James, I read, with great interest and pleasure, your column in November’s Truck News regarding recruitment and retention of long-haul drivers. Most long-haul drivers, with any time on the road, have already recognized the problems which you have described. You are the first person with any “status” in this industry, who has openly presented them for all to see!
Maybe now, the carriers will rethink their layover pay policies and organize their dispatch offices to minimize those layovers. I drove my first tractor-trailer in 1963 and I was in the industry when it moved from hourly pay to a mileage rate.
It may be interesting to note that the mileage rate only applies on those days that the truck is actually under a load or, en-route to a pickup. According to the Federal Deptartment of Labour, the carrier is also responsible to supply the driver with a meal allowance and lodging, as well as layover pay, on days that the vehicle is not under a load!
Tarping and extra stops are also “extra.”With those things in place, a driver may actually be able to reap a fair benefit for his/her long hours on the road. The layover rate is determined by taking a daily average from the driver’s last pay period and meals and lodging are over and above that. The idea of billing the shipper for those expenses is a good one, although, it has been tried before and in some cases, the money may never be passed on to the driver.
Some of these items most drivers are not aware of, and, if they are made aware, it may make a difference. Thank you for being bold enough to print the information that you already have. •
Merv Strang Halifax, N. S.
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