A Driver being paid by the piece, this includes hourly, will do whatever it takes to produce as many pieces as possible in the time available to produce. Unpaid detention time at shippers/receivers as well as company forced detention time eats up production time insuring that the employee Driver will behave in ways that may be unsafe.
Why are these Drivers speeding in their governed trucks? Why are they running over other Drivers in the truck stops? Why are they manipulating their E-Logs? Why are they having accidents?
Could it be that they are doing the best they can to feed their families? Are they constantly in a rush to do so?
Let’s regulate more to force Drivers to be safe! Let’s take more of their time needed to produce in the name of SAFETY! Really! Isn’t it human nature to do whatever is necessary to protect, feed and clothe one’s family?
Governed by the clock and paid by the piece only creates an unsafe atmosphere to work within! This is a contradiction that we Drivers can no longer work around by ignoring the regulations and doing as we must.
SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE!
Safety comes at a price, yet it is the Driver paying that price in lower earnings!
Cheap Freight Relies On Cheap Labor!
Time and experience have value until it comes to trucking. Why is a Driver with a million miles experience no different than a Truck Driver school graduate? Why are the experienced Drivers sitting while the novice is running miles?
Piece work has all but been eliminated in all others industries because it was dangerous and costly. Aren’t accidents taking lives and costing a lot of money? Why is piece work pay acceptable in this industry?
As illustrated in JoJo’s Paper, it is feasible to convert from a piece work system to a time based system that would pay employee Drivers for all time that they are following the direction of their employers while fulfilling the duties of the job as prescribed in the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Regulations.
An hourly salary, not a weekly or monthly salary, could be used to pay an employee Driver for up to 70hrs in 8 days. Because We OTR Drivers work with a rolling clock within a rolling calendar breaking the salary time span down into smaller increments provides a more accurate and fair means of payment for the employee and the employer.
We work a rolling 8-day week but payroll is based on a 7-day week. This hourly based salary works within both of these parameters.
$7.25 X 24hrs = $174.00 a day
$174.00 X 7 days = $1,218.00
$1,218.00 / 3,000 miles = .406cpm
$174.00 X 8 days = $1,392.00
$1,392.00 / 3,428 miles = .406cpm
If a novice fresh out of Truck Driving school was paid $7.25 hourly salary rate how much would an experienced Driver be worth? By today’s standards, $7.25 hourly salary rate! Again, today experience has little value.
Isn’t this part of the problem? Are experienced Drivers being held back because inexperienced Drivers are treated as our equals?
The FMCSA has no way of recording the Drivers level of experience at roadside inspections or at accident scenes. We have no way of distinguishing or verifying levels of experience.
Drivers complain about the novice Drivers not being trained. I believe the real problem is that the novice is pushed as though they were experienced. The novice is not given time to gain experience. Training ends when they get their first truck.
Apprenticeships have been around for centuries. These on the job training programs allow the beginner time to mature into the job as they gain experience. With a graduated license, trucking could have a type of apprenticeship program in place that would add value as experience was gained. Four levels at 125,000 miles each would produce Seasoned Drivers that would have earned their higher pay scale.
I believe that fully endorsed Seasoned Drivers are the only Drivers that should be Driver Trainers. I also believe that these Drivers should have across the board exemptions from the HOS that would give them the flexibility to earn for themselves and their employers. I don’t believe that any other lower level of Driver should have exemptions from the HOS.