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LTL Trucking - My linehaul job

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6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Hey 6 String,

I saw, in another thread, that you initially decided to go with Crete right out of school, even with an LTL offer on the table, but then, obviously, changed your mind. You had cited quality of home time as your reason for preferring to go OTR over LTL. I won't restate all of your reasoning... but it seemed sound to me. I'm just wondering if you think your original assessment was correct regarding the quality of your hometime driving linehaul at night vs. what it might have been driving otr. The reason I ask... I also have a family and hometime is very important to me, too.

Hey Indiana, I remember you. I'm happy to offer my experiences.

I'll cover my thoughts on hometime. You don't know what you don't know, and even after I've had a small amount of experience being on the road for 3-4 days at a time, I still don't know what it's like to be out as an OTR driver or even regional truckload driver. I won't presume to think I know what it's like to be an OTR or regional truckload driver. Even though most regional runs might be out for just a few days longer than I was, it's still a different animal compared to what I was doing. I had it relatively easy in regard to hometime - still do.

I say all that because while I was out for a few days at a time, my job was probably less stressful than a typical regional driver. I would take notice of the other drivers while I was out doing my runs. I would see the drivers trying to find a spot at the truck stop to park and rest, while I was just fueling up and leaving. I had the luxury of sleeping at company paid hotels rooms with my own bathroom and shower. I also didn't have to deal with shippers and receivers, and got to a point where I knew how to get to all of my destinations, even without a map. All of these points reflect the potential stress that drivers go through while being away from home. Everybody manages stress differently. In the beginning of my job, there were times that I wanted to quit. One of the only things that got me through it was knowing that I would be home soon. I can only imagine what it would be like as a new driver, away from home for much longer than I was, and trying to cope with all the stress. I suppose if I was OTR, I would've already had in my mind that I wouldn't be home any time soon, and would've found another way to help me cope with the stress and isolation. At the end of the day, most of us are doing this for our families, and that sacrifice is what keeps me going a lot of the time - I'm sure I'm not the only one that thinks that way.

When I first started with my linehaul job I was out for a max of 4 days out of a 5 day work week. This might have happened twice when I had that schedule. Usually, I wound up only being out for 3 days on average. But the days I was home, it was eat - sleep - quick kiss to the family and off to work again, rinse and repeat. My two days off a week were nice, but in order to keep my body on a consistent schedule, I stayed on my night shift sleep pattern even when I was at home. Some drivers can flip their sleep schedule - I cannot. I tried. Driving at night is a tough thing, you've got a lot of things working against you while you're trying to be alert and safe. I could probably flip my schedule if I worked nights and didn't have a driving position, but there's nothing fun about trying to drive while being tired - it's dangerous. So, even on my two days off, I only really had the morning and evening with my family. When I had that brief stint of running days temporarily, it was a totally different experience. Loved it. Home every day, off two days a week, slept at night with my wife.

Now, I'm back on nights for probably 6 months. I'm home daily, off two days a week, but you can see that the quality of hometime is debatable, being that I'm on night shift. Days would be a completely different story, and getting a day run is our ultimate goal as a family.

I went into a lot of seemingly unrelated topics in regard to hometime but hopefully you can see how they all work together. Driving is a stressful job, and even if you're only home for a brief amount of time on a regular basis, it helps that at least you're home for a little bit. Night shift is a whole different animal than day driving, and when you don't have the choice but to run nights, then you have to consider how that affects your time off when you're not working, i.e. if you have to stay on a night shift schedule to keep your body in check.

I'd have to say that I made the right decision for our family in picking my LTL company over going with Crete. Nothing against Crete. I'm well paid for the grueling schedule that linehaul can present. And being home every day, even for just breakfast together with the family and a hug and kiss when I'm heading out the door in the evening, is better than long distance phone calls from a truck stop full of strangers in a different part of the country. OTR drivers might have more freedom in how they run and might not have to push so hard, but they have their own stress to deal with. I do envy them for having a few days off in a row, but it's really not much more than what I have two days a week, and they have to work much longer away from home to get their extra few days off a month.

Wow...running out of characters. I'll continue...

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.

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.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

... continued.

