Why Paying Truckers By The Mile Is Unfair And Dangerous

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Anchorman's Comment
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Why paying truckers by the mile is unfair and dangerous

The trucking industry is in crisis for one simple reason: It cannot find enough people to sit behind the wheel.

The American Trucking Assns., a trade group, estimates that trucks carry more than 67% of the country's total freight by weight. Trucking is the nation's most important mode of commercial shipping.

Currently, there are about 3.5 million people with commercial driver's licenses, and 2.6 million drivers are on the road, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That may sound like a lot, but the ATA and others estimate that we're short 35,000 to 40,000 drivers, and they believe that shortfall will expand to 240,000 drivers by 2022. Many carriers have trucks sitting idle because there's no one available to drive them; many want to buy new trucks but won't do so for the same reason. Carriers need more operators to fulfill shipper requests not only as the economy expands, but also as it stands now.

The shortage is most acute in long-haul operations. However, it is now affecting short haul and regional carriers as well as drayage trucks that do short hops between, say, a railhead and a nearby port. The driver shortage also hurts other transportation modes such as ocean shipping and rail, which rely on trucks to carry their freight “the last mile.”

The industry has tried to mitigate the shortage by offering drivers signing bonuses and shorter routes so they can be home more often, paying the cost for commercial driver's license training, reaching out to ex-military, women and immigrant groups, and paying more for tenure. Carriers say these incentives help only incrementally and the shortage is not abating.

There are several reasons for the shortfall. First, drivers are older, on average, than the general working population, 49 versus 41.9 years, and many are retiring because they can no longer keep up with the physical demands of the job. Young people are not signing on to replace the folks who are leaving. 

Second, federal regulations have cut back on the number of hours that a driver may spend behind the wheel, so additional drivers are needed to pick up the slack.

The most important reason, however, becomes obvious if you ask drivers directly. They'll say the problem is how they get paid. Not how much, but how.

Consumers may not realize that drivers are paid by the mile and not the hour. This means that they make no money for sitting in traffic or waiting at a warehouse.

It is not uncommon for a trucker to pull into a warehouse a few minutes after it closes and sleep in his truck until it opens the next day. This is time on the job but not money in his pocket. As one driver told me, “Because payment is by the mile, warehousers and others don't respect drivers' time. Any inefficiency in their operation — and even from my own carrier — is soaked up by the driver at no cost to anyone else.”

Paying by the mile is both unsafe and unfair. It encourages truckers to speed in order to make money. Getting paid by the mile, moreover, means truckers never know how much they will make for any given week (they can't predict breakdowns, traffic, weather or man-made delays at warehouses). Drivers report that inconsistent pay is even more of a drawback than low pay.

While the simple answer is to pay drivers by the hour instead of by the distance traveled, carriers are reluctant to do so because it would mean a dislocation of their business model, which dates to the 1930s when the trucking industry looked very different than it does today. President Franklin D. Roosevelt exempted trucking from the Fair Labor Standards Act, which mandated a minimum wage.

I have found only one carrier that pays by the hour, Dupré Logistics in Lafayette, La. Started as a tank truck hauler in 1980, the company has 1,200 drivers and 600 trucks. About 15 years ago, the company realized that even though it was following the rules governing how many hours a trucker could be on the road, its drivers were fatigued, and therefore accident prone.

“We were compliant, and we were legal, but we weren't safe,” Reggie Dupré, the company's chief executive, told me. To keep drivers alert, the company moved to a schedule that would allow them shorter stints on the road. And to save drivers from losing income because of the new scheme, the company decided to pay by the hour instead of by the mile.

Dupré reports that the company's crash rate plummeted. Dupré also says the company has attracted experienced, reliable drivers. People want to work there, and it has no shortage of applicants. The company's driver turnover hovers around 17% in an industry where more than 90% is common.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in 2012 that fatal crashes of large trucks and buses cost the U.S economy $40 billion that year. Fatigue and speeding are major crash factors. It's better for everyone if drivers don't have to engage in dangerous behavior just to clock more miles, in the name of simply making a living.

