Scrutinizing your truck driver pay check is a necessity. These days the costs to the truck driver are soaring. As a result, it becomes more important than ever to insure that you, as the driver, are being paid honestly by your carrier.
While many carriers have yet to step up to the plate and pay their drivers for waiting time, there exists another part of the driver’s pay check which deserves some close scrutiny.
Because the truck driver’s wages are based on a per mile traveled system, it is paramount in importance to insure that you are being paid for all the miles you have driven.
While I accept that there may be a valid argument for trucking companies not to pay hub miles, or from the odometer, many carriers have a practice of underpaying the actual miles driven. It’s very common in the trucking industry and an easy way for the carrier to save some money at the driver’s expense.
Even all but the most dishonest of carriers will admit that paying by the ‘Household Mover’s Guide’ is a thing of the past because of the short miles represented within the guide.
Mileage Programs: Verify Your Truck Driver Pay Check
To verify your paid miles, a common standard today is calculated by a computer software program called PC Miler.
PC Miler has two different settings for routing to calculate miles for a trip: shortest miles and practical miles settings.
On the shortest miles setting, the program will route the truck through ‘no truck zones’ and residential areas, and other restricted areas and roads. The shortest miles setting is not a safe or a practical route for a big truck, yet many trucking companies pay their drivers using this setting, of course, to increase their profits.
To be brutally honest, trucking companies that utilize the ‘shortest miles’ settings on a mileage program, are stealing from you. They know perfectly well that a truck can’t possibly use such routing.
If this is happening to you at your company, I’d advise quitting the job right away. The problem will only get worse.
PC Miler ‘practical miles’ is the just like it sounds…. the program provides a practical route for a big truck to travel, from point A to point B. The program still has some flaws and it may sometimes route a truck to cut corners, to save miles occasionally, but overall, the programming is pretty fair and reasonable accurate.
PC Miler updates it’s program periodically and offers more options from time to time, such as hazmat routing.
But for the most part, there are few significant changes in the mileages from version to version, because very few new highways are ever added to our highway system.
Older PC Miler systems run from zip code to zip code. The newer systems can actually run from exact street address to street address.
Nudging the Trucking Company to Pay Verified Miles
The problem with the carriers is that though while they may claim they are paying you PC Miler practical miles, they’re rarely, if ever, are willing to provide you with a copy of the mileage printout to verify the mileages you’re being paid.
This should set off alarm bells for you.
Ask your carrier for printouts for each of your trips from their mileage software program and compare them to your pay statements.
If the carrier’s response to your request is ‘We don’t have time to do that for every driver’, be sure to point out that every driver isn’t asking, but you are.
I’m sorry to say, shorting driver pay, is a common practice by some carriers in the trucking industry. Some carriers save thousands of dollars every week by shorting their drivers miles.
Accessing a Mileage Program
Suggest to the trucking company that it would be helpful to have a computer with the mileage program available in the driver’s room, so the truck drivers can check their own pay statements.
If the carrier still declines, there’s obviously something stinky going on.
Why wouldn’t a reputable carrier want to and be willing to prove to it’s drivers that their pay is correct?
There can only be one reason why they refuse.
Many of the other drivers will be aware of the facts and perhaps with pressure from a majority of their drivers, the company will comply.
It’s also helpful to purchase your own mileage program for use at home on your own PC, although unfortunately, these programs are expensive. If you are fortunate enough to have access to a high quality mileage software program, generate print outs of your trips and hand the printouts in to dispatch with your paperwork for the trip, so the company knows you have the ability to accurately track your miles.
In an industry which pays by the mile, nothing is more important for you as a truck driver, than being certain the miles you ARE being paid are accurate. Every single dollar that you earn, should be in YOUR pocket.