This British truck driver shared what he thinks is wrong with trucking in America — and it all comes down to how they’re paid


truck drivers

Mick Flynn is a truck driver and photographer from England.
He has spent the last decade trucking in Canada and the United States, as well as working in England.
He shared his thoughts with Business Insider on what could be fixed about North American trucking. Namely, truckers are over-worked because they’re paid by the mile, not by the hour.

When snowstorms hit Mick Flynn’s native England, he and his fellow truckers pull over.

“Most sensible people parked over somewhere and enjoyed a nice cup of coffee,” Flynn told Business Insider.

However, that’s not the case in the US and Canada, where Flynn has driven on and off for the past decade: “You’re expected to carry on.”

That’s because of a major flaw that Flynn and many others see in the American system of driving: truckers are paid by the mile, not the hour.

And they’re allowed to work more hours per day. British drivers are capped at nine hours a day of working, but American truckers may drive up to 11 hours. (In 2015, nearly a quarter of drivers said they “frequently or always” exceeded the 11-hour limit to earn more money yet.)

“In England, if the roads are icy, cars pull over because you’re still going to get paid,” Flynn said. “If we pulled over in the US or Canada, we’re not earning anything. So, we were driving in worst weather than we would in the UK.”

A law passed after Flynn’s time across the pond may help curb this. The electronic-logging device (ELD) mandate, passed in December 2017, effectively makes it impossible for drivers to work more hours than the legal limit. That law has allowed some trucker salaries to increase, and was estimated to prevent more than 2,000 crashes annually.

But the ELD mandate hasn’t yet curbed what many see as a larger problem for truckers: the lack of detention pay. That means drivers can wait for hours to unload or receive their goods at shipping docks and not receive pay for any of it.

“Driver detention is an urgent issue that must be addressed by our industry. It’s a matter of fairness,” said Don Thornton, senior vice president at freight marketplace DAT Solutions. “Many shippers and receivers are lax about their dock operations, but it’s the carriers and drivers who are forced to pay for that inefficiency.”

Nearly two-thirds of carriers said in a DAT Solutions survey they or their employees have been detained at docks for more than three hours, but only 3% said that they had received payment from the shipping companies for keeping their workers waiting.

“In England, we wouldn’t tolerate that,” Flynn said. “You would sit there for 10 hours sometimes … We would be available for work, but sitting all day long.”

It ultimately makes earning an income unstable for American and Canadian drivers, Flynn said.

“In England, if you take on a job and it’s 60 hours a week, you know at the end at …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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