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  1. #1
    Bobtail Member
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    Air Miles? Map Miles? Zip Code Miles

    I am in school and having a little difficulty fully understanding the difference in how miles are paid. If someone could explain the difference between air miles, zip miles, map miles, in a way a third grader could understand I would be gratefull.


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    Ok here it is!

    lol, All that means is your going to get cheated on the miles you drive or saying your not going to be paid for 'all' of your work. For instance, we (my husband and I, team drivers) just took a load from Chandler, AZ to Bettendorf, IA. We were paid for 1543 miles. The actual mileage was 1750 miles. The previous load we ran was 2163 actual miles, but we were paid for 2008 miles. This is called railroad miles, aka air miles ect. Just means your going not going to be paid for all of your work. Comparison for other jobs, like say if your were working at Walmart they tell you to start stocking shelves at 6am but don't clock in to be paid until 9am so they don't pay you for the first 3 hrs work. This is what their talking about. 'scr##wing you out of pay.

  3. #3
    20 Year Truckload Veteran jlkklj777's Avatar
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    A little History about HHG

    Rand McNally helped create the first issue of the household movers guide in 1936. It was created to provide uniformity in the charges trucking companies (specifically household movers) were quoting their customers based upon weights and distances. The guide used criteria such as the height, width, and lane width restrictions to formulate the shortest possible distance between the towns or cities.

    Many drivers state there is a 5 to 10% variance in the pay mileage and the actual mileage a trip actually pays. This is usually the result of a driver taking an alternate route rather than the shortest. Drivers have a tendency to stick with Interstate grade highways rather than utilizing the US highway system or even state or county routes. With some routes the Interstate highway system can actually save time even though it may be several miles longer due to the increased speed limits. The fact is in many cases the shortest possible route is not necessarily the fastest route. This is based upon terrain, small localities, and reduced speed limits.

    Fast forward to current times and you have other programs such as Pc Miler which actually piggybacked off of the household movers guide to set up their routing software. The difference is Pc Miler recognized the desire of truckers to avoid small towns and maximize their earning potential through higher average speeds. Pc Miler selected routes that best facilitate higher speeds and avoid smaller, secondary roads to facilitate the flow of commerce.

    Today there is basically 3 ways to compute mileages.
    1. Actual mileage or "hub miles" is the actual miles a driver drives from pickup to delivery and is compensated for every mile he/she drove. This is the best option for a truck driver from a pay perspective.
    2. Pc Miler has a couple of different programs available. They are "practical miles" and "shortest 53'." There are options that also account for hazmat routing and avoidance of toll roads which will alter the miles. The best option for Pc Miler is the "practical routing" option which routes drivers around major cities and utilizes the interstate highway system as much as possible.
    3. Rand McNally miles are still used by many carriers today but they measure routes by the shortest possible option even if that means staying on state routes or US Highways through every small town and village on those roads.

    In the event you want to read my source material for the above info yourself you can find an informative article titled "Whats In A Mile?" by Deborah Whistler published In Heavy Duty Trucking Magazine.

  4. #4
    Light Load Member
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    This is usually the result of a driver taking an alternate route

    Maybe at one time this was true. Not today. Not only do we use a Magellan with the shortest route option but we double check the milage with Microsoft Street Trips and Maps. The load from Chandler AZ to Bettendorf AZ shortest route was 1753 miles. We were paid railroad miles of 1543 miles. 200 miles less then the load was.

    We take shortest route option on loads unless the Interstate and shortest distance are about the same mileage. If there is a discrepency we will go by the shortest route if possible. Of course you have to be careful with shortest distance on some loads as 'shortest distance' will try to take you through some places a truck is not able to go. Like 'no truck' roustes, over mountains (like the great smokey mountains in TN where commercial vehicles are prohibited) through cornfields, and other such places, so that is something that you must check before each trip if you are not familiar with the U.S. We had this happen when we first started driving. Now that we are familar with the U.S. we know when 'shortest distance' is not possible to take.

    So I still say 'railroad miles' , 'household miles', 'air miles' ect is nothing more than a way for the companies to scr##w drivers out of their pay.

  5. #5
    Road Train Member Pur48Ted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruise Cookie View Post
    I am in school and having a little difficulty fully understanding the difference in how miles are paid. If someone could explain the difference between air miles, zip miles, map miles, in a way a third grader could understand I would be gratefull.
    You are routed from City A to City B.
    Your ACTUAL miles is 663 miles, but your employers use some magical formula and come up with 609 miles, which is what you are paid. During that 54 miles you aren't paid for, your employer slips one in and you don't even feel it.

    That pretty much explains it; third grade humor included with out charge.

  6. #6
    20 Year Truckload Veteran jlkklj777's Avatar
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    I have never heard of rail miles being used for routing a truck. Whenever I had a major discrepancy on paid miles I have asked the company to update the mileage or route me based on the route I took. I cannot speak to air miles either as I have never been "shorted" on my miles to the extent you claim. It sounds as if there was an error in the routing software or perhaps your dispatcher entered incorrect info by misspelling a city.

