In early 2010, the safety bonus that Mike's trucking company paid out to its drivers was reduced from 2 cents per mile run during the quarter (3 months) to 1 cent per mile over the same time frame.
There was griping by some drivers, but our contention is that during these tough economic times -- when so many professional truck drivers have been thrown out of work -- the company's drivers should be glad
After all, this bonus does come from trucking company profits and they don't have to pay one out at all!
We also contend that if drivers are so close to the edge financially that they have to depend on this bonus to help them pay their bills or meet their budgets, then they need to re-examine why they can't survive financially based on their regular paychecks alone.
This is especially true if truckers have been in the trucking industry for two years or more.
Here are some tips to help ensure that you receive any safety-related bonus that your trucking company might pay:
Do you anticipate a safety bonus?
This table shows how much (before taxes are taken out) that you can anticipate receiving based on your average miles per week over the quarter.
Please note that
|Safety Bonus based on
miles in quarter
This can be a substantial amount of money to leave on the table if you are able to earn it.
Money saving tip: It should be every professional truck driver's goal to do his/her job safely, legally and professionally every day.
While some or all of the practices listed above may seem common sense for drivers, it never hurts to review good procedures occasionally.
Refresher courses help us all remember the things we should be doing.
Some companies hold safety meetings periodically to review them.
Bear in mind that a safety bonus is just that: a bonus.
A trucking company does not have to pay it.
Don't undercut your chances of earning this extra money by letting down your guard at any time when operating a commercial motor vehicle.
Case in point: we read an article about a truck driver who was charged with failure to control his vehicle after crashing his tractor-trailer on Interstate 80, closing most of the westbound lanes for five hours.
In addition to the wrecked truck,"about 400 gallons of diesel fuel spilled onto the road."
The reason given?
The driver told fire personnel that "he was trying to open a piece of candy when he lost control."(1)
Obviously, opening a piece of candy was not as important as driving a big truck, but this driver allowed himself to lose focus.
If a driver loses a safety bonus, other things may be lost in the process.
Don't lose out. Stay focused.