Increases worth an estimated $3,200 to $5,000 a year are in the works for independent contractors operating within Dart Transit Co.'s “National” dispatch system.
“Dart is planning new contractor mileage rates, and the first increases become effective during the first quarter of 2004,” says David Oren, executive vice president for Dart.
Details on the rate increases are still being finalized, but according to Dart, they will include a combination of higher mileage rates and higher payments for unloading, stop-pay and detention. Oren said the new rates were meant to offset rising operating costs and lower productivity from the new hours-of-service rules.
“We expect that the new hours-of-service rules will cut into driver productivity,” Oren said. “We're approaching that problem in three ways. First, we're working with our customers to reduce waiting time at their facilities. That will help our contractors make the most of their available driving time. Second, we're raising mileage rates. Third, we're increasing payment for time-consuming activities such as unloading and multiple stops.”
According to a company statement, Dart is at the forefront of the trucking industry on the new HOS rules. The company has been working with its customers for several months on how the new HOS rules will impact them. Dart is enlisting their help to improve driver productivity.
“Dart has operated with independent contractors for 70 years, so we understand that happy and profitable contractors provide the excellent service our customers expect. Our success depends on our contractors,” Oren said. “We're on their side, and we are doing everything we can to make sure Dart contractors continue to be the most satisfied owner-operators in the business.”