Ultimately, you cannot even begin to compare the hometime with a day time linehaul position vs OTR. I suppose it'd be the same for a day time P&D gig or any local delivery. When I was covering that day schedule for a brief month and half, I would work a 12 hour day on average, but I was at home every night in bed with my wife, and spent two entire days a week with my family at home. Yep, 12-14 hour days can be taxing, but with linehaul you get paid some of the highest wages in the entire trucking industry. I'll most certainly break 70k my rookie year, and most guys at my terminal are at least hitting 80k. Drivers that have the longer runs are hitting 100k+.

And then you have the holidays. Not every company will do this, but I was paid to eat turkey on Thanksgiving with my family. We have 6 paid holidays a year, not including our birthdays. So, not only do we definitely get home for the holidays, we get paid to be home - over $20 per hour for 9 hours a day.

In my opinion, I work for the best LTL company in the business. I'd never complain about working 12 hour days while having a day time linehaul run, getting home every night, having two days off a week. But it's the day time schedule that makes it worth while for me. Working like a dog throughout the week, I need those two days off to be at home with my family. Running nights, I don't really get that, so a night time linehaul job really does make me wonder about a regional truckload or OTR gig. If I couldn't get a day time linehaul job, I'd strongly consider OTR or regional driving.

I don't regret my decision at all - except when I'm doing a night schedule ... shocked.pngsmile.gif

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

This thread has garnered more attention recently, so I think I will carry on with a descriptive process of how to hook and break a double bottom rig. There are countless resources out there to describe how to hook and break a double set, but I know that until I did it in person, the diagrams and language used didn't quite paint the entire picture for me. I'll do my best to try and post photographs with annotation. I think that posting pictures will greatly improve the worth of taking the time to post a description of the process. In the meantime, following is an overview.

When hooking and breaking a set of doubles , every driver has their own routine. Like doing a pre-trip, establishing a routine is important so that necessary steps and actions aren't forgotten or skipped. A double bottom rig has more equipment, more connections, and more potential issues that can happen. Rather than just dealing with one set of air line connections in a typical tractor trailer combo, you have three with a set of doubles - tractor to lead trailer, lead to dolly, dolly to tail trailer. The potential for air leaks is magnified, so is the possibility of an equipment malfunction. You also have two 5th wheels to be concerned with.

When I first started driving doubles, it took me at least an hour to hook my set and do a pre-trip. Most drivers I know can do it in about 1/2 hour, that's how long it takes me now, as long as I can easily find and spot my trailers when hooking my set. There are tricks and tips of the trade when maneuvering your dolly when building your set, and planning ahead in a terminal yard to have room to break a set. One thing nice about pulling pups, is that you can really turn those suckers on a dime. After having experience with 53' and 48' trailers, you'll find that when backing up a single pup trailer they can really get away from you fast. Their response time is exaggerated compared to a longer trailer. It's been about 4 months since I've pulled a longer trailer, and I'm sure it'd take me some practice to get used to maneuvering something longer than a pup.

Some key things that you have to concern yourself with when hooking a set of doubles are:

1. A tug test every time you hook a trailer, whether just your lead when spotting in front of your dolly and tail trailer, or the whole rig once you connect your dolly to your tail trailer.

2. Making sure all your air line connections are secure and not leaking. Tractor to lead trailer, lead to dolly, dolly to tail, and making sure the air line connections on your tail trailer are in the closed position.

3. Making sure the chain is secured from your dolly to the lead trailer.

4. Making sure the pintle hook is closed and fastened from your lead to your dolly.

5. Making sure the air lines are open from your lead to the rest of your rig.

6. Making sure the pet **** valve is in the correct position on your dolly so that the dolly brakes are released and the air is charging the system and not leaking. I know from past experience that the software on this forum is going to block out the word following "pet," so for those of you who don't know what I'm trying to write, it's a four letter word that rhymes with rock, but with a "c" instead of the "r." No, I'm not swearing, that's the terminology for that component on the dolly.

