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Todd Dills

Audio: Rich Wilson at MCSAC — ‘We need to hear more from drivers’

| February 15, 2014
TCRG Consulting's Rich Wilson, longtime former owner-operator, was lone among commenters Day 3 of the recent MCSAC meeting -- hear his viewpoint on the need for driver input on regs and more in the podcast.

TCRG Consulting’s Rich Wilson, longtime former owner-operator, was lone among commenters Day 3 of the recent MCSAC meeting — hear his viewpoint on the need for driver input on regs and more in the podcast.

Among the more interesting of the highway-bill priorities recommended to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration by the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee this week was number 4 on the list I wrote about here. Fair Labor Standards Act reform, to bring interstate company drivers under overtime protections (and, as committee member Bruce Hamilton put it, to establish a “minimum safe rate” of pay in lieu of past court decisions that have made the minimum wage virtually inapplicable to interstate drivers), is something I’ve written about here, most recently over the years through news of the petition put forward by owner-operator Joe Ammons. 


Reader: Repeal FLSA trucking exemption

The following comes by way of owner-operator Joe Ammons, who is looking for assistance with a petition for the U.S. Secretary of Transportation (or Congress) ...

Though any FLSA reform wouldn’t apply directly to owner-operators, owner-operator Ammons made the argument that improved pay conditions for company drivers and corresponding rate-dynamics changes would ultimately filter positively throughout the entire industry. For more, check out the podcast, with audio of former owner-operator (and current compliance consultant) Rich Wilson’s public comment on Day 3 of the meetings, likewise a summary of OOIDA’s Todd Spencer’s thoughts on the matter. 

You’ll find more on what I once called “the safety argument for increased pay” via this post from 2012. 

  • MercenaryMan

    I would have been glad to offer my voice, but are they listening….maybe a DRIVERS FORUM for constructive input and ideas, is needed, that goes directly to BOARD MEMBERS….

  • jim stewart

    Just as port container hauling (around port cities) drag many other type trucking operations (flat bedding one in particular) into the toilet with it anything positive that adds money to a company drivers paycheck would only help benefit the rest of the trucking industry including the owner-operator. Right now most trucking companies pay only piece meal wages based on a percentage of the gross or mileage whereby anytime the truck is not considered making a profit the driver on duty loses too. Very few businesses expect their employees to donate continuous free labor all year long other than the food industry or trucking. Trucking is the only professional wage earner line of work that I can think of which demands an employees complete dedication to the company 24/7 without the benefit of full pay for the amount of work performed. If our federal government spent their time “wisely” addressing issues of detention time at shipping terminals, warehousing and the thousands of customers who refuse to take any responsibility for trucker delay with their dysfunctional unload/load operations as our public officials do on HOS rules we would all have an instant pay raise within weeks plus more restful sleep!

  • Del Ray Johnson

    Jim well said my opinion is this the same people who do the fuel analysis are ALSO fully aware of the cost of labor/pay so the only thing that will make a difference short of a Union (which nobody wants that) is to pull the truck into the terminal go home and start over. But so long as we have people willing to work 24/7 for cheap pay will stay the same continuing revolving door until you hit something, over speed, DWI, etc. and are stuck at one a place. Be safe . . .

  • Leo capp

    doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice, the rates for owner/operators have not budged in years enough to keep up with rising costs of everything else in business and life. want safe equipment and safe drivers on road-then pay them enough to be able to.

