LTL Trucking - My linehaul job

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6 string rhythm's Comment
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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.

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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

Hey Woody,

It's great to have other LTL'rs chime in about this part of the industry. Too many folks miss out on a great-paying, frequently home trucking job because a lot of ppl just don't know about LTL, or think it is still unreachable for a rookie - like the good old days. I"m glad you posted some company specific stuff for readers. Each LTL outfit does it a little differently, and has different terms. I'm gonna post a more detailed response when I get more time. As you know, running linehaul is a busy, busy schedule. smile.gif

Thanks again for posting brother.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

As luck would have it, today they have me doing local stuff. Thats how I have time to peruse the forum. Been sitting here almost three hours waiting to get unloaded. So today I'll make fifty bucks plus a. reduced miles rate for about 150 miles. This is only the fourth time this has happened in over two years. What stinks is now I am in a full size sleeper truck instead of a day cab or half sleeper, so running a couple local deliveries is a bigger pain in the tail.

But, yeah, I love my job. only 27.5 Years until I can retire from the company!

Hope I can make it until I am seventy.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

AJ D.'s Comment
member avatar

As luck would have it, today they have me doing local stuff. Thats how I have time to peruse the forum. Been sitting here almost three hours waiting to get unloaded. So today I'll make fifty bucks plus a. reduced miles rate for about 150 miles. This is only the fourth time this has happened in over two years. What stinks is now I am in a full size sleeper truck instead of a day cab or half sleeper, so running a couple local deliveries is a bigger pain in the tail.

But, yeah, I love my job. only 27.5 Years until I can retire from the company!

Hope I can make it until I am seventy.

70 is my target age for retirement (72 for maximum SS Draw?) ... My second and final career.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

ChaseOne's Comment
member avatar

Hey 6 string rhythm, I just want to let you know, I just read your whole thread, word for word. Loved every minute I spent reading your very imformative posts. Please continue writing and contributing to this forum. (You are a very good writer) I have recently received my CDL Permit and look forward to my truck driving career to start in June 2015 because of family obligations. Since reading "How to Make $65 -$95,000 Driving a Truck and be Home Every Day", I have decided to pursue all of the LTL companies in my area. I have submitted a couple applications and received some good response to my supprise. The more I read of your posts, the more I have concluded the LTL life is for me. Please keep your updates/posts coming because I will read every word.

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.

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

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for your feedback The Closer. I figured I'd give the thread a rest, but if there's some interest, I'd be happy to continue to add anything that might be useful. If even one person gained something from the thread, then I'd be happy. My main motivation has always been to spread the word about the LTL sector of the industry, because I know there are other folks out there like me, that need to maximize their income while being at home as much as possible.

I suppose I could try and pick up where I left off, by talking about where I'm at right now with my linehaul job. We have our re-bid coming up shortly, and all the drivers get to bid on runs / schedules according to seniority. I started as a night wild bag driver, which means that I had to stay out for possibly 4 days out of my 5 day work week. Different LTL companies might have different terminology, but basically as a night wild bag driver, I worked nights, didn't have a set run (wild), and had to possibly lay over at hotels for 4 days out of my 5 day work week (bag out). Other LTL companies might call their wild drivers "extras," or that they run the extraboard. It's all pretty much the same thing, just different wording.

I started solo towards the end of August, and in October, was offered a day wild turn, just until the end of December when the new schedules start after the re-bid. We bid every 6 months by the way. Day wild turn, means I work days, cover for schedules and don't have my own run (wild), but I always come home and don't have to stay out (turn, meaning always turn back to my home terminal).

The new day wild turn allowed me to have about the most normal life a linehaul driver can have. Granted, the hours have still been long (12-14 hour days), but I got to sleep at night with my wife, and have two days off with my family. I had two days off before when running nights, but always slept during the day time, even on my two days off. Some night drivers can flip their schedules. I tried, and it didn't work. I had to maintain my night schedule even on the days off. This meant that I still didn't get to see my family much, since I slept all day on my two day weekend, and then was up by myself in the middle of the night. Might as well have been working. It was still downtime, but my family is what keeps me going, and I value my time with them.

So, coming up in a few weeks, I might have to go back to running nights. It's a sacrifice for getting paid well running linehaul. The day wild turn was only temporary. Typically, at my terminal , day schedules don't become available till you have about 2 years worth of seniority. But, you never know. I have a big home terminal, and we are growing.

I'll let everybody know what kind of schedule I wind up getting. My linehaul manager told me that the day schedule I currently have would more than likely get gobbled up this coming re-bid, but that I probably should at least be able to get a night wild turn schedule, so that I"m not having to stay out or be a bag driver anymore. We'll see...

