Truck Drivers Review Hill Brothers Transportation

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Reed July 3, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Don’t walk away from this company. RUN like your life and livelyhood depend on it. They put accidents on your DAK that never took place. They accept false claims against you. they make the worse of the bottom feeders look good. They won’t get you home when family dies. They try to put you on a guilt trip if you try to get home for a parent’s funeral. They keep you from visiting your loved one prior to their death. Somebody hits you, the person that hit your truck tells, Hills Brothers, you hit them, even though the police report backs you, the driver, the company goes by what the 4 wheeler says. They want you to reun illegally, even after they put electronic log systems in your truck. The facts & truth have no place in this company. Even when a dot cop says you were inadiquately trained by the company, for electronic logs, HB puts it against you, the driver.

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Jim June 22, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Please read this article. It is related to this company as well:
So you are working for a trucking company which pays your salary as per Diem!
If you are like me just an average driver who works hard for his money and earns not much by today’s standards, then you must have lots of questions about this pay method. I know I did! So I went to every resource I could and learned about it as much as I could! What was my conclusion? I don’t want to be paid per Diem! Absolutely not!
OK I don’t want to read for a long time to find out what I am talking about. So I break it down to a few different parts and you can read the part you like or the entire article if you want.
1- I came across the word Per Diem……. So I was returning to long haul trucking after a period of time when I heard the word Per Diem in orientation over and over. Lady who was talking about it was forcefully pushing all drivers to accept per Diem pay method. She was keep repeating this is good for you guys! You will be getting about $70 extra dollars on every paycheck so it is better for you! What she did not explain was why company is kind of forcing everyone to take this option if there is no benefit for them in it? I was very suspicious and started asking questions but they never answered me in a strait forward manner. All I heard was: we can’t tell you anything, you should consult your tax adviser!!!!! So I did not accept the per Diem and I am glad I didn’t! However out of almost 80 new hires only 2 or 3 including me did not accept this.
2- What is Per Diem? Why nowadays it is forced on drivers by employers? Is it good or bad? What should we do if they don’t give us an option?…….. OK!!!! Let me put this in a simple way so we both can understand what we are talking about here. See 20 years ago when you worked for a long haul trucking company they paid you (per-Mile). You drove 12000 miles in a month period and got paid 30c per mile which equals to $3600.00. Are you with me? So you paid your state and federal taxes based on $3600 dollars. On the other hand your employer had to pay its portion of taxes on you based on your income of $3600. (Social Security/ unemployment/ disability…..) OK now…….. You company claims to pay you 35c pm. However the pay 20cpm as your normal income and pay you 15cpm as per Diem. NOW…… by old standard you should pay taxes on (12000x .35= $4200). That is right $4200. BUT! You are not! You are paying taxes on $2400 income! So you pay less tax and they are right you put a bit more money in your pocket every paycheck. However you employer also is paying its share of taxes on you, way less than what it supposed to be. That is what they hide from you! You are losing way more than what you are gaining by putting a few more dollars in your pocket every week.
3- What do I gain or lose by per Diem? Very simple… You gain just about $200 in a month pay. However you lose thousands of dollars in benefits for a long period of time to come! For one if you get hurt at work, your benefits will be calculated based on your base salary of $2000 not $4200. Therefor your disability check will be less than half of what it should be. Second at age of retirement your SS benefits will be based on your base salary and not what you really made. So you will plunge in to a financial difficulty at the age you really can’t work anymore! Third, if you are let go by employer, your unemployment check is almost half of what it should be! WHY? Because big companies want to save money by not paying rightful taxes on their poor employees. See as I understand Per Diem is an allowance by government and recognized as extra reimbursement pay on top of your regular income and not a part of it. However trucking companies have sought the opportunity to lower their overhead by screwing their drivers out of their basic benefits. This is no joke! A pizza delivery guy perhaps will have more benefits than you as a truck driver, now and at age of retirement!! Is this legal? Yes and no! Trucking companies advertise cpm rate to attract drivers (40cpm for example). That is a normal pay. However when you invest time and money to attend their orientation classes then they surprise you with per Diem! And now that is not an option anymore! Take it or leave it!
4- I had to take a per Diem job! Yes a few months after I started with a company which I talked about earlier, I negotiated a driving job with a company in Midwest. I live in southern California so they flow me to (*****) where I attended their orientation. That was when I was told per Diem is not an option and that is the only way company is paying its drivers now! Take it or leave it! Being out of work for a month, all the extra expenses I had endured plus that I was told retuning to California is not paid by company and it will be out of pocket expense, I had to stay and accept the job!!
5- The other disadvantage is a low credit approval if you decide to buy a house. I personally experienced this part. When I talked to a mortgage representative and told him about my almost 60K yearly income he prequalified me for 300k loan. After 4 months of house hunting I finally found my dream house and price was way lower than what I was qualified for! So we started the loan process just to find out that I only qualify for 100K loan! Why? Because banks also consider your base salary (what you pay tax on) as your income not the entire monthly check! No need to say I lost the house and now after two years I am not still able to obtain a decent loan to purchase a house.
6- How should it be done? If these companies were honest, they would explain the whole ordeal to their employees not just the sale part of it. (You put more money in your pocket) See per Diem means company is paying all your expenses on the road which we all know that is a lie! If that was so, your base income should have gone up in last 20 years not down! I was making $3200 20 years ago doing what I am doing now. How come my company claims I am making $2400 a month after 20 years? And then they are paying my expenses as per Diem which almost equals with my base salary! Another words all we drivers make, we spend on the road and then company reimburses us for it! Nothing to take home! Nothing extra! We all know that is not true! That is a flat out lie! If this was done right, companies would have paid you your normal pay (as we said before almost $4200 a month) and then reimburse you for all your expenses on the road on top of that. For example $4200 plus $2400 per Diem. Not that they take a good portion of your income away not to pay taxes on it and then return it to you as per Diem which means latterly reimbursement for your expenses!
7- What to do? Stay away from companies that force per Diem. Sooner or later they have to change their way as there is still a huge shortage of long haul drivers in this industry. If you are already working on a per Diem based income, ask your employer to change you to regular pay. If they don’t accept it look for another job! You will be way ahead by doing so! I warn you most companies will not change you to regular pay since this will take millions of dollars out of their pockets collectively. Don’t forget in spite the fact trucking companies want to push you around as an individual driver, all of you together have the upper hand since these companies would not exist without you but you can exist without them! That is the edge you have over this situation. They need you so they have to accept your rightful demands if you, yourself know and demand them!!!
Good luck to all you hard working drivers across the nation!

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Jim Ruppel July 1, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Thanks Jim for this information & for speaking out. I have always thought this was a great benefit for the BIG Guys. Besides claim it at years end on your personal taxes. Rufly @ 50.00 per day. Translates to nice return April 15.

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Mahdi September 13, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Thanks so much, it was extremely helpful. I believe that we need a strong union nation wide to protects the drivers’ rights because all these companies are sacrificing drivers for their own benefits.

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Linda November 7, 2013 at 6:39 pm

My husband has just become an OTR driver working for Central Refrigerated, and I couldn’t figure out why the company was paying the way they were. Thanks so much Jim, for clearing that up for me.

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