Larry Kahaner is a writer who has been covering the transportation, trucking and logistics industry for more than 20 years.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

I feel there is a lot of misinformation in this article that should be addressed.

When discussing driver shortages the author acts like this is a new problem (which in itself is a false premise to start with) and then he blames it on the older drivers retiring and younger drivers not stepping up to take their place.

There are several reasons for the shortfall. First, drivers are older, on average, than the general working population, 49 versus 41.9 years, and many are retiring because they can no longer keep up with the physical demands of the job. Young people are not signing on to replace the folks who are leaving.

We see a good share of both older and younger new entrants into the field right here in this forum alone. I don't see how he comes up with that conclusion - it simply is not the problem.

He then proceeds to the argument that "new" regulations have cut back on the amount of hours a driver can work.

Second, federal regulations have cut back on the number of hours that a driver may spend behind the wheel, so additional drivers are needed to pick up the slack.

Good Goomalooma man, a driver can drive seventy hours a week! Does the author really think we want to work more hours? The new regulations did not reduce our working hours, unless you are talking about the fourteen hour rule, and it didn't really even do that, it just forces you to work more hours in a certain period of time. To argue that regulations have cut back our hours and then to proceed to say the cure is that we should be paid by the hour seems kind of stupid to me.

Oh, and then this next argument is a "classic" blunder made by author.

The most important reason, however, becomes obvious if you ask drivers directly. They'll say the problem is how they get paid. Not how much, but how.

There is such a diversity of "drivers" out here that I don't know how he considers that as a reliable construct for his argument. At any given truck stop driver's lounge or cafe you can hear all kinds of arguments and discussions about drivers pay. I just had a crazy discussion with a driver the other day who was complaining about how he was being treated... not getting enough miles... dispatcher disrespecting him... not making enough to live on... you know the type. He works for the same company as I do, and I tried my best to help him understand where he was screwing himself over (and he really was) but I couldn't get through to him. He left the room with a smirk on his face, and told me "You will never make it in this industry, because you just don't get it - a driver has got to stand up for himself and let the company know where and how he wants to run, and if they don't treat you right, you move on!" I found this comical since just the day before my dispatcher asked me if I would teach a class to the other drivers at our terminal about how to manage your clock. He informed me that after only nine months on this job. I was already the top producer in the fleet.

I love getting paid by the mile. This business model gives the employee the incentive to be the best they can be, to understand the rules and know how to work some magic with that clock that enables you to excel at your chosen profession. I would argue that getting paid by the hour would be a business model that is unsafe and encourages drivers to exceed their safe working limits. Who doesn't love to be making all kinds of over time pay? All the hourly workers I know love getting in some overtime, and as a driver who is out there with little or no supervision of his job he will be trying to drive all the hours he can to make more money. Don't fool yourself into thinking trucking companies are going to be paying you an hourly rate for just sitting around on your can doing nothing - it aint gonna happen. Everybody in this business makes money from miles, I don't care if you are the CEO of a major carrier, you've got to be moving freight if you want to make money.

Dupre Logistics made it work, and I'm glad for them, but you can't extrapolate an entire new business model for a large and diverse industry from one carrier who had success at something. They were in a unique situation and they saw a way to make it work - I applaud that, and would encourage the drivers who think that would work for them to go over there and apply for a job. There is a lot of things that made that situation work for them that aren't typical to the industry as a whole, and that is why the writer could only find one carrier that has made that business model work for them.

I reject the authors premise that:

Paying by the mile is both unsafe and unfair.

My take home pay for the past three weeks was in excess of 1,200 dollars each week. Which one of you thinks that is "unfair"? I can assure you I wasn't unsafe in what I did, and I accomplished my deliveries within the boundaries of the regulations. I'm headed for the fourth straight week of the same type of pay or better, and I will do it again the following week. Now, we are getting around to what I think is the real problem with both the driver shortage and the drivers not being satisfied with their pay. And that is the one unavoidable fact in this job that was totally ignored by the writer of the article. If he were a "rider" instead of just being a "writer" he might understand my perspective here. ...Continued

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

The big elephant in the room is the fact that this job has to be taken on as a "lifestyle", and not just as a way to get a paycheck to support your family. I have embraced that truth from the very beginning, and it has served me well. I am embarrassed when I see today's crop of drivers complaining about their companies using them as "unpaid guards for their equipment" because they have to sleep in a truck sleeper! Come on, you are a truck driver! You knew you were going to be living in that rig when you signed up for this gig.

