Why Truckers Get Paid By the Mile
In a commercial society, goods for sale and people to purchase those goods are required. Transportation is critical to that equation. Goods need to be moved from where they are produced to where they are to be sold. In modern times, truck drivers make this possible. Unlike other professions, however, truck drivers working in truck factoring and other areas are paid for every mile they travel rather than at an hourly rate.
Piecework pay is the term used to describe paying someone for what they produce rather than for the hours they spent working. It is the idea behind truck driver payment. The theory is that an individual should be paid only for the work done rather than for the inevitable time spent not working. With regard to trucking, this would include loading, unloading and fueling the truck. It is argued that payment for these necessary duties is factored into the price per mile, however, others feel that it is essentially “free” work. In the early part of the twentieth century, it was a popular manner of payment for many professions but as times changed, so did theories about wages. Trucking is one of the few remaining piecework pay jobs.The Minimum Wage Law was enacted in 1938 by Franklin Roosevelt. The purpose of the law was to help ensure fair pay to workers. However, the truck drivers of the time opposed the move. For them, it was a time of prosperity. The country was in desperate need of food and their services were in high demand. As such, they feared that a minimum wage would adversely affect their income. In response, President Roosevelt exempted truck drivers from the law. Times and regulations change, though. Today, truck drivers face rules that do cap their potential income through the Hours-of-Service Rule. This rule limits the number of hours a driver can work and mandates periods of rest between driving. Yet, truck drivers are still exempted from the minimum wage. So, truck drivers are now in a situation where they do not earn unless the wheels of their vehicles are moving and they are limited on how much they can keep them moving.Piecework pay is supposed to increase the productivity of workers. By only paying for miles traveled, companies can maximize profits while compensating drivers. Nevertheless, with modern regulations in place, paying per mile may make it more difficult for drivers to earn a living.