Newbies - Financial Considerations
Compare The Extras
Once you determine how you will be paid--by the mile, the hour or the load--you will have to examine the other ways carriers pay you to do your job. Some of the more common types of compensation involve the labor you might be expected to provide. If you are required to physically unload your trailer, you should be paid in addition to the wages you earned driving the truck.
Often a carrier will pay you to load or unload the freight or they will give you the option of paying someone else to do the physical labor. This is called "lumping" and in many instances you will not have a choice in the matter. You will be required to pay the lumpers to take the freight off your trailer. Some shippers or customers provide this service free of charge because they consider the load to be their responsibility. At other loading docks, you might have to negotiate a rate for the service. Some warehouse employees will not allow you to unload your freight yourself and will force you to pay the lumpers in order to offload the products.
Ask the carrier if they will pay for lumpers and if you have the ability to negotiate the rate at the dock. Make sure you understand the requirements for reimbursement if you give a lumper cash for his services. A handwritten note for $150 may not be viewed as a legitimate receipt for the company. Some carriers require you to call and have the fees authorized before you proceed. Understand the company policy on loading and unloading and what compensation you can expect for your efforts.
Will you be paid for multiple stops and every time you have to back into a dock to either load or unload? If you are paid by the mile and you are expected to stop at more than one customer to either pick up or deliver, you should be paid accordingly. Many carriers provide pay for multiple stops. Be sure to ask if this is their policy.
Sometimes a load is not ready and you might be expected to wait in your truck for hours, or even days. Ask the carrier how you will be paid for your waiting time. Most trucking companies charge the shipper or receiver for detention time, so you should receive an hourly wage for the time you spend waiting. Often you will only be paid after a set amount of time, which could be two hours or more. Understand whether or not your waiting time is paid time.