Dispatched vs. Actual Miles Driven: How “Out of Route” Miles Cost Drivers Money
Nearly every fleet in America pays drivers only for dispatched, and not actual miles, driven, which results in drivers losing HOS duty hours, wasting fuel and most importantly – lost income. However, where drivers really get shorted are out of route miles – the difference between dispatched and actual miles required to deliver a load from point A to B. So how does a driver protect against paying their carrier for the privilege of driving for them? Simple, track “out of route” miles data daily and audit settlement statements weekly.
Driver Tim picked up a load in Lima, OH. The trip packet listed 560 dispatched miles per the Qualcomm trip routing to deliver the load to Ogdensburg, NY. The actual trip was 582 miles – 4% more than dispatched.
- What did the extra 22 miles cost Tim in lost pay?
- How much money is Tim losing each week for the “free” miles he is driving?
- How much is he losing annually?
- If he were an owner operator, how much money is he losing on wasted fuel?
Tim is an OTR company driver who is paid by the mile (CPM)[i]. Over the course of the week Tim averaged 16.8 out of route miles per trip, equal to 4.34% over dispatched miles. Based on his compensation of $0.42 per mile, he lost approximately $39 of income for the week. If this trend continued for the calendar year the resulting “free” miles he drove cost him $1,956 – two weeks of wages.
Scott is an OTR Owner-Operator who is paid by the mile (CPM). Over the course of the week Scott averaged 16.8 out of route miles per trip, equal to 4.34% over dispatched miles. Based on his compensation of $1.15 per mile, he lost approximately $107 of income for the week. If this trend continued for the calendar year the resulting “free” miles he drove cost him $5,350 in lost revenue. Furthermore, if he averaged 5.5 MPG the “out of route” miles would cost about $44 a week of extra fuel or $2,200 annually. In the end, the 16.8 daily out of route miles cost him 3 weeks of additional income.
With the ELD Mandate less than 3 months away and fleets adopting load management software the “out of route” pay issue will only get worse. Unpaid detention time and deadhead (bounce) miles are frequent gripes among drivers. However, recording mileage daily while auditing settlement statements weekly is an effective method for tracking “out of route” miles to prevent carriers from fleecing you.
 The tables were created with real-world trip data compiled by OTR driver Tim over the course of a normal week. Out of route miles (“unpaid miles”) were the result of either a) the carriers trip routing software improperly calculating distance, or b) taking the fastest route from shipper to receiver based on available HOS hours, driving conditions, traffic and truck-friendly routing.
 Average fuel price of $2.86 as of September 18, 2017 at Foristell, MO