Life and Family

Doing Your Job

Why is it, that whenever a "normal" person applies for a job, they know their exact rate of pay? When an O/O applies for a job and asks for specific rates, they are told,"Well, it's 70% of the gross"?

I don't know the answer -- for sure -- but I have a few thoughts.

It's probably because owner-ops let the carriers get away with it. Before you get really excited, look at it this way: they're just responding to the market. If owner-ops refused to talk to carriers like that -- turning away and walking when they get that kind of answer -- the recruiters would soon change their tune.

My experience is drivers ask the questions, carriers give the answers, and life goes on. Since you can't really put a gun to anybody's head to get the answer you want, you have to let the market drive change. My advice would be to walk immediately if you don't get a reasonable answer. Don't even turn back unless they offer the right answer.

Jim Park

Why is it that some companies short us on the mileage we run? We note the hub miles, but the pay cheque is always different.

The simple answer is the fleets need a barometer of some sort to determine how far it is between A and B. Ten trucks running the same route would record 10 different mileages. There would be no end to the complaints from drivers. Fleets use mileage programs to establish standard distances for trips to keep everything on an even keel between the billing department and the payroll department.

As to why the mileage is almost always shorter, well, the fleet saves a ton of money paying you shortest instead of practical miles. I suggest you take it up with your fleet manager. This is becoming a recruiting issue. More and more fleets are paying practical miles now, and it's adding between three and five percent to drivers' pay cheques. That adds up at the end of the year.
Jim Park

When running on snow-covered roads is it better to run at a higher or lower rpm to avoid the drives kicking out?

Snow covered isn't too bad as long as it's not slippery or slick. The danger in having the drives kick out from under you is highest on icy or slick pavement -- even wet roads can pose a problem under certain circumstances.

This issue here is torque. Torques is what turns the wheels, and today's engines produce their maximum torque at low rpm, usually in the 1100-1300 rpm range. You want to avoid running your engine in that high torque output range when ever the roads are slippery. So, depending on how bad it is, you'd want to run at 1600-1700 at cruise speed, and if you're crawling up a slippery hill, keep the engine revs right up there, say 1900-2000. It's not great on fuel, but you lessen the risk of breaking traction.

And don't forget the engine brake. On slick roads, many engine brakes will stop the wheels dead and kill your traction. If that happens, you won't be able to restart fast enough to prevent a jackknife. The best you could hope for is to kick the clutch in REALLY quickly and hope you can recover.

It's best not to use the engine brake at all on slippery pavement.

Jim Park

Must log sheets be handed in right away or is there a time limit, and can your pay be withheld until they've been handed in? - 01-Jan-05
In your recent article on mountain driving, you suggested drivers shouldn't use "Jake Brakes" on rainy or snowy roads. Is that true always? - 30-Nov-04
Could you please explain the internal mechanism and the function of a thermostat? - 02-Nov-04
Is Canada changing its HOS regs to the same as the USA's? If so when? - 10-Jul-04
I work a carrier that hauls dangerous goods. I learned recently that the loads were not up to code. Where can I get the information about carrier responsibility and obligations? - 03-Jun-04
Having my own rights and insurance, hauling as private carrier, do I need a contract from the company I'm hauling for because I have their name on the door and trailer? - 02-Apr-04
I recently got a ticket in N.Y. for not having an “HUT” sticker and I'm trying to ascertain where the responsibility lies in obtaining the new decal. Should I have been responsible for the decal? - 03-Mar-04
Where are all the trucks going to park after Jan 4? There isn’t enough parking now! We are not allowed to sleep on the on- and off-ramps. If you’re caught you face a fine. With the rest areas and truckstops full by dinnertime, what are we supposed to do? - 22-Dec-03
I drive 45 minutes to my terminal. How do I log this time? - 24-Nov-03
If I’m coming out of the U.S. and into Canada, do I follow Canadian laws or U.S. laws when I get here? May I drive 13 hours or do I shutdown after 10? - 03-Nov-03
For leased owner operators, who pays broker fees, and, how and when does the money come out of settlement? - 03-Jun-03
If you are stuck in line at the border, can we book this time off-duty? - 02-Apr-03
What am I supposed to do when I’m required to stop for a scale, but the lane is backed up to the shoulder? It’s not safe to stop, and it’s illegal to go bypass the scale. - 20-Feb-03
Is there a difference between a limited company and an incorporated one if so what are they? - 27-Jan-03
Why do veteran drivers always tell potential new drivers not to get into the business? - 04-Dec-02
What is the average net income of a long haul trucker? - 25-Nov-02
Have you heard anything about a court case in London Ont. where the Judge dismissed the charges of pulling a 53' trailer with a tractor that had a wheelbase over 244 inches.? - 04-Apr-02
Is it possible to use the log book in Canada under Canadian rules, so as to never run out of hours? - 04-Mar-02
My contract I have states that I'm supposed to get reasonable mileage per month. What’s reasonable? And, is it legal to charge me $200 for administration for my truck loan? - 26-Jan-02
What is an I-94 Pass? - 20-Jan-02
If you are a broker, on percentage-of-revenue, does the carrier have to show you what they are paid so that you can calculate your statement? - 04-Jan-02
Why do trucking companies make you explain, in writing, what you were doing in between driving jobs while unemployed? - 07-Oct-01
Why is it that so few truckers and trucking companies are using Synthetic engine oil. - 11-Aug-01
Why does fuel mileage drop in the winter? - 17-Mar-01
Are there any sort of guidelines that should govern a contract of employment between a company and a person seeking employment as a Company Driver? - 22-Feb-01
Is there any one website that offers all the regulations concerning trucks and truck drivers? - 16-Nov-00
Who can an O/O go to for help when the company butchers his paycheque with deductions with no paperwork to back them up? - 02-Oct-00
What does the law state reguarding off duty status eg: lunch ,coffee breaks etc. when hauling dangerous goods? - 02-Aug-00
Is it legal to log waiting time as sleeper time, as some carriers suggest? - 28-Jun-00
If I am running with an empty trailer,and NOT getting paid, do I have to maintain a log for that day? - 26-Jun-00
Can you tell me what causes the high-Low splitter in my transmission to go bad? - 19-Apr-00
My dispatcher tells me that time waiting for a load is off duty time. I think the rules say it's on duty. Which is true? - 17-Dec-99
What's the most efficient way to run: 4 on and 4 off, or 13 and 8. Also, do I need to indicate a shift start time on the log sheet? - 08-Nov-99
Will a Canadian driver, complying with the Canadian hours of service regulations while driving in Canada, be in violation of the U.S. 10-hour rule when he enters the U.S.? - 19-Oct-99