The key thing when breaking a set is to make sure the pet **** valve is in the correct position on the dolly to drain the air, this will also enable you to more easily pull the latch on the fifth wheel of the dolly. Landing gear on the tail trailer should be lowered. Air line connections on the lead trailer need to be closed off. The air lines can be removed from the dolly to the tail, lead trailer to the dolly. NEVER attempt to open the pintle hook latch on the lead trailer connecting the dolly without dropping the tail trailer first. Otherwise, the weight of the tail trailer can force the dolly up and cause severe injury. It would be like a deadly seesaw affect.

That was just a brief overview of some steps when hooking and breaking a set. I'll try and take photographs and give a step by step process in the future.

One more thing I'd like to offer to all you drivers out there pulling just a single trailer. Be kind to drivers pulling doubles in rest areas and truck stops. We can't back our rigs more than a few feet, otherwise the dolly gets jumbled up and the whole set will twist and turn. This is why double bottom rigs are usually parked so that the drivers can easily just pull forward. Every driver of doubles is concerned with getting 'trapped' in a rest area. We pull in, so that we can just pull forward to get out. So don't think we're lazy because we don't back in - we can't.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Indy's Comment
member avatar

Thanks 6 String for that thorough response and for continuing to share your experience here ... much appreciated! Couple more questions, if you don't mind... 1) Would you go P&D if given the opportunity? 2) I will be 48 (fit for my age) next summer when I start CDL school, and I know that is not too old by industry standards in general, but what about the LTL sector... have you seen any rookies my age get hired at your company?

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

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.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Thanks 6 String for that thorough response and for continuing to share your experience here ... much appreciated! Couple more questions, if you don't mind... 1) Would you go P&D if given the opportunity? 2) I will be 48 (fit for my age) next summer when I start CDL school, and I know that is not too old by industry standards in general, but what about the LTL sector... have you seen any rookies my age get hired at your company?

The only way I'd consider going P&D is if I couldn't eventually get a day time linehaul schedule. The thing that most appeals to me about linehaul is open road driving, but more importantly, not dealing with shippers and receivers. It's not that I'm antisocial. I like that I don't have to navigate through a city, trying to find a new customer, and figuring out how to back my trailer into tough spots. Paperwork can be a hassle, and it seems that different customers require different things in regard to paperwork. Plus, all that stopping and going actually makes me tired. I like to just drive. Granted, I have to spot trailers in dock doors, but that's easy, comparatively speaking. Sometimes all I have to do is drop the entire set when doing a meet and turn. And, I don't have to touch or handle freight. I do enjoy meeting and speaking with people, so that was one part about P&D that I enjoyed. And I don't mind using a hand truck and moving some freight, the exercise is nice. I had to do P&D for 1 week as part of my overall training with the company so that's how I got my limited experience. All things considered, linehaul is just easier and simpler. Most P&D guys don't do linehaul because they don't like "long" distance driving, can't bear the thought of trudging through night shift, and with my company, P&D guys start out by being home daily.

Another thing to consider with P&D is that you make less, much less. A typical P&D driver might make around 55k. Average linehaul will start around 70k, on the low end.

Your age is not a factor. Whether P&D or linehaul, there are plenty of guys your age and older.

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.

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.

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.
Indy's Comment
member avatar

Thanks! I don't think I'd like P&D either. Like you, I want to drive the open road. With your schedule, I don't know where you get the time and energy to contribute so much to this site... but sure glad you do!

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.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Thanks! I don't think I'd like P&D either. Like you, I want to drive the open road. With your schedule, I don't know where you get the time and energy to contribute so much to this site... but sure glad you do!

LOL. I've been on vacation. Back to work later this week and the rapid posting will die off ... smile.gif

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.

Jon R.'s Comment
member avatar

I've been trying to follow some replies here ..w/ out making folks mad !!

