During the course of our days, Earl and I have conversations about quite a few things that could be changed within some of the trucking companies, and the pay for truck drivers is one that we discuss on a daily basis. I mentioned before in one of my previous posts, "Long Hauler's Recognition - A Letter From A Truck Driver's Wife", that it could be better. Every one of you, in my opinion, is not being paid enough for what you do out there on the road. This is especially true when you compare truck driver's pay to all the "bigwigs" in their offices and the overall economic standards regarding the cost of living.
In talking with Earl, he's mentioned to me that most trucking companies only pay mileage from city limit to city limit due to the fact that they have to go by a standard pay scale. To me, this isn't right, and it should be the actual miles you drive that you should get paid for. If you add up all the miles that you're not being paid for, well, that's a huge chunk of money that you're losing - or should I say, that the companies are stealing from you. I don't understand how they can get away with screwing truck drivers out of all that money. In some cases it could be a mortgage payment, some groceries in the cupboard, clothes or diapers for the baby, maybe the payment on a credit card or a past debt - the list is endless.
I guess this was what I was trying to convey in "Long Hauler's Recognition - A Letter From A Truck Driver's Wife", when I spoke of "their" high dollar mortgage payments, high priced vehicles, and kids' college educations. Evidently, the money they're stealing is what's keeping the Administration (big-wigs) in their luxuries. It's so very sad, and I'll say it again - you're the ones that are risking your lives out there; the ones that are fighting daily just to be able to survive, and that goes for owner/operators as well. Too bad that there isn't a way to get the policies changed. I know by talking with some of you that you sometimes drive 25, 50, or even more miles than you're being paid (within city limits depending on how large the city is) and the pay stops at the city limit sign. Add it up - you're at the losing end of this deal.
What I mean by "fighting for your survival" is all of the things that truckers go through day to day. You're risking your lives on the road with others out there that don't care; dealing with the stress (which affects you in every area of your life) from trying to meet the tight schedules of pick-ups and drop-offs; being sleep-deprived because of the scheduling (due to dumb a** planners that have no clue what you go through daily); having to stay up a little longer because of the paperwork that needs to be done; not having a correct diet regarding what or when you get to eat; all of the different kinds of delays from construction to weather to slow "lumpers"; as well as not having your loads ready when you get there for a drop and hook. All of these factors and more should contribute to better pay one way or another. It all adds up, and all of you out there that are running the highways, transporting freight, are getting screwed by not getting paid what you're truly worth.
Now, where your layover and detention pay is concerned - that could be changed too. Take, for instance, the company that my husband works for. They only pay $48.00 daily for layovers, and $10.00/hr for detention. Whatever happened to keeping the truck driver happy? That must have died out when the ice age killed off all the dinosaurs – LOL!!! His local pay is something like $12.00/hr. No wonder y'all are bitching about the companies you drive for, and complaining that you don't want to do local runs. I wouldn't either, and see it firsthand - how you get treated, what you have to do for so little, etc. It makes me angry that the management thinks they can do this to another human being and not feel bad about it one way or another - because you can be sure that they aren't losing any sleep over it. Their payments are all being made. Having worked as an office manager for many years, I know for a fact that it's cheaper for the companies to pay salary, and not by the hour - and that's a sure paycheck (which is in some cases very substantial).
I pray that someday "the suits" in these companies you work for will get a clue. It's all about you truck drivers, but it's too bad that they think it's about them. "Corporate America, land of the free" - my a**! Sounds like money-hungry crap to me! Admins - get a clue! The truck driver matters more than you because without them to transport the freight, you've got nothing (except maybe a bankrupt company).
I know for a fact that if every truck driver (long hauler, local, or whoever) would shut down for at least one week, together, people would start freaking out. Employers would lose out as well as distributors, wholesalers and retailers. Let's just say that the economic world as we know it would suck big time and go south in a big way.
Being able to recognize that it's all about the trucker and to pay y'all what you're really worth, including the actual mileage for where you transport freight, would be the best thing that "the suits" in these trucking companies could do to benefit themselves. It would be a win-win situation, and then the truck driver would start to feel like he/she isn't driving for nothing (like many of you feel right at this moment).
Sometimes when I'm writing and all the information is coming in so fast, I get so angry (pi**ed off you might say) because people don't have a clue what's in their grasp. They screw it up or lose it all by not recognizing what's in front of them. I'm talking about how you get treated by the desk-sitting brown-nosers that want their high priced home, vehicles, or whatever - and in most cases, because of your pay, you don't get to have those same things. It's only a dream that probably won't get fulfilled. I'm seeing problems not only in the pay, but from the truck drivers I've spoken with and the way they are being treated by their companies as well. This isn't just from talking with the drivers that are working in the same company that my husband does, it's from truckers that work for a variety of different companies.
Truck drivers, to me, deserve more because I'm watching them make it all happen by transporting freight from one point to another every day. So with that, please know that I'm praying for every one of you, and wanting the best for all of you because to me...
YOU'RE ALL WORTH MORE!!!!!!
God bless, stay safe, and know that I care!!!!!