  • BunniRabbyt

    I have been saying it for years Get the Fair Labor Standards changed. Start a petition CHANGE.ORG is a good place to start. Stop being paid like a Third World Fruit Picker like I was for 40 years. You got to get the public and drivers on board though. I wrote a 17 page letter to OOIDA in the summer of 2011 before I retired begging them to get involved with the pay standards. It was largely ignored but now maybe they are talking it. Istill have the letter would gladly help you drivers not to suffer like I did. I made a living yes but lots of hours and abuse and I got health problems now that have been directly linked to my trucking years. You can gripe or you can act the choice is yours

  • jojo

    A Minimum Hourly Rate for All Co. OTR Drivers would solve many, many Problems. By tying this rate to the Minimum Wage Standard already in place the general public would understand and support this type of system.
    Due to all of the variables, the Drivers need to look at this situation carefully or a system will be implemented by those who currently dictate Co. OTR Drivers Wages.
    This is the formula that I have devised. It has 4 parts that I believe would cover all of the variables.
    Base Minimum Hourly Rate +
    Equipment Operated Pay +
    Haz Mat Pay –
    MVR = Co. OTR Drivers Hourly Rate of Pay.
    This system would be a flat rate for ALL hours the Driver is performing the duties of the job under direction of the employing company.
    The Driver has been told to take 10.5 hrs break time. The Driver has been told to wait to load or offload. The Driver has been told to sit (possibly several days) before they can load or offload at a shipper or receiver. The Driver is required to sit if out of hours, etc.
    It is easier to list when a Driver is not at work. 1. A Driver on home time or who may be taking time off on the road. 2. A driver that turns a load down. 3. An AT FAULT Driver that has caused a SERVICE FAILURE.
    Drivers are AT work to earn money so that they may enjoy time away from work yet they are paid by the mile. All time and duties beyond driving are unpaid. What other industry would get by with this?

  • JW

    Rarely does anyone mention the mileage pay that is based on the household carriers guide.At best you get paid for 90% of the miles you drive. The HHCG was implimented in 1936.Although it is updated every few years it doesn’t take in account of hazmat and other detours for trucks .The last time I think it was updated was 2009 and as an example Cinncinatti suddenly moved 16 miles closer to Louisville, thats using the very same roads we have used for over 40 years. The east to west milages are fairly close but if you run to the south east you”ll take a beating on the pay miles. You can get to point b from point a based on the pay miles but believe me you don’t want to run most of those roads and the companies don’t want you to either.It takes a lot longer and your fuel milage suffers.It is faster and safer to stay on the interstate and better for your fuel milage. A lot of carriers pay hub miles but most use the HHCG. When you ask and I have many times about changing the milage pay they always tell us that the shippers won’t agree to it and the company won’t pay anymore than they can bill the shipper. Recently some carriers are slowly moving to practical miles but as with anything in trucking, things move slowly, especially when it comes to drivers pay.

  • JandM

    Get rid of all the extra drivers and the industry will improve across the board. A shortage of drivers has been an on going lie. Yes every company is hiring so they can cut rates and underbid the other guy.When has a shipper / broker begged a trucking company to haul there frieght at what ever rate just get it done. day in and day out. $4 to $5 per mile for all general frieght because they can’t find drivers. Supply and demand does not mean supply way to ment trucks and demand less money to keep the trucks moving. How many of you have hauled stuff and said this is stupid, what a waste of money. Fax shipping costs are a very small part of the overall production costs. We take a laod worth $50k 500 miles for $1000 to $1500 if we are lucky.


    Goodaye all. In Australia we have the Chain of Responsibility that is meant to share the blame as it were and hold shippers and consignors responsible for delays etc. It is a terrific idea, but does not work fully as yet, the driver is still the one swinging at the end of the chain and is hit first. Until the rest of the people up the chain are held accountable, it will continue to be a “good” idea.
    For pay, we finally got a Safe Rates Tribunal, which was meant to give us a “Safe” rate of pay, but two problems, one it has not yet done so, and two, the new incoming liberal government looks hell bent on getting rid of it. The big companies certainly do not want drivers paid more and we should be paid both for the hours we are working or waiting and for the value of the vehicles we drive, the value of the cargo and the lifestyle we lead to allow others to do the same. Keep fighting and NEVER GIVE IN. Safe Travelling, Rod.

  • Andrea Sitler PhD DsC

    Drivers need to learn to stick together just like the industry needs to learn to do. Divided we all. It is that simple. Stop the throat cutting and start working as a collective. Your voices will be then be heard and change can be effectuated. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.