Company Pay Rate Inquiry

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Budgeting IdeaA driver asked about doing a company pay rate inquiry.* Being paid a percentage of the value of the freight being hauled and recently being told that the company had to lower the rate to get the work, the driver is seeking validation.


Response from Vicki:

First of all, please allow me to commend you for wanting to know if your company is telling you the truth. It is an unfortunate fact that there are trucking companies that exploit their drivers.

I totally empathize with you on this because many years ago, Mike hauled a tanker for a company that paid their drivers a percentage of the freight. At the end of the week, all he received was a tiny piece of paper with numbers that supposedly showed what his pay was. There were no details.

If Mike was paid X% of the load, it seemed unlikely to us that the company would be willing to operate its trucks in exchange for (100% – X%) of the load (the balance after the trucker was paid).

As it turned out, Mike didn’t stay with that company long enough for it to matter that much. But it was painful enough of a lesson that we never forgot his experience.

(Side note: that company eventually went out of business, which came as no surprise.)

Pressing on, it can be very difficult to budget if you’re hauling consistent loads every week but your income goes down.

Assuming that you like your current truck driving job, there are a couple of ways to try to learn the truth regarding the pay rate:

1. Ask your driver manager or someone higher up in the company for the information. (It is possible that this will not work.)

2. Ask the company whose products you haul how much they pay your company. (They may not be willing to share that information either.)

If you are stonewalled, you might try doing some independent research to learn about freight rates. One tool that became available this year is DAT RateView.

Another option is to use the power of social media or a trucking forum to ask for the rate being paid. Be aware, though, that if you use social media in certain ways, it could come back to bite you.

Being as how your trucking company is most likely not a public entity, it will do no good to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Furthermore, we’re not sure how far you would get in consulting with a trucker attorney to get the information you want.

If you are successful in getting the information you seek through a company pay rate inquiry, please let us know how you got it. Our readers who are paid on the same basis you are would be interested to know.

Mike and I wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.

Best regards,
Vicki Simons

* (no longer online)