LTL Trucking - My Linehaul Job

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6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Week 4 completed. I've now been to all the states up in New England. Even took a ferry from VT to NY across a lake ;) One of my runs this past week had me going up to Maine. It was a 500+ mile trip one way, which gave me 1000+ miles in two days - nice. I'm getting to know some of the terminals now, not really needing directions as much anymore. That kind of repetition is what I love about my job; it's only going to get more 'boring.' Which is good for me. The more I do the job, the more comfortable I get. The more I also realize I could never do OTR now. Having to find new customer locations or shippers / receivers on a weekly basis would actually be what I'd consider a negative of the job, besides being away from home for weeks at a time. As I've gotten older, I prefer more routine and the expected. Perhaps when I was younger I would've enjoyed OTR.

If I wasn't doing linehaul for an LTL company, I'd probably look into tanker jobs for local trucking companies. Interestingly enough we have another member here that just recently posted about possibly looking for more hometime, and he's looking at tanker jobs. I always wanted to drive a tanker. But it looks like something pretty major would have to happen for me to leave my cush LTL gig. The company I work for is not one many drivers walk away from.

My company has us on e-logs, but during training we need to also maintain a paper logbook. I'm hoping this will be waived soon enough, not sure how long they need me to do the paper logs until they're satisfied with what they're looking for. I already knew how to do a logbook once I graduate from trucking school. it's just one more thing I have to do while running, but hey, I'm a company man. smile.gif

My shifting is getting more smooth. I don't use the clutch anymore except for downshifting or starting in gear. I actually find a difference between the Cascadias that have a detroit engine and a cummins. The engine brakes on a detroit kick in faster, which affects shifting while floating the gears. You need to be a little faster in between the gears while moving the stick. Of course this is nil if the jake is off. But then again, I can still notice a difference in shifting. Even having the air conditioning on will affect how the truck shifts and runs.

I'm learning more stuff by experience for hooking up and breaking down sets of doubles , little tips and tricks. I'll try to remember to share these tidbits once I write my doubles tutorial.

I haven't posted much lately about paychecks. As always, I only provide this info so that anybody interested in looking into LTL linehaul will know generally what to expect. My company is one of the top paying companies, so your mileage might vary. Suffice it to say that last pay period I cleared over $900 for the week - after taxes. I'm still trying to figure out how the paycheck is broken down, so I couldn't quite see how many miles I ran. I think I've been close to about 1800 miles per week, which is going to increase the faster I get. I should be eventually running 2300-2700 miles per week. Also, my cpm actually increased lately. Looks like I'm at .57 now. I'll top out at a little over .60 in about 2 years. Unless there's another raise of course. dancing.gif

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

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.

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Chris D.'s Comment
member avatar

So what company do you work for? My guess would be Old Dominion based on some of your previous posts when you named other LTL companies and not them. What is the big secret if your here to help other drivers?

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
6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

So what company do you work for? My guess would be Old Dominion based on some of your previous posts when you named other LTL companies and not them. What is the big secret if your here to help other drivers?

I mentioned in the beginning of the thread that I'm keeping my employer anonymous, I'd ask that you respect that. I have my reasons. I offered a list of LTL companies in the beginning of the thread for folks interested in linehaul or P&D jobs. Who I work for isn't going to add or take away from the content of my posts and how I hope I can help other potential drivers.

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

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

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

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.
Bel A.'s Comment
member avatar

Week 4 completed. I've now been to all the states up in New England. Even took a ferry from VT to NY across a lake ;) One of my runs this past week had me going up to Maine. It was a 500+ mile trip one way, which gave me 1000+ miles in two days - nice. I'm getting to know some of the terminals now, not really needing directions as much anymore. That kind of repetition is what I love about my job; it's only going to get more 'boring.' Which is good for me. The more I do the job, the more comfortable I get. The more I also realize I could never do OTR now. Having to find new customer locations or shippers / receivers on a weekly basis would actually be what I'd consider a negative of the job, besides being away from home for weeks at a time. As I've gotten older, I prefer more routine and the expected. Perhaps when I was younger I would've enjoyed OTR.

If I wasn't doing linehaul for an LTL company, I'd probably look into tanker jobs for local trucking companies. Interestingly enough we have another member here that just recently posted about possibly looking for more hometime, and he's looking at tanker jobs. I always wanted to drive a tanker. But it looks like something pretty major would have to happen for me to leave my cush LTL gig. The company I work for is not one many drivers walk away from.

