How Syntelic Software Enhances the Trucker Payroll Process

By Scott Balthaser | May 8, 2023

Syntelic offers Route Planning, Load Planning, and Transportation Analytics software for the trucking industry—not trucking payroll software.

But major trucking industry players—billion-dollar businesses, in fact—use Syntelic’s software to enhance how they pay their truck drivers. In this blog, we’ll look at how these and other clients have adapted Syntelic’s powerful ad hoc reporting capabilities for trucker payroll.

How to Pay Truck Drivers

In many industries, payroll is relatively straightforward. Hourly employees clock in and out on a computer-based system that tallies their hours, takes out federal, state, and local taxes, and pays via direct deposit or check. Pay for salaried employees is even simpler.

But payroll for trucking companies? The variables are seemingly endless, and because you’re liable for errors in tax withholding and accounting, mistakes can be costly.

How Are Your Drivers Paid?

Different Ways Truck Drivers Are Paid

Cents per mile (CPM) is one of the most common ways of determining pay in trucking, and on first look, it’s pretty straightforward. But there are several ways of calculating CPM—such as practical miles as scheduled by the dispatcher or actual miles as logged on the odometer. You probably already collect trucker miles with electronic logging devices (ELDs), but how do you bring that data into your payroll system?

Perhaps your drivers aren’t paid in CPM. They may be paid hourly or per load. If they’re running local routes to multiple stops, they may be paid by the stop or by the mile with bonuses for each stop.

Per diems, bonuses, layovers, wait time between loads, and penalties all further complicate the picture. And if your operation crosses state lines, you may need to factor in calculations for different state and local taxes.

Regardless of the details of your trucker payroll landscape, it’s far more involved than managing payroll for a group of hourly cubicle workers.

Payroll Software for Trucking Companies

When it comes to truck driver payroll software, there are many options—all with limitations.

Some payroll solutions advertise that they’re good for the transportation industry, but they don’t actually have any trucking-specific features. They may handle accounting or human resources functions in addition to payroll.

Other payroll solutions are presented as truck management systems (TMSs), and these hit closer to the mark, offering trucking-industry-specific features. However, in most cases, the industry-specific features are limited to financials—payroll, accounting, accounts receivable and payable, and financial analytics.

Using Syntelic Software to Simplify Trucker Payroll

To understand how Syntelic’s software—which doesn’t include payroll software—can simplify and enhance your truck driver payroll process, we first need to take a look at what our software does.

Syntelic’s Software Applications

Syntelic software includes three primary applications developed from the ground up for the transportation industry—trucking companies and third-party logistics (3PL) providers. We tailor each implementation of our software to your business needs.

Syntelic’s three programs are:

  1. Syntelic Route Planning: You can plan dynamic or static (master) routes—or a combination of the two—with our route planning software. Features include built-in route optimization and the ability to handle all types of routes (inbound, outbound, multiple stops, etc.). A driver scheduling extension maximizes your use of available human resources.
  2. Syntelic Load Planning: Our load planning software generates detailed load diagrams that maximize the amount of cargo per load, ensure that trucks aren’t overweight and that loads are distributed evenly, and optimize unloading efficiency by taking into account which pallets are scheduled for delivery first.
  3. Syntelic Transportation Analytics: Our analytics software is a powerful business intelligence application created specifically for trucking companies and 3PLs. Import data in near real-time from your fleet’s on-board diagnostics (OBD), and view your data any way you want by creating customized reports.

Reporting Capabilities in Transportation Analytics

Syntelic’s three programs are tightly integrated, allowing Transportation Analytics to utilize Route Planning and Load Planning data in addition to OBD data. If the data are available in Syntelic, you can incorporate them into a report. 

For example, you can:

  • Compare planned routes to actual routes.
  • Compare planned and actual arrival times.
  • Track over, short, and damaged (OS&D) orders.
  • Track loading and unloading times.
  • Calculate driver miles for a specific day, week, or location.

Of course, nearly every transportation industry software offers reports. In some instances, there are five to 10 preset reports that may or may not meet your needs. Some companies go a step further and offer customized reports for a substantial fee—but necessary revisions to those reports as your business needs change come at a fee, too.

Syntelic Transportation Analytics is different in two ways:

  1. Dashboards allow you to drill into your data by nearly any parameter: date, location, warehouse, route, driver. Refine a search further with filters, sorting, and calculations. The bottom line is that an excess of data is just noise; accessing only the data you need brings insight into your operations.
  2. As part of our service, we’ll build customized reports for you that zero in on what you need to know to optimize your fleet and warehouse logistics.

Using Transportation Analytics to Calculate Trucker Payroll

The fact that many of our clients use Syntelic Transportation Analytics to calculate truck driver pay is a testament to the software’s flexible, endlessly customizable reporting capabilities.

Let’s consider an example.

Suppose your drivers are paid weekly. As they fulfill their day-to-day responsibilities, your Syntelic software collects in-depth information on their performance:

  • Route Planning tracks driver miles, stops, and schedule-related performance.
  • Load Planning tracks the number of pallets delivered.
  • Transportation Analytics utilizes ELD data and information from Route Planning to compile a driver scorecard.

Now, suppose driver pay includes the following facets:

  • A dollar amount per route completed
  • A dollar amount per delivery or for a certain number of pallets delivered
  • A CPM rate of $.50
  • A penalty of $.20 per minute for excess unloading time
  • A bonus for maintaining a driver scorecard above a certain performance threshold

Using a report customized to the precise method your company uses to determine driver compensation, Syntelic Transportation Analytics can calculate each driver’s gross weekly pay and push that information to your payroll software. The payroll software can then determine the appropriate withholding amounts for federal, state, and local taxes and benefits and issue payments to the drivers.

Thus, Transportation Analytics bridges the gap between the complexities of trucker payroll and the mechanics of paying your drivers.

Partner With Syntelic for Business Intelligence for Your Trucking Company

Syntelic’s trucking software is not a cookie-cutter solution. We customize every implementation of our Route Planning, Load Planning, and Transportation Analytics software to your specific needs. 

Our programs provide everything from optimized routes and loads to profound data-driven insights into your operations, enabling you not only to compete but also to thrive in the transportation industry. And with Transportation Analytics’ precise reporting, sorting, and filtering, intimidating trucker payroll calculations aren’t so scary anymore.

Contact Syntelic today to learn more about how Transportation Analytics can inform business decisions, make your operations more efficient, and enhance your payroll process.

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