Shipping companies can now digitally jump into your big rig’s cab, and there are some in the industry that are beginning to wonder if it’s time to change the trucker pay model.
Should Truckers Be Paid Differently?
Current Pay Model
The majority of truck drivers get paid by the load or, basically, by the mile. So, unexpected delays like getting stuck in traffic or tough driving weather that ends up costing an extra day of driving will still result in the driver getting the same agreed upon price. There’s no extra compensation for getting stuck at a loading dock or anything unless the carrier pays an activity fee for a trucker’s time not driving.
Hourly Pay Model
Carriers like UPS and FedEx have already switched to hourly pay. This provides truckers with nicer pay and covers uncontrollable delays. The soon-to-be federally mandated electronic logging devices allow every moment to be tracked. So, even if a driver is just being slow and causing product delays, they will still get paid the same as someone who does their job efficiently.
Whereas, if it were a pay by the hour, the carrier’s home office would see that the trucker’s log has them not on the road when they should be. They would no longer be paid for “downtime.”
Carriers and shippers are getting free labor on a per-mile pay rate. Trucker’s wages haven’t increased since the 80s, but the cost of living has more than doubled. Hourly pay includes time spent not driving as well, giving an extra bump in pay next to the amount due from driving.
Cut Down Dangerous Driving
Since drivers are battling unpaid time waiting at shippers and receivers, along with a 14-hour clock, highways are more dangerous because they want to make up for lost hours and low wages.