I enjoy my family immensely, I also enjoy my work immensely. When I'm home I'm all about being a family man, we have a great time together, it's always too short, but we all knew that would be the case when we started this. We had long discussions (for at least one year) beforehand and we all knew what I was signing up for.

What I'm trying to say is that this job is tough, very tough, and even tougher on someone with a young family. I don't think the driver shortage is because of "how drivers get paid", but rather that there are so many new drivers in the industry that don't understand how they must embrace this as more than just a job. If you can't bring yourself to that position you will suffer because you can't seem to make enough money. I do things that few drivers are willing to do, and I get tangible results in my paychecks because of that. Most people want to go home for several days every two weeks and still expect to be making bank as a driver. That is a very unusual scenario as many disgruntled drivers can attest. I am on the road generally five to six weeks at a time - I have found this to be a reliable way for me to make some real money at this. And here is the kicker - when I take my home time my dispatcher will allow me to stay home as long as I need to! He has never called me and wanted to know when I'm coming back. Now let me add a caveat to that - I always inform him ahead of time how long I will be home, and he knows that when I tell him to put me down as available for a load, I will be ready to roll on that day. In fact I will be there early that morning before he shows up knowing that he already has something special for me to do.

When I'm home I'm all about doing the things my wife needs done around the house, and I'm being Mr. Dad as best I can with my family. I'm not laying around telling my wife I need a break from all the work I've put in. I'm glad to be there with them and I'm gonna let it show. I take that same attitude when I'm in that truck. I'm glad to be there and it shows - I'm working my tail off and because of that my dispatcher keeps it flowing my way. Sometimes it is almost more than I can handle, but he knows if there is a way to handle it I will figure it out.

Forgive me if I sound boastful, that is not my intention at all. I just want you to see the path to success. I have found it, and I am glad to be on it. You can pay me by the mile all day, and it will never put me into an unfair or dangerous position. If it did, I would be doing something else. Incentive pay (which is what mileage pay is) creates in the right individuals a desire to be creative and successful at what they do. It also creates in the wrong individuals a feeling of being misused and abused. If you cannot embrace the whole concept of this career as a lifestyle you are going to have trouble with that whole mileage pay thing.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Hey Realist, that is actually a plan I have in the works for the month of July. I have documented in the past some trips I took with my two oldest daughters. And I tried to include enough details in there for folks to see how I manage things. In July I am taking my youngest daughter (she just turned eighteen) with me for a "ride along" and I hope to provide some insight and details for you guys as I document our trip together.

I run a little differently when they are with me, just so I can make their time with the old guy "special", but I can still provide some insight for newcomers. If you've never seen those trips with my other girls you can read them by clicking on the following links:

First Trip

Second Trip

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!
Personally I think the problem lies with the term cpm (cents per mile). The term alone tells someone they only get paid to drive and that all other work is unpaid. If companies were smart they'd realize that they can pay exactly the same and not hear people complain if they would just change the cpm term. Instead of saying they pay per mile they can say they pay per load. Instead of telling someone they get .40 per mile to take a trailer from a to b (600 miles) and drop off, have someone add the miles ahead of time and tell the driver they will pay them 240$ to pick up and drop off from a to b. Doing this, the driver wont be able to say they aren't getting paid for there work because they were told a specific price to pick up and drop off so everything that happens in between is part of that price. Problem solved!

That's essentially the same thing but worded differently. Say you have a load that pays the company $1000 and it goes 1000 miles. If you pay someone 25% of revenues they're making $250. If you tell them you'll pay 25 cpm on that same load they're still making $250. Same pay but a different way of wording it which leaves you with two problems:

1) How do you know the company isn't cheating you? They'll tell you what they're making on a load but you have no real way of knowing. It lends itself to cheating drivers out of revenues by claiming the load pays less than it does. With mileage pay at least you know you're getting paid what you deserve on every load.

