“I tell people, if you’re comfortable where you are and you’re thinking about coming to [Schneider’s percentage-paid, self-dispatched program], don’t think you’ll make a lot more money,” he says. “You’ll work harder to earn what you do get, but I personally get more satisfaction out of it. I’m the one making the decision about where I go and what I do.”
Alt-pay software for small fleets
The accounting headache of offering alternative pay packages might seem too much of a disincentive for a multi-truck independent to bother with. However, there is at least one software program designed for just that market, says David Owen, head of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies (nastc.com).
NASTC in recent years made available its MYSTC (“Managing Your own Small Trucking Company”) software, an online-hosted program available to members for $39 a month for the first truck, less with each additional one. It largely automates the settlement process, Owen says.
“We can do it on percentage, mileage” — or both, he says. No more “dispatching the truck, then Suzy in the back office figures out how to settle with the drivers or owner-operators,” he adds.
Once trip information is entered, data is stored and available for future IFTA-report calculation, settlements and lane rate analysis.
Small carriers’ value for drivers and owner-operators is often built on their strong relationships with those drivers.
“We’ve got to find a way to keep that competitive advantage,” Owen says. “We’ve got to figure a way to pay [drivers and owner-operators] better, pay them faster and give them comparable benefits — or the gloom and doom about driver shortages is going to actually come true.”