If you manage an oilfield and pay truckers to haul away dirt, transport crude oil, or move other items, you have a choice between paying them by the hour and paying them by a unit of weight that they haul, such as a ton. Which one you choose has implications for your budget and the delivery schedule, as well as for safety. Here's a look at how these two payment types can affect trucking at your field.
By Weight Unit: Safety Concerns
If you pay your drivers by the ton or by another unit of weight or capacity, your drivers may be tempted to load in as much as they can in order to maximize their earnings. There's nothing wrong with this in principle, but if the payment per unit is low, it can lead to truckers trying to haul too much weight. The overloaded trucks can suffer brake problems, suspension problems, and engine trouble if the trucks carry way too much. The heavy loads can also be a problem on roads that have weight limits to prevent collapse.
However, this can be prevented by ensuring that what you pay per unit of weight adds up to reasonable pay for a legally loaded truck. Another issue that adjusting the pay amount can do is prevent the truckers from rushing to deliver the goods. Even if the driver carries a legal load, he or she may try to maximize earnings by picking up and delivering as many loads as possible. That can lead to speeding on the road and drowsy drivers who try to drive instead of sleep.
By Hour: Load Amount Doesn't Matter
If you pay by the hour, of course, then the load amount doesn't matter. The driver gets paid for time on the road regardless of what he or she carries in the truck. That means the driver can carry loads that don't exceed the weight limits set by the law or that are set for certain roads. The driver doesn't have to speed. The flip side is that drivers might actually go a little more slowly just to maximize the time they spend on the delivery.
If your budget allows you to pay more per unit of weight to ensure the drivers walk away with satisfying pay, paying per unit of weight could work well for you because there's no real risk of drivers going too slow in order to get more money. You'd be on schedule with your pickups and deliveries. But if safety is a top concern and you want to ensure your drivers are going to carry loads that aren't past the legal weight limits in the area, go with paying by the hour.
If you'd like to find out more about pay types, road safety, equipment delivery, and other factors that affect driving at an oilfield, talk to the oilfield delivery drivers (such as those from Oilfield Trucks in Alberta) that drive onto the field daily. See how they are managing with the pay they currently get and what their loads are like. Adjust your pay as necessary.