Why can't I get paid the same for lumping my load?
My company will pay a lumper up to $300 to lump a load but will pay me only $40 to lump the same load! Why can't I get paid the same for lumping my load?
Response from Vicki:
Thank you for asking this question about the disparity in pay for lumping a load. My husband Mike and I have experienced this during the time when we drove together and when he drove regionally.
As you probably know, lumping usually involves more than just removing the load from the back of a truck with a forklift. Some receivers require loads to be broken down in a certain way. Usually, only experienced lumpers -- who are familiar with a receiver's requirements -- can do this efficiently.
From a trucking company's perspective, what were you hired to do? You were hired to drive a truck, right? You weren't hired to unload loads. If a professional truck driver unloads loads, the chances of getting injured could increase. All it takes is a back injury to throw a driver out of work for a while.
Although we don't know the average unloading times, let's just pull a couple of figures out of thin air. Let's imagine that a driver can lump a truckload of freight by himself in 6 hours. If a skilled lumper can do it in 3 hours, then that is 3 hours more that
* the truck can be utilized,
* the driver can be earning, etc.
The only case in which a trucker might be paid more for lumping his own load may be when he is paid by the hour. But that completely negates what you said about a per-task fee.
So, the trucking company may make the "incentive" for you to lump your own load so incredibly small that it isn't worth your time to pursue it. There are higher paying tasks that they want you to focus on. And that is a good thing!
Having said all of that, there may be a tendency for some trucker somewhere to lump his own load and claim it was done by someone else in order to get the higher rate. Not only is this dishonest, but if the lumper fee is paid by Comcheck (or some similar payment method), there may be a way to track who cashes it and where. Or word may come back to the company regarding who lumped the load. Drivers may end up in a lot of hot water because of this. Honesty is the best policy.
I encourage you to think positively about your company when it is willing to pay to have someone unload your truck's freight. They are willing to invest that much in order to keep you safe.
I hope that this gives you some perspective.
Until next time, Mike and I wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.
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