My company has us on e-logs, but during training we need to also maintain a paper logbook. I'm hoping this will be waived soon enough, not sure how long they need me to do the paper logs until they're satisfied with what they're looking for. I already knew how to do a logbook once I graduate from trucking school. it's just one more thing I have to do while running, but hey, I'm a company man. smile.gif

My shifting is getting more smooth. I don't use the clutch anymore except for downshifting or starting in gear. I actually find a difference between the Cascadias that have a detroit engine and a cummins. The engine brakes on a detroit kick in faster, which affects shifting while floating the gears. You need to be a little faster in between the gears while moving the stick. Of course this is nil if the jake is off. But then again, I can still notice a difference in shifting. Even having the air conditioning on will affect how the truck shifts and runs.

I'm learning more stuff by experience for hooking up and breaking down sets of doubles , little tips and tricks. I'll try to remember to share these tidbits once I write my doubles tutorial.

I haven't posted much lately about paychecks. As always, I only provide this info so that anybody interested in looking into LTL linehaul will know generally what to expect. My company is one of the top paying companies, so your mileage might vary. Suffice it to say that last pay period I cleared over $900 for the week - after taxes. I'm still trying to figure out how the paycheck is broken down, so I couldn't quite see how many miles I ran. I think I've been close to about 1800 miles per week, which is going to increase the faster I get. I should be eventually running 2300-2700 miles per week. Also, my cpm actually increased lately. Looks like I'm at .57 now. I'll top out at a little over .60 in about 2 years. Unless there's another raise of course. dancing.gif

They'll be a payraise next year, same time as this year. It just went into effect last weeks paycheck, so teams are on .6853 cpm, and I'm going to guess your solo rate will 61 or 62 cpm by the time you hit the top rate, plus the raises over the next 2 years - could be 65 cpm or more by the time that happens.

They pretty much give that cost of living raise every year that they meet or exceed profit. And throw a discretionary amount in your 401k plan in Jan/Feb based on the same criteria. Make sure you get in on the 401k. We put 30% of our plan into ODFL stock from the get go, 7 years ago. The ODFL stock has gone from $16 to $70 a share in 7 years. Putting in 6%, the company match of 3%, has grown the plan to over $220,000 as of this month.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

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.

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Bel A.'s Comment
member avatar

Couple more things. You should be getting a white sheet of paper that lists your trips, miles, accessory pay, rate per mile, total miles for the week etc. They're transitioning to a web/computer system, whether this is just for the trip breakdown, or the physical sealed paycheck - I'm unsure. Seems we're the last to have it implemented - but if you're not getting some pay info then I'd guess they're on the new system and haven't informed you about it.

Ask your compliance/log or linehaul manager about the paper logs - you should have passed the certification period by now.

Got that lesion cut out today and cauterised and stitched, looks like I've been bar fighting again. They're sending it off for biopsy and I'll find out next week if it's malignant or not and wether or not they'll have to remove some more flesh from the lip. Lido caine is wearing off now, so I'll move on to more traditional pain management systems, AKA Rolling Rock, mow the lawns and go split some more of that oak tree up.

Keep safe, have a good week - I called your terminal manager and said you really enjoyed back to back Jersey City runs - he said he'd hook you up. Good of me, right! :) B.

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.
6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Hey Bel - missing ya buddy!

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Been very busy at the linehaul job. Quick update and post. Been getting more miles the faster I've become. I can usually hook a set in about 25 minutes now. Break down and hooking two sets of doubles in about 40 minutes, as long as everything goes OK (not hunting for trailers in the yard, dealing with a rough surface like gravel or stones, etc...).

I've been to most of the terminals in the Northeast now. Only a handful that I haven't been to yet. As north as upper Vermont (w/in 100 miles of the Canadian border), south like VA, and into metro NY area. My favorite runs are to upstate NY, Baltimore MD, and south like Richmond VA. Upper NE isn't bad either. Least favorite is anywhere near NYC, like Jersey City and southern Connecticut - just too much congestion and city stuff. I'm getting comfortable with those city areas, just not pleasant to be in - whether in a truck or car ;) I"m a country boy.

