Driver Pay From My Perspective

Topic 31302 | Page 3

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Old School's Comment
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Number 2 is governed speed. The math tells us that being able to go 68 rather than 63 will get us there in less time. A 5mph advantage will not make much difference for a 500 mile assignment, but over the course of a year can be very significant.

Governed speed will not cut down your productivity. If it did none of these companies would limit the speed their trucks run. Productivity is how they make money. I regularly did 3,200 to 3,400 mile weeks in a truck governed at 62.

I don't have time right now to really make the argument, but there are way too many other variables to this job that make it clear that a governed truck doesn't limit your earnings potential.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

I think pay is influenced by a combination of factors. Number one is being efficient and good trip planning. Number 2 is governed speed. The math tells us that being able to go 68 rather than 63 will get us there in less time. A 5mph advantage will not make much difference for a 500 mile assignment, but over the course of a year can be very significant. Number 3 is safety. Safety bonus? Gotta get that. Safety violations result in downtime of some sort. Number 4: Luck. Breakdowns, traffic backups, weather are things we can’t control, yet they do influence miles driven and therefore our bottom line.

I agree with most of what you said but I’d add to your number 2: governed speed in combination with cpm and accessory pay and length/type of runs. I’ve been at two companies that governed me at 63/65 and one that governed me at 80. First company was Swift and I didn’t make the best money for a few different reasons that all worked together to reduce my overall pay. I made good money at the company that governed me at 80 but I could’ve done the exact same runs every week governed at 65/70. The nice thing about being governed higher for that job was that all my runs were set beforehand with flexible drops so I got a little more downtime each weekend than I would’ve being governed lower. I also didn’t want to bash my head against the window every time I got behind someone who couldn’t keep their speed consistent because I could just pass them lol. Company I’m at now governs us at 65 on the cruise/63 on the pedal. It drives me nuts (being governed higher ruined me for life lol) but I make just as much as I did at the company that governed me higher. Higher cpm, consistent freight, and accessory pay make more of a difference than governed speed the vast majority of the time as far as pay goes. Being governed higher mainly helps driver pay only when you get very very consistent freight or you’re able to pick all your own runs and make the speed work to your advantage (something most of us company drivers don’t have the option to do anyways). I have my gripes and issues with being governed at 65 and if I could change it today I would but for the sake of giving correct information to others reading this thread I think governed speed only helps pay in very specific situations or if the difference is huge like 62 vs 75/80.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Okay, I guess I am putting too much emphasis on governed speed. My opinion was based on the math.

However, I have a question: would you as a driver prefer to be governed at 65 or 68? Or wouldn’t it matter to you?

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Id rather 68 but not because I think it would give me more productive results. I say this because at 65 most of my routes I've taken have large areas where I can go 65 if I want to, curves, hills, mountains, traffic, speed limits. As OS said, I know I can pretty comfortably pull 3000 to 3500 mile weeks.

The reason I say it is that it would be nice is for deliveries that are tight and those days that I'm fighting my clock. Lowe's loads can be a bigger, because they are often scheduled for a long day or two and we're hard scheduled for the delivery. Sometimes it comes down to the minutes. And when my 70 is getting down there, minutes matter.

I think though by and large I'm my own biggest enemy with the clock and productivity, but can be my biggest advocate too.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

Ughh autocorrect.....

.....*can't go 65

*....can be a bugger....

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I totally agree with Old School and know exactly what prompted his reply. A reply that many of you might be wondering about...here is my perspective on his points.

Many of you newer members do not know me...

But,... when I first started with Swift running Walmart Dedicated over 9 years ago, our trucks were governed at 62 on cruise and 60 on the pedal... although they were dogs, that slower speed had nothing to do with my novice level performance. I mean nothing!

Learning how to to be efficient, prepared, truly safe and creative, had everything to do with my gradual increase in performance and reduction in mistakes (there were many).

I wrote this blog article a few years ago revealing the things that initially challenged me... no where in this article did I mention anything about my Slow Wagon In Fast Traffic (Swift) or that it negatively affected my income or subpar performance.

Hope you newer folks enjoy this article and glean something useful from it...

Freedom of Trucking

Safe travels everyone. Peace.

Andrey's Comment
member avatar

Governed speed will not cut down your productivity. If it did none of these companies would limit the speed their trucks run.

Yes and no. Governed speed will not make any serious cuts to productivity, however, productivity is hardly the main reason of governing trucks' speed. The main reason is safety. Speeding is one of the major issues leading to accidents which in their turn lead to financial losses. It would make a lot of sense to me if companies start showing more flexibility: they can easily set a truck of a beginning driver at 60, then raise it with time as he becomes more experienced. I would also suggest that routes need to be considered too. When a driver, especially a dedicated one, drives mostly on roads with 55-65 limit, it is one thing, but when he spends hours on 70-75 highways, ability to cruise at this speed for ten hours can make a 100 miles difference every day, translating into extra $300-400 a week.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Governed speed will not cut down your productivity. If it did none of these companies would limit the speed their trucks run.

double-quotes-end.png

Yes and no. Governed speed will not make any serious cuts to productivity, however, productivity is hardly the main reason of governing trucks' speed. The main reason is safety. Speeding is one of the major issues leading to accidents which in their turn lead to financial losses. It would make a lot of sense to me if companies start showing more flexibility: they can easily set a truck of a beginning driver at 60, then raise it with time as he becomes more experienced. I would also suggest that routes need to be considered too. When a driver, especially a dedicated one, drives mostly on roads with 55-65 limit, it is one thing, but when he spends hours on 70-75 highways, ability to cruise at this speed for ten hours can make a 100 miles difference every day, translating into extra $300-400 a week.

The #1 biggest reason the company trucks are not set to run wide open? Fuel prices. In case you haven't been following along, diesel prices nationwide are more than $1.48 per gallon higher than this time last year. Anyone with a brain see the prices decreasing in the next three years?

After a few years, many trucks with many companies, and many company settings from 60 mph to 70 mph, I usually run between 60 to 62 mph. I'm still 100% for picking up and on time delivery. My six year average is 11,500 miles each month, and my career number is 7.987 MPG, ON PAPER! Not the dashboard gauge or some number of an ELD. That's loaded, empty, bobtail , and idling. My six year average speed for all miles is 57.312 MPH. Keep thinking about those big miles with your fast truck.

BTW the modern computer-controlled trucks are not "governed". Haven't been any mechanical OTR trucks rolled out this century. The modern method is through electronics, therefore it is referred to as Speed Limiters.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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