How Do Trucking Companies Get You Home?

Topic 21018 | Page 1

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NeeklODN's Comment
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Do companies just give you a load that goes close by your residence Everytime you're supposed to get home? Or do they only get you back to the closest company terminal to you're residence?? Thanks guys

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Big T's Comment
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It depends on the company, but usually if you live close to a terminal they will want you to park there. However if you dont live close to a terminal then they try to get you a load going by your house.

Do companies just give you a load that goes close by your residence Everytime you're supposed to get home? Or do they only get you back to the closest company terminal to you're residence?? Thanks guys

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Welcome NeeklODN.

Big T is correct. I just wanted to add that it makes no difference where you live in relation to the company you're going to work for. In 15 years of driving I never once worked for a company that had a terminal or a drop yard in my home state. It doesn't make any difference. As long as the company hires from your area you're good to go.

A company will hire from an area if they have enough freight going through that area to get drivers home.

When drivers go home, most people will do one of the following:

  • Park the tractor and trailer at one of your company's terminals if it's within 50 miles or so of your house and drive your own vehicle home
  • Park the tractor and trailer at a truck stop or local business (with permission) and get a ride home from someone
  • Drop the trailer at a truck stop or local business (with permission) and bobtail home in the tractor
  • Park the tractor and trailer at one of your company's customers and get a ride home
  • Drop the trailer at one of your company's customers and bobtail home
  • Park the entire tractor and trailer on their property, though rarely does anyone have enough room for this

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Patrick C.'s Comment
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Here is an example. The company I work for has a single terminal. It is in Amherst, Wi. I live in Clarksville, TN. We have freight that goes to Akebono Brake in Clarksville. I get home by a few ways. I get a load with enough time on it that goes by the house or I deliver to Akebono. We have a local tire shop that let's us use it as a drop lot. If I delivered to akebono or Tcalled a load at the drop lot then I park there. If will be sitting on a load, I just park at the Walmart near my house. My wife and I both used to work there, so the store manager allows me to park there.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

NeeklODN's Comment
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Hey, I really appreciate all of the replies. Great information. The reason I was asking is because I was thinking of going with McElroy Truck Lines straight out of school. But the closest terminal to my town would be Cuba Alabama. But that's like three and a half hours away. But they are hiring in my area which is why I was curious. Again thanks for the replies.

Welcome NeeklODN.

Big T is correct. I just wanted to add that it makes no difference where you live in relation to the company you're going to work for. In 15 years of driving I never once worked for a company that had a terminal or a drop yard in my home state. It doesn't make any difference. As long as the company hires from your area you're good to go.

A company will hire from an area if they have enough freight going through that area to get drivers home.

When drivers go home, most people will do one of the following:

  • Park the tractor and trailer at one of your company's terminals if it's within 50 miles or so of your house and drive your own vehicle home
  • Park the tractor and trailer at a truck stop or local business (with permission) and get a ride home from someone
  • Drop the trailer at a truck stop or local business (with permission) and bobtail home in the tractor
  • Park the tractor and trailer at one of your company's customers and get a ride home
  • Drop the trailer at one of your company's customers and bobtail home
  • Park the entire tractor and trailer on their property, though rarely does anyone have enough room for this

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Unholychaos's Comment
member avatar

Here's another example. I drive for Schneider and I live in southeast Iowa. I'm usually routed towards the international paper plant in Cedar Rapids, IA, about 100m or so from my hometown, I will either drop a load of scrap paper there and take an empty home, take a load out to the nearby drop lot and relay it for another driver and take an empty home, or take a load directly out heading towards Kansas City and take the load home over the weekend. Very rarely do I bobtail home, but if that's an option, make sure your route home is truck friendly. Be aware of low clearances, tree limbs, power lines, ect.

I have limited options for parking in my town, including a small, very popular, local diner that's usually full by 2000, or a Wal-Mart that allows long term parking which also gets fairly crowded at night. Knowing this, I try to plan a few days in advance to end my day at around 1400 or so so I can at least have safe and legal parking available.

Some advise, before you head out for training, talk to a few local businesses to see if they would allow "long term parking for semi trucks." If you can get permission, then let your people know so they can expect to see your truck there if they decide to snoop.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
The reason I was asking is because I was thinking of going with McElroy Truck Lines straight out of school. But the closest terminal to my town would be Cuba Alabama. But that's like three and a half hours away. But they are hiring in my area which is why I was curious.

The way it is going to work with McElroy is that you will normally go home under a load that you picked up on Friday which is scheduled to deliver on Monday. They have got this down to an art. They are going to keep you in a regional area so that they can get you home practically every weekend. You will be primarily hauling building materials and delivering to a lot of Lowe's locations. Once you get the hang of their system you will understand what it is that you need to be accomplishing during the week so that they can get you home each week.

McElroy is a great choice for a flat-bed company. Have you seen this Thread On McElroy? If not you should check it out - it contains a lot of useful information on the company and how they do things.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Dave Reid's Comment
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Do companies just give you a load that goes close by your residence Everytime you're supposed to get home? Or do they only get you back to the closest company terminal to you're residence?? Thanks guys

I drive for Pride Transport which has just one terminal in Salt Lake CIty. They have a few drop yards...Reno, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Chicago, Ontario CA, Stockton CA, etc.

They get drivers home in several ways...pretty much all the ways that Brett mentioned plus another which is the one I use part of the time.

I'm on a deal where I drive six weeks or more and then get six days off, and then they get me to SLC and buy me a plane ticket to wherever I want to go. I don't have a particular home but take my hometime in various locations so this is perfect for me. Of course if I want to take my time in a location where they have a drop yard I can park there or if I want to take it at another location where they have receivers/shippers, I can take it there. I do that part of the time when I go to Maryland, as they have customers around there.

The way that they actually get this done is pretty sweet. They are very good at keeping hometime committments. They don't wait to match the driver up with a load going where they want to go. Instead, they just keep running us normally, and then if they don't have a load going where we need to go at the right time, they figure out when/where we can intersect with another driver that does have a load going the right place/time and have us swap. I'm sitting now waiting to deliver a load that I didn't pick up...I swapped with someone that needed the load that I had in order to get home. In this instance, it worked out better for me anyway...but even when it doesn't, it is fine because we're all helping each other out.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Hey UC.. I go in and out of the Cedar River mill regularly. Maybe we will cross paths eventually.

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