    Of course I do not claim to know everything about every possible routing program used. I can only speak to what I have actually encountered. That is routing under both Rand McNally and currently PC Miler shortest 53'.

    If your carrier is in fact cheating you out of your pay I would first ask them what program they are using and which version. I would then purchase the identical program and use it against them. I do not tolerate lies from the company I work for or being "cheated" on pay. If the company does not make good on what it owes you then you should leave and be specific with the boss as to why you are leaving.

  7. #7
    Road Train Member Pur48Ted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pardel View Post

    So I still say 'railroad miles' , 'household miles', 'air miles' ect is nothing more than a way for the companies to scr##w drivers out of their pay.

    Exactly...

  8. #8
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    railroad miles

    I have never heard of rail miles being used for routing a truck

    16 years as a trucker and you've never heard 'railroad' aka 'household' miles terminology? I have been on the road for less then two years and both companies I have drove for used 'railroad' aka household' miles!

    Whenever I had a major discrepancy on paid miles I have asked the company to update the mileage

    Yeah, I did that. Just called them day before yesterday and told them this mileage is getting redicoulous. We drive 1753 miles and get paid for 1543. Yep, was told it is calculated by the computer, yes they know it is really 1753 but bad economy, blah blah blah what'd I end up with, 1543 miles. lol

    I have never been "shorted" on my miles to the extent you claim

    Well, check and see if you can get from Chandler, AZ to Bettendorf, IA in 1543 miles. Put ya a bet that you can't! Shortest is 1750!

    It sounds as if there was an error in the routing software or perhaps your dispatcher entered incorrect info by misspelling a city.

    Nope, no error! Seeing as we are really getting tired of these 'railroad' miles I called dispatch. They claim all the companies are routing like this right now because of the bad economy.

    If the company does not make good on what it owes you then you should leave

    Ya know, that is what I keep telling my husband! Geez, maybe he will listen to you since he won't listen to me!

    But all joking aside. It does really get old to constantly be 'cheated' on pay for the work we do!

  9. #9
    Road Train Member Truckerjo's Avatar
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    Air Miles =
    A straight line from point A to B, as you would be flying in a airplane and did not have to turn to avoid hitting a tree, a house ext.. by going off road..


    Mover Miles =
    The miles are from the "outside" of a zip code to another "outside" of a zip code... another words it starts as soon as you leave the zip code you are in and stops soon as you enter the zip code you will be delivering in.(shorting you a great deal of miles)
    (usually referred to as Rand Mcnally Miles)

    Practical Miles =
    To the center of the zip code (town) you pickup at to the center of the zip code you deliver in. Much better the Mover Miles becuase you will get paid for much more miles and also can work to your advantage sometimes.
    (usually from one courthouse to another courthouse)
    This would be using mostly Interstates and avoiding back roads when it is piratical to do so..

    Short Route Miles =
    The shortest possible route using roads from point A to B (using back roads, ext..) Most companies who claim Practical route miles will throw short rout miles at you sometimes. Always check to make sure you are getting Practical.

    Hub Miles=
    The miles you actually drive from point A to point B (exactly like resetting your trip in your car and starting from zero)

    Out of route miles=
    All above (except hub, talk about that in a sec) Are based on a predetermined route usually using software such as PcMiller, RandMcnally ext..
    If you was to use other roads that added miles to the route you would not get paid for those. And if you found a shorter way then don't expect a thank you a pat on the back or anything like that. They could care less.
    Hub miles in some cases they may pay you if you went out of route. lets say you went out of route to get around a wreck and it added 50 miles to the trip, you turn in the total miles and they will not even question it and you will get paid for it...






    Practical and Hub are the way to go.. I have personally not ever heard of anybody paying "Airline Miles" broker or a company.

    Hope that helps and good luck.....

  10. #10
    20 Year Truckload Veteran jlkklj777's Avatar
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    Pardel

    Pardel I was not challenging the veracity of your claims. I have never heard of railroad miles being used to calculate a truck drivers pay. It sounds as if you are being ripped off. Now that you are aware of it and the fact you are being lied to (blatantly) by dispatch (or whoever you spoke to) what are you going to do about it? The statement that "all carriers are doing it due to the economy" is in fact untruthful.

    This is why it is important to get the companies version of the routing software they are using. To verify wether they are being straight with you or not. If I were in your shoes I would give them the choice to pay me what I am due or I would leave. I do not tolerate deceit nor thieves nor should you.

    Staying in an abusive relationship wether it be with a spouse or an employer is ridiculous. You should have enough self respect to stand up and say "this isn't right" and leave. If you do not have the courage to stand up to thieves (for that is what they are) then I guess you have no-one to blame but yourselves.

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