Are you a sort of “glass half empty”?

Another way to look at doing 70 hours a week is here.

That’s a maximum of 70 working hours in eight days (the legal maximum), or we’ll use 60 hours in seven days as an approximation for this case. In so doing, at a regular workplace, we will equate it to a standard work week.

Let’s presume that you spend $1,000 a week (that’s about $50,000 a year) until you get some experience with your trucking career. That is better than you would possibly produce at your nearest restaurant or warehouse. So how’s the per hour figure?

$1,000 a week separated by 60 working hours equals $16.66 per hour. Could you find a nearby job that pays an hourly $16.66? Maybe but would you get the job for 60 hours a week? Probably not. So while $1,000 a week is a decent chunk of cash, when you figure that every hour, it’s just not all that fabulous.

Now this is the way people “glass all-the-way clean look at it. If you’re one of these entities, by the way, no one really likes you.

Any cynical drivers believe that you’re employed as long as you’re away from home. You work 168 hours a week (7 days a week x 24 hours a day) when you have the attitude. Today, if you measure your hourly wage, you can receive $5.95 per hour. Sucks that. However, bear in mind, when you’re asleep, that’s $5.95 per hour.

It’s also ridiculous to act this way, in my mind. Can you get paid by your new boss because you’re not really working? I had not thought so. Yeah, it hurts that we’re not being paid every hour we’re away from home, but where else can you make a gross $1,000 a week without graduating from college?

There’s another maddening thing about the pay of a truck driver: with all the miles he really drives, he never gets paid. Any time I hear about it it irritates me.

Years before, drivers were paying “hub miles.” This applies to the miles of the true odometer. Drivers were compensated for every mile of hub that ran. Sounds fair, huh? Then it was messed up for everybody by the cheaters.

Drivers will arrive early and speed around to their destination to pick up a few more miles. The trucking companies knew that this was happening and leapt at the idea of housing the driver. Join the Guide of the Household Mover. Grrrrrr. Grrrrr.

The Household Mover’s Guide is an industry-wide way of deciding from one point on the map to another how many miles it is. They may have different names, but all of them are based on the same structure. For the trucking firms, that’s fine, but what it seems to do for the driver is rip it off.

The carriers all say that over time, it evens out. You may be short miles on one journey by their reckoning, but the next, you may probably travel fewer miles than what you’re paying for.

“To that, let me say “bull hockey. Yeah, we get paid every now and then for more miles than we really drive. I would assume that it occurs just as frequently as we get a complete solar eclipse. Realistically, this device shorts you on your miles at least 10 percent of the vast majority (probably 90 percent of the time.

If I had drove 1,000 miles on a single journey, for instance, I would have been charged for just 900 miles. I’ve had a couple of trips reduced by about 30 percent! Days like that make you want to curl somebody’s neck around a piano wire and start squeezing. I’ll mention it again: this is one of the things about the trucking industry that irritates me the most.

Much of the reason you get so poorly shortened is that usually the Household Mover’s Guide estimates miles as the crow flies, using any available small state and county highway. Sadly, on these roads, trucks are also not permitted. Maybe we’re going to have to stay on the highway and take the long way back.

And if we are allowed to drive any of these routes, more time is usually lost than if in the first place, we had stuck on the bigger highways. Yet we get paid, as if we were taking the back roads, in lieu of the direction we’re taking. The bites, huh? Some firms compel you to take those paths, leaving you no say in the matter, to make matters worse.

Listen, if you’re going to get into trucking, you just have to acknowledge that it’s an industry-wide epidemic. While it is talked about by any driver, most businesses do not want to change schemes, largely because it will take money right out of their wallets.

However several firms are beginning to listen to the concerns of their drivers. It’s getting harder to recruit successful drivers, so corporations are gradually beginning to use a scheme called “practical miles.” I don’t really know why they call it practical miles, either, because it’s not really practical.

I worked with a corporation that used this service and my miles grew. It still didn’t cost hub miles, but it really did pay more than the Household Mover’s Guide. For truckers, it is positive news. And, if only the rest of the sector were to follow suit.

The thing my goat particularly gets from all this is that there’s really no reason for shorting drivers on miles with new GPS systems. The Household Movers Guide was focused on the mileage between two neighboring towns’ post offices.

We can now type both locations’ addresses and almost always get a mileage that’s no more than two to three miles off. I have confirmed it against my odometer several times. Fussy. Irritating.

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