2) You're still not paying people for specific tasks like filling out paperwork, fueling, and waiting on loading and unloading. That's the same complaint people have about mileage pay. They feel like they're getting paid to drive but not for everything else. They'll feel the same way with percentage. They're getting paid to haul the load but what about waiting at customers, fueling, and getting repairs done? They want to see money in their paycheck for that stuff too.

So I don't think paying percentage instead of by the mile would necessarily quell the complaints. It would just create a different set of problems.

I think I agree with Old School about the gist of the whole thing; you simply MUST be willing to embrace the lifestyle....And you trucking personality types know who you are! In the whole ridiculous scheme of things, the whole absurdity of humanity and western capitalism, it is a glorious job. I must say; if you feel compelled to wrangle and fight it, it's not for you and you should search for a better fit because you deserve a good fit. Life is short. :)

An amazing and enjoyable statement! I totally agree. And Old School is indeed totally right about embracing the lifestyle, as he always is with his advice.

In order to really thrive in trucking I feel you have to be ambitious and adventurous by nature. You have to willingly embrace one h*ll of a challenge every day you do this job. You're taking your life and the lives of countless others into your hands every day, in every decision you make, in every moment of attention or inattention. And there's nothing easy about it. Trucking is for guys and gals that who would rather try to ride a bull than to watch safely as someone else gives it a try. If you're looking for an easy payday, you're looking in the wrong place.

There are tons of respectable occupations for those who are less ambitious or not looking for risk and adventure. I've done phone sales and carpentry. I've delivered pizzas and I've worked on computers. I've been a Harley mechanic and a certified welder. But man that stuff gets boring! Seriously! Makes me want to jump off a building after a while. They can all be a great way to make a living but it's just too safe, predictable, and monotonous.

I want awesome challenges in my day to day life and I like taking a little risk once in a while. I want to see how good I can become at something difficult and I want to have the responsibility of making important decisions, even life and death decisions. I'm the type of person that jumped out of bed every morning knowing I was born for the trucking lifestyle. It was awesome. I come from a long line of old school, blue collar workers who value strength, toughness, and hard work. You work your *ss off every day is what you do. That's not an option. That's a given.

In trucking it's simple, really. You get paid when you complete the job that your company is being paid to do, hauling freight down the highway. They get paid to haul freight from A to B for X amount of dollars and so do you. But unlike most hourly workers, you're going to get paid exactly what you deserve for your productivity. If you're more productive than most drivers you'll get paid more than most drivers, simple as that. Exactly as it should be. It's more like giving the driver a small ownership of the company instead of just being a hired worker. Instead of just taking your time and milking the clock, trying to do as little as possible, a driver paid by the mile should want to run like crazy! Get out there and make some great money for yourself and at the same time you're helping your company thrive so you'll have a strong company to work for in the future. When the company makes money, you make money.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Little Debby 's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

This has been very interesting to read. How do you guys feel about being paid a % per load? I'm hauling scrap steel and being paid that way. So many, sooo many things can boof up my schedule and I don't get the runs in that I need to make it a good pay day. I sort of feel like a log truck driver now. Except I refuse to drive like a lunatic. When the gods shine in my favor, I can gross $1200.00/wk. Otherwise it's anyones' guess. I think I agree with Old School about the gist of the whole thing; you simply MUST be willing to embrace the lifestyle. Mine is a local job; yet feels like 12 on 12 off. It will pay and it will not pay. You simply have to accept that and be grateful for the opportunity to live/work in an environment that fits certain personality types to an absolute T. And you trucking personality types know who you are! In the whole ridiculous scheme of things, the whole absurdity of humanity and western capitalism, it is a glorious job. I must say; if you feel compelled to wrangle and fight it, it's not for you and you should search for a better fit because you deserve a good fit. Life is short. :)

Scott O.'s Comment
member avatar

It's both good and bad... going to be like working in the factory alot of o well I get paid by the hour type of thinking... safety is number one goal though...

Kenneth L.'s Comment
member avatar

That's some really good info you posted there.

