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LTL Trucking - My linehaul job

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AJ D.'s Comment
member avatar

Whew! Didn't get much sleep the other night because I was excited to get back in the truck. Fell asleep sometime around midnight, had to get up at 3:30 am. I like to give myself ample time in the morning so that I"m not rushed, plus I have about a 30 minute commute to the terminal. I allow myself 45 minutes. Departure time was 5:30 am. Needless to say, I was very tired yesterday. I bumped right up to my 11 hours drive time with 4 minutes remaining. Got home, ate, and crashed. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to finish the entire run myself, but I did it. Two longer runs and two separate drop and hooks. 580 total miles. Lots of mountain driving in western PA. Same run today.

I'll be heading down to Virginia and then northern PA for the rest of the week after today. Getting more used to how things are done at the terminal. I love linehaul.

It's amazing that when you start a new profession how little sleep you need. The adrenaline keeps pumping during the learning process to keep you going.

Beware, however. The wall is coming ;)

Good luck in the coming weeks, my friend.

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.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Whew! Didn't get much sleep the other night because I was excited to get back in the truck. Fell asleep sometime around midnight, had to get up at 3:30 am. I like to give myself ample time in the morning so that I"m not rushed, plus I have about a 30 minute commute to the terminal. I allow myself 45 minutes. Departure time was 5:30 am. Needless to say, I was very tired yesterday. I bumped right up to my 11 hours drive time with 4 minutes remaining. Got home, ate, and crashed. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to finish the entire run myself, but I did it. Two longer runs and two separate drop and hooks. 580 total miles. Lots of mountain driving in western PA. Same run today.

I'll be heading down to Virginia and then northern PA for the rest of the week after today. Getting more used to how things are done at the terminal. I love linehaul.

double-quotes-end.png

It's amazing that when you start a new profession how little sleep you need. The adrenaline keeps pumping during the learning process to keep you going.

Beware, however. The wall is coming ;)

Good luck in the coming weeks, my friend.

Which is exactly why new drivers need to be very aware. Adrenalin crash can come on suddenly and can completely drain your energy. The range of emotions new drivers experience in the first few months is incredible and you need to be aware of them to be able to control them.

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.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Where you headed to in Virginia? Just curious :) Sounds like your adjusting to the work well. New schedules always take time. Glad your loving linehaul!!

Been to Roanoke and Harrisonburg.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Whew! Didn't get much sleep the other night because I was excited to get back in the truck. Fell asleep sometime around midnight, had to get up at 3:30 am. I like to give myself ample time in the morning so that I"m not rushed, plus I have about a 30 minute commute to the terminal. I allow myself 45 minutes. Departure time was 5:30 am. Needless to say, I was very tired yesterday. I bumped right up to my 11 hours drive time with 4 minutes remaining. Got home, ate, and crashed. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to finish the entire run myself, but I did it. Two longer runs and two separate drop and hooks. 580 total miles. Lots of mountain driving in western PA. Same run today.

I'll be heading down to Virginia and then northern PA for the rest of the week after today. Getting more used to how things are done at the terminal. I love linehaul.

double-quotes-end.png

It's amazing that when you start a new profession how little sleep you need. The adrenaline keeps pumping during the learning process to keep you going.

Beware, however. The wall is coming ;)

Good luck in the coming weeks, my friend.

The wall has already come brother! And it's only getting better ;) Getting up at 3:30 am to be ready to depart from terminal by 5:15 am, only to get home by 6:30 pm and try to wind down and sleep by 10:00 pm to the latest - that was a tough one. Thankfully I"m on a different run now, not as brutal.

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.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

My second week's paycheck hit my bank account ... $964.00. Yes, that's after taxes, and I'm in training. Keep in mind I'm working 12-14 hour days and am paid hourly, until I go solo and will be paid cpm. This is the kind of money you guys can make if you get in w/ a good LTL outfit. I've already talked to 3 drivers that have cracked 100K by running their max hours, working 6 days. Not sure if it's worth the extra money to work that sixth day when having a family, but man does a linehaul driver make a killing. Every driver's telling me I'll definitely hit 2500 miles a week right away. At least. Every run I've been on is at least 500 miles, most have been around 550, one I did was 584. Drivers can get 3K plus miles working 6 days if they choose to and balance out their hours.

No doubt I'll be able to crack $50k my rookie year. Sure does make the running and time away from the family worth it! I'm totally ruined now, I don't think I'd like to do anything other than linehaul - doing runs, dropping and hooking, all day (or night) long. No OTR for this driver. I'll work my 10-12 hour days, be home every day, have two days off a week, and make a good living. Our family is very thankful for the opportunity.