It was nice to have Thanksgiving at home. I got paid for eating turkey with my family, since my company doesn't run on Thanksgiving and it's a paid holiday. I got paid for 9 hours on Turkey Day, at over $20 an hour. Can't beat that. Better than being at a truck stop. Just another reason why it's worth the sacrifice to run nights and work long hours 5 days a week.

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

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Woody's Comment
member avatar

Good luck on the rebid 6, I hope you get something that fits what you need. Our bids came up a few weeks ago. There was still a couple available when it came to me but I decided to turn them down and try my hand at the extra board. For me I have found good and bad on both sides. I am not high enough yet to get a turn so I would have had another lay down. It was nice knowing what time I had to start but I did 3 lay downs a week which had me in the truck at least a few hours every day. I also live about an hour away from my terminal so if I can get out for 2 or 3 days at a time it saves me gas money. Doing a turn bid where I live now would be tough on me both driving back and fourth after the long work days and feeding the gas tank.

I really missed being OTR and going to different places so I was hoping the extra board would be a little closer to what I enjoyed about trucking. So far I am much happier. I get to drive more during the day than I used to and I am in a lot more states. We are the same in that at most I am out for 3 beds and back on the 4th day, usually quicker than that. I can now take a couple days in a row off which is nice LOL.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Hey Woody! Great to hear that you got something you're happy with. I started having to bag out, or lay over as you're calling it, 4 out of 5 days. I got spoiled the past month and a half by running a day schedule. It was only temporary since I basically took over a schedule that needed filled. I'm about to post on the results of our bids and what I run I got.

Also, we've got guys at our terminal that are in the same boat you are. They have a pretty hefty commute, some a few hours away, and therefore choose to stay wild bag, or as you guys refer to as being on the extraboard. It didn't make sense for them to commute.

So, you're still on the extraboard then, which means you have a few lay overs a week?

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.

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.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Schedule Update:

Well, the bids have concluded. I very narrowly escaped from having to go back to being a night wild bag driver. For those just joining, night wild bag means: night shift, not having a set run, and having to possibly stay out at hotels for 4 out of a 5 day work week. Again, some other LTL companies refer to it as being on the 'extraboard.' Same thing, different wording.

I wound up being able to choose a scheduled run. Downside is that it's nightshift again, upside is that I know where I'm going every night and I always start at the same time, but more importantly, I get to continue to come home every day and have two days off. No being wild, no having to stay out at hotels.

It might be a few years until I can see a day run. But, I already have enough seniority that I'll never have to stay out away from home again. Everybody has to pay their dues.

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Jon R.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello everybody! I know this is mainly an OTR forum, and since I don't think LTL trucking gets enough attention, especially as a potential option for new drivers, I will be posting my experience as a linehaul driver for a major LTL trucking company. To my knowledge, I've seen two other members recently commenting about their LTL jobs. Originally I was planning on going OTR, then an LTL company offered me a linehaul position - very rare for a student driver. Up until yesterday, I was planning on still going OTR. After a recent, very in depth conversation with my wife, we both decided that the linehaul job was too good an offer to pass up on, and that it would be best for our family.

I already took my road test, drug test, and had my interview with the linehaul manager. So, this Monday the 28th, I'll officially be hired and start training. Please, if anybody has any questions or comments along the way, be sure to jump in!

To start, training is 4 weeks long. I'll earn $20.65 an hour, and was told to expect 11-12 hours a day, M-F. I'll go home each day and have Sat & Sun off. Last 3 weeks of training will be all driving. I'll start at .55 cpm after I go solo, should be around the first week of September. It's a Wed-Sun linehaul position, out 5 days, home for two.

More to come...

Hi ...I did OTR initially from 1980 class 1 calif. license ( refer / tank / dry / before CDL OR endorsements were reqd. ) ...so in 1990 so I could be home got daily ,,and got married (2nd time ) as well I diversified to doubles /tripples w/ yellow in boise Id ,,to portland or ...extra board ) then fredmeyers team ( tripples out of nampa id ) to port or to SLC , Ut. for 2 yrs ,,and other co.'s for 8 more yrs ...) got tired of that ( got divorced went back OTR ) then did some flat bed for 10 yrs ... now went back to refer ( temp controlled ) and made $18.65 + bennies .. drop & hook ....since then I've become crane certified ( worked for a power co ) / federally cert. CDL instructor ...you can never learn too or become to qualified to do too much .....NEVER LIMIT YOUR SELF >>>>!!!

it's great to diversify & looks XLNT ON YOUR RESUME ! ....

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.

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.

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.

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

Hey Jon, you've got quite a diverse background, that's for sure! I hope to just stay with my first company - one and done.

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