are the first in line is not so bad of a crime but still it has to be done. You cant afford to miss unloading and getting your next load to unload spot. E-logs will cause grain haulers to lose on average 3 loads a week as far as I can tell. I could not afford to lose that much every week out of my check. When e-logs come out that is all over and most will either have to adapt to other types of loads or go down.

You might think that this is not so bad but it is. The grain will be late . The grain must be moved on time. It has to be where it has to be for storage. When there at not enough trucks that can afford to only pick up , lets say for reference 6 loads a week instead of 9, because they now have to run on a tight rope, then there will be a shortage of grain and that is real bad for everyone. Prices will go way up. A loaf of bread that cost 1.50 will be 3.50 and so on. Send that right down the line to your local burger joint. Cattle eat grain. It will be a bad thing for the economy and real hard on those who do not make a lot of money and struggle to survive as it is.

You come back next year and let me know how many Companies went out over them e-logs.

It makes a lot of sense. 15.00 an hour for flipping burgers at burger barn ? NO WAY. But decent pay for the truckers that this country would collapse over if they all stopped is reasonable. Do you realize that if the little guys go out over regulations that the big guys are going to take over the aggregate business ? This means huge increases in the cost of things locally. A load of rocks to build that road in town that I used to deliver will now be delivered by some big union and you no them guys make big money. How is your town going to afford that? Now to be fair I worked for a small company that had real good contracts and paid a good wage. Most doing what I did would not make that unless hauling mud and other crap I did not haul. I had it easy. But still big union trucking companies will kill us off if they take over grain and rocks. It is like Harley Davidson workers. You can't afford one because they make 50 an hour to put it together. Unions at work.

Well you know what? I am thinking of putting up another blog as soon as I get the one I am building tonight going . I was thinking about a trucking blog for all them fresh start students and B guys wanting to go A. Maybe you would want to contribute some articles some time. If I put it up I will be looking for people to contribute and help them newbies. I like to hang on the indeed class B forum. Lots of questions to answer there !

Have a great night and God bless you and have a safe trip down that highway.

OOIDA:

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

Who They Are

OOIDA is an international trade association representing the interests of independent owner-operators and professional drivers on all issues that affect truckers. The over 150,000 members of OOIDA are men and women in all 50 states and Canada who collectively own and/or operate more than 240,000 individual heavy-duty trucks and small truck fleets.

Their Mission

The mission of OOIDA is to serve owner-operators, small fleets and professional truckers; to work for a business climate where truckers are treated equally and fairly; to promote highway safety and responsibility among all highway users; and to promote a better business climate and efficiency for all truck operators.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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