I posted what I earned this week simply to show new drivers the earning potential w/ a good LTL company. Remember, that's the whole point of this thread, to show that there are other opportunities out there besides OTR for a student driver. You just got to be at the right place, at the right time.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

CJ's Comment
member avatar

I'm glad this LTL job has worked for you. I have an interview coming up with a great LTL company in my area. They require 1 yr experience but I must have done something right because they contacted me and want to set the interview.

Said if I do well in my school then I would have a great shot at the line haul position. He said since I don't have the otr experience that they would probably start me in the yard moving trailers for them and then get me with a driver for line haul training. Supposed to be $22/hr while in yard and training then .54 cpm once solo. I sure hope this works out.

I was able to test for all my endorsements in the same day I did my cdl testing. I still need the fingerprinting done for hazmat but have already done the written test at the dmv. Was told by the customer service lady that I cannot do the fingerprint until I receive my actual cdl. That's Okay because I just finished week one of training today. Start yard work and driving on Monday.

Thanks again for posting about LTL! It allowed me to learn much more about that part of the business.

CJ

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

AJ D.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm glad this LTL job has worked for you. I have an interview coming up with a great LTL company in my area. They require 1 yr experience but I must have done something right because they contacted me and want to set the interview.

Said if I do well in my school then I would have a great shot at the line haul position. He said since I don't have the otr experience that they would probably start me in the yard moving trailers for them and then get me with a driver for line haul training. Supposed to be $22/hr while in yard and training then .54 cpm once solo. I sure hope this works out.

I was able to test for all my endorsements in the same day I did my cdl testing. I still need the fingerprinting done for hazmat but have already done the written test at the dmv. Was told by the customer service lady that I cannot do the fingerprint until I receive my actual cdl. That's Okay because I just finished week one of training today. Start yard work and driving on Monday.

Thanks again for posting about LTL! It allowed me to learn much more about that part of the business.

CJ

The money these guys are talking about is crazy for an entry level position !! ...amazing

OK , 6 string.... time to wake up and tell us about your week !! ;) smile.gif

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

I'm glad this LTL job has worked for you. I have an interview coming up with a great LTL company in my area. They require 1 yr experience but I must have done something right because they contacted me and want to set the interview.

Said if I do well in my school then I would have a great shot at the line haul position. He said since I don't have the otr experience that they would probably start me in the yard moving trailers for them and then get me with a driver for line haul training. Supposed to be $22/hr while in yard and training then .54 cpm once solo. I sure hope this works out.

I was able to test for all my endorsements in the same day I did my cdl testing. I still need the fingerprinting done for hazmat but have already done the written test at the dmv. Was told by the customer service lady that I cannot do the fingerprint until I receive my actual cdl. That's Okay because I just finished week one of training today. Start yard work and driving on Monday.

Thanks again for posting about LTL! It allowed me to learn much more about that part of the business.

CJ

I'm very happy for your opportunity, and happy that this thread helped you in any way possible!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

OK , 6 string.... time to wake up and tell us about your week !! ;) smile.gif

I'm gonna wait for a more detailed post after this coming week is over, which would conclude my 4 weeks of training. I ran about the same amount of miles in the past few days, between 525-550 per day. The last run I ran was a lot more manageable for me, as far as the hours of when I had to run. I started my driving in the middle of the day and ran up to a little past midnight. I've been consistently getting close to my full 11 hours or right up to it.

I'm getting more used to the driving - the little things add up to increase your stamina. For example:

1. A lot of shorter guys try to jack their seat up like taller guys - don't do it. You should be able to slip your hands under the back of your knees / beginning of your hamstring for proper seat height. Your seat can still be to high even if your feet can touch the ground. If your seat is high enough, it will cut some of the circulation off in your legs, making them fatigue more. You'll find yourself constantly adjusting yourself while driving. Adjust your seat accordingly, and you'll have a much more comfortable driving experience, which will increase your stamina.

2. Adjust your steering wheel so you can comfortably reach it. It should be about an inch away from your belly. Use your armrests. Don't over-grip the wheel. Some experience drivers call this "sawing the wheel." It's when you are over-steering and counter steering. Let the truck move with the road and gently nudge it back on course when it starts to drift, you hit a bump, or the wind knocks you a bit. Keep your hands relaxed. Don't tense up when you're going down a hill. The more comfortable you are, the better control you'll have over your rig.

3. Figure out how much you can drink before you have to start unreasonably interrupting your drive time. This adds to your stamina and ability to drive longer distances.

4. Get your rest on your downtime / hometime.

AJ D.'s Comment
member avatar

Great info, 6 string..... thanks

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