But have done LTL , OTR / line haul . & instructing in past 34 yrs ,, Now just casual In the Northwest area pulling 53's ..

there is something to be said for All facetts for the new guys starting in the industry , with families "young kids" & wanting more home time than you get OTR , when I started in 1980 I was single after 1st divorce and 3 yr hitch in navy and loved the OTR experience before the CDL's ,,,in 87 I got married for 2nd time , so I got a chance to start diversifying ,, some hard core OTR guys wouldn't have it any other way ...Line haul drivers ( fed Ex / yellow / UPS ) same attitude for their choosen field .. many OTR co. wont hire a line haul OR LTL driver ..and VIse/ Versa ...cause of driving habits ... ( this after seeing companies hiring habits @ sage tech svcs, in caldwell Id. ) 2006-2011..did alot of councling w/ students ...

then some older drivers 40+ would work out well in a Line Haul position "coming from OTR " ...drop & hook and are in motel or back home every day ...rarely Breaking sets & OR hooking sets ...but in winter you WILL CHAIN " ALOT " ..I DID ! ""UNLESS ROADS ARE CLOSED ,,THE FREIGHT MUST GO THROUGH ! ""

now I just work 3-4 days a month ,,,health problems ! ......& relieve drivers wanting days off or out of hrs ..from Boise Id. to Seattle Wa. or Portland Or or ?? & back ....slip seat ..

BTW ...."Brett "...this is a GREAT Forum for newbies ..& experienced drivers ....good site !!!!!

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.

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.

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

Hey Jon, thanks for your comments. I don't see how any of those could make anybody mad, unless you're saving the juicy tidbits for later. good-luck-2.gif

Two things I'd like to comment on. OTR companies traditionally do want OTR experience, same with local companies wanting that magical OTR experience, but things have been changing in the industry. A lot of companies are now requesting "tractor trailer" experience, not necessarily OTR. Some major companies are even lowering their experience time from that 1 year mark, down to 3 months. JB Hunt is a perfect example. I recently rubbed elbows with a corporate guy from a local tanker company, and they will hire new drivers and train them. Tanker companies have famously had strict experience requirements in the past.

The other point you mentioned about the freight needing to be delivered is relatively true in regard to LTL. LTL companies keep very strict companies. But, my company has grown more lax in the past 5 years with running freight in inclement weather, icy roads being a big one that they'll use to determine if the run should be cancelled.

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

New Year's is a paid holiday for us. I was off on the evening of 12/31 for my paid holiday - keep in mind I'm night shift. But, I was also told that on New Year's Day, running was optional. I guess that's because most drivers got the actual day of New Year's for their paid holiday. Runs were available for volunteers, so I came in to work and grabbed a quick run. I took a load to a terminal 127 miles away. So it was a VERY short night - 254 miles. I came in shortly before 1800 hours, and after my run was done it was about 0130. Roughly 7.5 hours of work. I could've run as hard as I wanted to, but I just wanted an easy night.

Let's figure out how much I made.

127 miles * 2 = 254. I get paid .57 cpm , so that's $144.78.

Accessory pay for all drop and hooks, plus fueling, is $1.50 each. When hooking or breaking an entire set you get credit for 4 hooks and drops, respectively. One fuel is also $1.50. I hooked one set at my home terminal (4 hooks), broke that down at my destination (4 drops), hooked another set (4 hooks) and then just dropped the entire set (1 drop) without breaking it down when I returned back to my home terminal. After dropping the set at my home terminal I fueled the tractor (we have a couple fuel bays right in the yard). 8 hooks - 5 drops - 1 fuel. When handling each piece of equipment, trailer(s) and dolly, that counts towards your hooks and drops. I only got 5 drops because I only broke down one set. The set I grabbed from my destination was just dropped in its entirety at my home terminal. For our home terminal, all inbound sets are dropped in their entirety, and the yard jockeys break them down, so that only gives a driver 1 drop.

14 drop and hooks / fuel @ $1.50 each = $21.00

So, that's $165.78 for the night. Roughly $22 per hour, broken down hourly. That's including me pre-tripping the tractor before I even hooked my first set or grabbed my bills. On a shift where I might do a 540 mile run, if you broke it down hourly, it'd be around $30.00 an hour. Still, $165.78 a night would give me a weekly average gross of $825, if I did that 5 days a week. That's over $40k a year. Taken into consideration that most rookie OTR drivers might hope for $35k, while being away from home for weeks on end, I feel extremely blessed. Of course, that's because I wouldn't want to go OTR and be away from home. But if you look at it from the perspective of being compensated for your work, personally I believe it should be the other way around. OTR drivers sacrifice so much more. They should be compensated better.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

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.

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