ACT’s Enchilada

May 12, 2015

(Continuation of The Whole Enchilada with ACT’s Recruiting Responses)

When someone considering a new job evaluates pay, often they look at the “rate” of pay and don’t look at the entire package.  This is especially true when a driver looks primarily at a “sign on bonus” or mileage pay that a trucking company advertises.  If you are not careful, you will fall victim to a “bait and switch.”

Tunnel vision could cause you to miss many important elements of pay.  Look beyond what is advertised.  Your pay consists of many items that, all put together, comprise your total compensation package. Make sure you get the whole enchilada.

There are a number of questions you should ask the recruiter.  Be sure to get a pen and paper to write the answers down from each company and compare notes. If you don’t understand the answers, ask again.  If they can’t answer the questions, run!  Pay shouldn’t be ambiguous.

If you are a good driver with a good record, the question is not whether you can get a job. The question is whether you will get the job you deserve. Recruiters are highly commissioned to get you into their orientation. Ask the right questions.  Do your homework to make sure you get what you deserve for your skill and experience.

Questions for Recruiters

1. What is the rate of pay? Starting Pay can range from .39 to .45 depending on years of experience and hazmat endorsement.  Drivers can earn up to .50 based on tenure with the company.  Is this for northeast? No, actually, we only go northeast of Pittsburgh less than 1% of the time.  Is this for certain operations? No Is it tiered? Yes (see above) Does this vary by length of the haul? No If so what is the average rate per mile? We pay the same per mile.  Short haul operations tend to have higher rates but fewer miles.  Long haul operations tend to have lower rates and higher miles.  One trick is that if you are dealing with a publicly traded company, you can research their SEC filings online and learn their average lengths of haul and average miles per week per truck.  This is public information for these carriers.
2. If you are talking with someone who advertises “guaranteed pay,” what is in the fine print”? We don’t have any guaranteed pay programs.  Our commitment is to keep you moving so you can maximize your pay. Some may advertise this but won’t pay it if lists of conditions are not met.  What is that list?  N/A
3. What are the average miles a driver in your fleets gets per week? 2,324 miles per working truck in 2014.  What is the average per year? 124,800 What was the average W2 pay of your drivers last year? $53,167.30   What was the high? $65,797.67
4. What is your per diem allowance? .11cpm single .14cpm team  (An amount that is deducted to represent road expenses to save taxes)
5. What benefits do you offer?  Health insurance? Yes Dental? Yes Vision?  Yes Long term Disability? Yes Short term disability? Yes Group Life Insurance? Yes Legal Protection Insurance?  Yes  What does each cover?  Varies by policy type  What does each cost? Differs based on insurance type, age, personal, spouse, family, smoker, nonsmoker, coverage amount. Please see the Drivers Weekly contributions schedule for specifics.
Some medical plans look inexpensive but do not cover much.  What are the co-pays?  Varies by policy Deductibles? Varies by policy What is the charge for family coverage?  Varies by policy  If you are divorced, will this insurance meet your obligations to your children under that decree?  For health insurance, confirm that it is actually insurance and not a health plan. We have real insurance offered through Blue Cross Blue Sheild.  If you end up in the hospital, the maximum out of pocket in-network is $3,000.  That is a highly competitive medial plan.   Some inexpensive products look like insurance but are really not.  These offer a schedule of a very limited coverage.

6. What do you offer in terms of holiday and vacation pay? Yes  How long do you have to work at the company to qualify? 1 year for vacation, holiday pay is immediate  Does it increase with tenure? Vacation Yes, 1 yr/1wk, 2-6yrs/2wks, 7+yrs/3wks, holiday pay does not increase with tenure
7. Do you offer layover pay? Yes How much? $100 in layover pay for a load wait time of 24 hours, $50 additional layover pay will be paid for each 12 hours of load wait time following the original 24 hours. How do you define a “layover?”  A layover occurs anytime a company driver is away from home and sits without a dispatch for a consecutive 24 hours, has drive time available, or their truck is in the shop for repairs.  Layover is not paid if a driver refuses a dispatch, is at home, or if there is an Act of God causing the layover (weather, earthquake, etc.).

8. Do you have driver loading or unloading? Very very minimally. How often? Very minimally. What is your pay for this? $100.00 for a tire load of 100 tires or more. $50.00 on any Goodyear loads under 100 tires  $75.00 for driver assist on some insulation loads Do you reimburse for lumpers? Yes
9. Do you pay detention? Yes  How much free time before you pay? 2 hrs. What are the conditions? $10.00 per hour, with a maximum of $100.00 paid for the first 24 hour period. Drivers must send in all required messages (macros) for the load in a timely and accurate fashion.  This includes:  Arrival at Shipper, Loaded Call, Arrival at Stop and Stop Departure on a multistop load, and finally an Arrived at Consignee, and Empty Call. Must be on time for pickup and delivery. Must get the BOL signed with time in and time out.  Detention Pay will be paid after paperwork is audited for errors or missed steps. Detention Pay will not be approved if any errors or missed steps are found.  We must have all of this information in a timely and accurate way in order to notify and bill our customers timely and accurately. Do you pay detention regardless of whether the customer pays you? Yes  How quickly is it paid? After paperwork audit
10. Do you pay for tolls? If on route, they are reimbursed
11. Are there other opportunities to make money, such as recruiting? Or training? Yes, recruiting, MPG quarterly and yearly bonuses, pay differential for hazmat endorsement, clean roadside inspections
12. Do you have a 401(k) retirement plan? Yes  What is the match? Dollar for dollar up to 4%
13. Do you charge drivers for anything? No What?  N/A How much?  N/A
14. Do you pay anything for taking a trailer in for repair? $25/occurrence plus mileage pay on dispatch miles.
15. Do you pay for a short shuttle? On loads with dispatch miles totaling 150 miles or less,  we pay $25/load plus mileage pay on all dispatch miles.
16. What is your cap on mileage pay rate? .50  Is it based on performance, tenure or other items? Yes What are they?  Mileage, years of service, endorsements, and fuel compliance to our fuel and route system
17.  Are there bonuses?  Yes What are they based on? MPG and clean roadside inspections How often are they paid?  Quarterly and yearly (2 different bonuses) for MPG, after each clean roadside inspection What percentage of your fleet actually earns the bonuses? The top 25% is eligible for the quarterly MPG bonus, the driver with the best overall MPG for the calendar year is eligible for the annual bonus.  All drivers are eligible for clean roadside inspection bonus pay

Happy and Profitable Trucking! ~Tom