Pay. I'm taking home over 1K every week. It's exceeded my expectations as a rookie driver. I'm definitely spoiled now and could never go OTR.

I love pulling doubles and working for my company. The long hours do take a toll though. Night shift is never pleasant, no matter how you look at it. The body naturally wants to sleep at night, no matter how much rest you get during the day. On my days off, I stick to my night shift schedule, but I miss spending quality time with my family. This is a temporary sacrifice. At least I'm getting home at least twice a week, and sometimes 4 days out of my 5 day work schedule. Still, it's basically work, recuperate, and being up at night during my two days off. Eventually I'll get my day run. At least I"m earning a great living for my family.

I'm not sure how many followers I have on this post, so I don't know if I'll put the time into writing some of the tutorials on linehaul trucking that I was planning, e.g. hooking up a set of doubles. I have limited time at home, so I'll only put the time into writing if I know somebody will benefit from it. As of now, I think I've written about as much as I could to show a glimpse into the LTL sector of trucking.

My reason for starting this thread was to bring some exposure to an often overlooked area of the trucking industry, especially for new drivers. Times have changed and these LTL companies will hire students now - just like what I experienced. More important than experience is location - you have to be near an LTL company terminal. I'm more than happy to continue to answer any questions anybody might have on LTL trucking, especially linehaul.

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.

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
ButtonUp's Comment
member avatar

Wow...

After reading your thread, I started thinking... sounds a lot like what I am doing, but my job description was "dedicated floater home daily." But, after taking a closer look at my checks, I am paid a line haul rate. So really, it's a line haul job! The only thing is that since I am a "floater," I do occasionally have to pick up or deliver at a customer... but, it's rare. Also, if I run a lane that's not my usual lane, it pays less, so it's not a fixed rate of pay, it depends on what the lane pays, which kinda stinks.

Glad to hear you're makin' it happen for you and yours!

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.
Woody's Comment
member avatar

Some LTL companies make it really difficult for new company drivers, even if they had years of OTR experience. Unless they changed, YRC (formerly Yellow and Roadway) makes their new drivers stay by the phone, waiting for loads. They are on the extraboard, and until they get enough seniority to bid on a set schedule, they are also on call. Mistakenly, some people think that all LTL companies operate this way, and they never bother looking into an LTL job for fear of being on call for a year or more before they can earn steady income. Sadly, new drivers or those on the extraboard are also the first to get laid off. I'm not saying that YRC is a bad company to work for, I'm just relaying the facts - unless they changed.

Wow great thread 6, I've just started reading it and will try to get through more of it later. Since I work for YRC just wanted to clarify some of the info. Yes when your on the extra board you will be on call, but you decide when your available time starts. So if I come to my home terminal before I would leave I fill out a card that gives a time Im available to come back out. Once this time is reached I am on call so they might call as soon as I plugged for or it could be anytime thereafter. Once available for a certain number of hours, sorry dont know the exact number off the top of my head, I could call and plug for another time later to know that I can not be called until that time if that makes any sense. When on the road you are available as soon as your 10 hr break is up. If they have not called you back out before 14 hrs you go on the clock and are getting paid to wait for them to send you back out.

Bids are by seniority, but some how I was able to get a bid run while I was still in training. Granted some drivers may have been less than thrilled that a guy with 3 weeks experience got a bid but I guess they should have called in like I did LOL.

We are bidding again this coming Monday and will probably move to the xtra board. They increased our number of bids but I may not take one even if available. Being on the xtra board I could change what days I'm off if I want. Working an Xtra board does take a little experience. If you know when to plug you will have little trouble getting out.

Again great thread man! Thanks for bringing some attention to an often overlooked part of trucking.

Woody

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Wow...

After reading your thread, I started thinking... sounds a lot like what I am doing, but my job description was "dedicated floater home daily." But, after taking a closer look at my checks, I am paid a line haul rate. So really, it's a line haul job! The only thing is that since I am a "floater," I do occasionally have to pick up or deliver at a customer... but, it's rare. Also, if I run a lane that's not my usual lane, it pays less, so it's not a fixed rate of pay, it depends on what the lane pays, which kinda stinks.

Glad to hear you're makin' it happen for you and yours!

Thanks for taking the time to read, glad you enjoyed it. I'm taking it you're enjoying your gig too? It's great to be home frequently w/ a family. Best wishes to you buddy.

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.
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