I'd also like to say, TAKE AWAY THAT DAMN 14 HOUR RULE. That would be a great help.

Justin N.'s Comment
member avatar

I do not have a problem with the way I am paid. If a company needs more drivers then they will pay more, sign on bonus, mileage pay, and everything else. My account I drive for at jb hunt was losing all its veteran drivers to higher paying companies so last year they raised mileage, unloading, and quantity pay for everyone and the problem stopped.

We have less accidents and each of us are averaging an extra $150 a week.

No matter how pay is done, as long as it works out to be more is all I need.

Scott O.'s Comment
member avatar

I'd like to drive for more then 11 hours.. I drove from Maryland to Oregon in 4 days in my jetta and loved it...

ATXJEHU's Comment
member avatar

Good info; thanks for sharing; sounds like Dupre has a good model working for them

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

I feel there is a lot of misinformation in this article that should be addressed.

When discussing driver shortages the author acts like this is a new problem (which in itself is a false premise to start with) and then he blames it on the older drivers retiring and younger drivers not stepping up to take their place.

There are several reasons for the shortfall. First, drivers are older, on average, than the general working population, 49 versus 41.9 years, and many are retiring because they can no longer keep up with the physical demands of the job. Young people are not signing on to replace the folks who are leaving.

We see a good share of both older and younger new entrants into the field right here in this forum alone. I don't see how he comes up with that conclusion - it simply is not the problem.

He then proceeds to the argument that "new" regulations have cut back on the amount of hours a driver can work.

Second, federal regulations have cut back on the number of hours that a driver may spend behind the wheel, so additional drivers are needed to pick up the slack.

Good Goomalooma man, a driver can drive seventy hours a week! Does the author really think we want to work more hours? The new regulations did not reduce our working hours, unless you are talking about the fourteen hour rule, and it didn't really even do that, it just forces you to work more hours in a certain period of time. To argue that regulations have cut back our hours and then to proceed to say the cure is that we should be paid by the hour seems kind of stupid to me.

Oh, and then this next argument is a "classic" blunder made by author.

The most important reason, however, becomes obvious if you ask drivers directly. They'll say the problem is how they get paid. Not how much, but how.

There is such a diversity of "drivers" out here that I don't know how he considers that as a reliable construct for his argument. At any given truck stop driver's lounge or cafe you can hear all kinds of arguments and discussions about drivers pay. I just had a crazy discussion with a driver the other day who was complaining about how he was being treated... not getting enough miles... dispatcher disrespecting him... not making enough to live on... you know the type. He works for the same company as I do, and I tried my best to help him understand where he was screwing himself over (and he really was) but I couldn't get through to him. He left the room with a smirk on his face, and told me "You will never make it in this industry, because you just don't get it - a driver has got to stand up for himself and let the company know where and how he wants to run, and if they don't treat you right, you move on!" I found this comical since just the day before my dispatcher asked me if I would teach a class to the other drivers at our terminal about how to manage your clock. He informed me that after only nine months on this job. I was already the top producer in the fleet.

I love getting paid by the mile. This business model gives the employee the incentive to be the best they can be, to understand the rules and know how to work some magic with that clock that enables you to excel at your chosen profession. I would argue that getting paid by the hour would be a business model that is unsafe and encourages drivers to exceed their safe working limits. Who doesn't love to be making all kinds of over time pay? All the hourly workers I know love getting in some overtime, and as a driver who is out there with little or no supervision of his job he will be trying to drive all the hours he can to make more money. Don't fool yourself into thinking trucking companies are going to be paying you an hourly rate for just sitting around on your can doing nothing - it aint gonna happen. Everybody in this business makes money from miles, I don't care if you are the CEO of a major carrier, you've got to be moving freight if you want to make money.

Dupre Logistics made it work, and I'm glad for them, but you can't extrapolate an entire new business model for a large and diverse industry from one carrier who had success at something. They were in a unique situation and they saw a way to make it work - I applaud that, and would encourage the drivers who think that would work for them to go over there and apply for a job. There is a lot of things that made that situation work for them that aren't typical to the industry as a whole, and that is why the writer could only find one carrier that has made that business model work for them.

