What does this mean to you? 3 miles, 2 miles, or less then a mile?
How will an hourly rate compare?
Pat has become involved in a movement to "fix" some of the issues related to safety and driver pay. I'm not saying Pat has all the right answers, but he has at least identified what he sees are some of the problems in the pay structure for drivers. As I was once told by a county commissioner back in Kansas, "Don't bring me a problem unless you bring me a possible solution at the same time". So, Pat has identified at least part of the problem and a solution. Right or wrong, Pat makes some very good points that made sense, to me at least. I will summarize the best I can, but you can go to TruckersUnited.org or check out the Truckers United Facebook page.
Safety is the most important item, we as truck drivers, face daily. The current pay structure for most drivers is by the mile. Our government limits us on how many hours we can work each day, and I think that is a good thing. Truck drivers are the hardest working people I have ever met, they will do what it takes to get the job done, so there aren't enough hours in the day. That said, drivers need to be "regulated" or they will work themselves into the ground because of their work ethic. Uncle Sam has limited our hours so that doesn't happen; it’s not safe or healthy.
Drivers are limited to 70 hours in eight days thus creating the desire to drive faster to get as much revenue earned each day, and that may not be the safest plan. Carriers have created the practice of paying drivers by the mile and not for the work done for, in my opinion, increased revenue and profit per truck, and I get that, but doesn't it compromise safety by default. It creates an environment and culture of drivers pushing the clock and the speed limit to get as many miles per day they can. It also, by default, creates an environment that doesn't pay a driver for the work he/she is required by law to do or the work the carrier requires the driver to do. Many drivers consider this "part of the job"; neither Pat nor I believe this.
A driver should be paid for the work he/she does, i.e.; fueling, pre and post trip inspections, loading and unloading, trailer swaps, time spent in a shop, time spent during a D.O.T. inspection. These are examples of work required either by the FMCSA or the carrier, and it's required that the driver be logged "on-duty not driving" for these activities, uncompensated.
A theory Pat thought of ties safety directly to driver pay. If you take away the incentive (paid by the mile) to speed or do other unsafe things, the safety record of the trucking industry would increase dramatically, I believe, and so does Pat. If a driver was paid by the hour, not logged hours but truly the hours he/she was, in the eyes of the FMCSA, under or available for a load, the turnover rate would probably drop dramatically, and drivers would be making a better living.
A graduated drivers license is also part of the plan. Allow very experienced drivers to have more flexibility than newer drivers, and tie pay rates to that experience. In Pat's proposal let a driver "pay" for his/her mistakes by dropping their pay grade or pay level per CSA score or Violations on their driving record. I was a little hesitant about this one until I read the proposal, the way Pat has it figured this might stop speeding violations in trucks. I believe it would also convince drivers to do their pre and post trip inspections more thoroughly, thus preventing higher CSA scores. Of course the court system would have the option to lower a drivers pay grade if enough infractions were documented.
Everyone with a CDL would be placed in, in Pat's proposal, one of seven grades. One being beginners and grade seven drivers having the most experience, all based on provable actual miles driven in a CMV without a preventable accident, a moving violation, or any CSA points from a D.O.T. inspection.
That’s the gist of it, I kinda like what Pat has done but as I said at the beginning it's not perfect nor is it the end all be all. I'm sure Pat would welcome all helpful comments or suggestions that would improve the proposal. You can read it at TruckersUnited.org and click on JoJo's Paper or see what’s on Facebook Truckers United page.
Think about it, do the right thing. Just remember everyone has an opinion, it's just an opinion not worth fighting about if you don't agree, because your thoughts are an opinion too. A civil discussion will get farther than name-calling and cat fighting. Maybe if the discussions are civil some progress can be made toward getting this toward congress and helping drivers get fair compensation for their labor.