I reject the authors premise that:

Paying by the mile is both unsafe and unfair.

My take home pay for the past three weeks was in excess of 1,200 dollars each week. Which one of you thinks that is "unfair"? I can assure you I wasn't unsafe in what I did, and I accomplished my deliveries within the boundaries of the regulations. I'm headed for the fourth straight week of the same type of pay or better, and I will do it again the following week. Now, we are getting around to what I think is the real problem with both the driver shortage and the drivers not being satisfied with their pay. And that is the one unavoidable fact in this job that was totally ignored by the writer of the article. If he were a "rider" instead of just being a "writer" he might understand my perspective here. ...Continued

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

The big elephant in the room is the fact that this job has to be taken on as a "lifestyle", and not just as a way to get a paycheck to support your family. I have embraced that truth from the very beginning, and it has served me well. I am embarrassed when I see today's crop of drivers complaining about their companies using them as "unpaid guards for their equipment" because they have to sleep in a truck sleeper! Come on, you are a truck driver! You knew you were going to be living in that rig when you signed up for this gig.

I enjoy my family immensely, I also enjoy my work immensely. When I'm home I'm all about being a family man, we have a great time together, it's always too short, but we all knew that would be the case when we started this. We had long discussions (for at least one year) beforehand and we all knew what I was signing up for.

What I'm trying to say is that this job is tough, very tough, and even tougher on someone with a young family. I don't think the driver shortage is because of "how drivers get paid", but rather that there are so many new drivers in the industry that don't understand how they must embrace this as more than just a job. If you can't bring yourself to that position you will suffer because you can't seem to make enough money. I do things that few drivers are willing to do, and I get tangible results in my paychecks because of that. Most people want to go home for several days every two weeks and still expect to be making bank as a driver. That is a very unusual scenario as many disgruntled drivers can attest. I am on the road generally five to six weeks at a time - I have found this to be a reliable way for me to make some real money at this. And here is the kicker - when I take my home time my dispatcher will allow me to stay home as long as I need to! He has never called me and wanted to know when I'm coming back. Now let me add a caveat to that - I always inform him ahead of time how long I will be home, and he knows that when I tell him to put me down as available for a load, I will be ready to roll on that day. In fact I will be there early that morning before he shows up knowing that he already has something special for me to do.

When I'm home I'm all about doing the things my wife needs done around the house, and I'm being Mr. Dad as best I can with my family. I'm not laying around telling my wife I need a break from all the work I've put in. I'm glad to be there with them and I'm gonna let it show. I take that same attitude when I'm in that truck. I'm glad to be there and it shows - I'm working my tail off and because of that my dispatcher keeps it flowing my way. Sometimes it is almost more than I can handle, but he knows if there is a way to handle it I will figure it out.

Forgive me if I sound boastful, that is not my intention at all. I just want you to see the path to success. I have found it, and I am glad to be on it. You can pay me by the mile all day, and it will never put me into an unfair or dangerous position. If it did, I would be doing something else. Incentive pay (which is what mileage pay is) creates in the right individuals a desire to be creative and successful at what they do. It also creates in the wrong individuals a feeling of being misused and abused. If you cannot embrace the whole concept of this career as a lifestyle you are going to have trouble with that whole mileage pay thing.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jessica A-M's Comment
member avatar

Old School, you should definitely write a post about how you run your job for us. I think it would be enlightening.

I might be different in that I don't have a family I need to get home to regularly. But, the company gives a mobile apartment and the government lets someone deduct everything relating to the truck. This is all $ back in the pocket in my mind.

DaveDiesel's Comment
member avatar
What I'm trying to say is that this job is tough, very tough, and even tougher on someone with a young family. I don't think the driver shortage is because of "how drivers get paid", but rather that there are so many new drivers in the industry that don't understand how they must embrace this as more than just a job. If you can't bring yourself to that position you will suffer because you can't seem to make enough money.

Old School, what a great description of the ground truth! You have articulated my dilemma. If I can't enter the field as 100% all in, I'm not going to waste any companies time. I'm an still going through the decision making process.

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