LTL Trucking - My Linehaul Job

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WATERBOY's Comment
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Im starting with old diminion myself now would you rather line haul or do local or should i say what makes more and wats the differance how does line haul work

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.
6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Im starting with old diminion myself now would you rather line haul or do local or should i say what makes more and wats the differance how does line haul work

Congrats on your fantastic opportunity!

So, you have the option to go either linehaul or city? To answer your question, linehaul makes more. Linehaul requires night driving, and longer distances than P&D.

How does linehaul work? You go from terminal to terminal, or meet point to meet point. No touching the freight. All drop and hook. Pulling doubles. Paid by the mile. Mostly, if not all night driving. Not sure if that answers your question about how linehaul works - it was a vague question.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Jon R.'s Comment
member avatar

Congrats on the find there , the last line haul I did was in 2003-04 ,,I did local out of Boise Id. (ETC espenscheid N.salt lake Ut.) then did line haul from Boise id, to snowville Ut , or tremonton Ut. and drop & hook & return to boise ,Id .. (the hardest part was conditioning my body clock to driving all night , and sleeping all day ,) and an occational drop a box & hook a box at another facility , but prior to that I did line haul for 12 yrs for various companies ,, tripples / quads in nevada (only state that allowed it in the 80's with a 150 ft permit . (Reno Nv. to Las Vegas Nv. )on hwy 95 for system 99.. but I loved it ... still would if I could find a co. to hire me as a casual driver ..

now a days it's better than OTR "48 states", comparing what OTR has become ...

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.
Mark J.'s Comment
member avatar

I think that about completes it for linehaul , as I covered what the schedule would be like, and the job. I'll do the same for P&D , based on my research and chatting w/ experienced drivers. Before moving to P&D, I'd like to comment on a few other concepts from the LTL world.

The Extraboard / flexboard & Seniority

This varies from LTL company to company, but the concept is pretty much the same. Related to the idea of an extraboard is seniority, so we'll cover that as well. Extraboard is usually where drivers who don't have a set schedule are placed. They are typically new drivers, or perhaps they moved from the linehaul side to the P&D side ( and vice versa) within the same company and lost their seniority. Some companies run a single board for both linehaul and P&D drivers, some have separate boards. If a driver wants to move over to P&D, they might lose their seniority and have to start again as a fill-in with linehaul - this would be if a company runs two boards.

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.

For some LTL companies, a driver can't even bid on a linehaul job until they pay their dues as a P&D driver, these companies usually don't hire linehaul drivers off the street. Some LTL companies will hire drivers off the street for a linehaul position, but they will be on the extraboard until they can bid on a set schedule. The linehaul position I accepted is with a company that does hire off the street, but I will be on the extraboard. Thankfully, my LTL company has seen tremendous growth, and is hiring for lack of drivers due to company growth and retirement, not because of driver dissatisfaction and turn-over. I don't have to worry about being laid off, and I don't have to be on call. My home terminal is a breakbulk terminal, which means they are responsible for breaking up and distributing freight for the whole North East within the company. Therefore, they have a high demand for linehaul drivers. I will cover for drivers being on vacation, and take freight where it needs to go. Hence, I'll be out 5 days a week because I could go to Maine for one drop off, where they might need me to then go to New Jersey for another.

Back to seniority, it is gained only when other drivers are hired beneath you. THe more seniority, the greater chance that when you're going up against another driver to bid on a schedule, you'll get that bid. My company uses the seniority system to bid on schedules, but then balances that out with dispatching on a first come, first serve basis. That way, the 'better' or longer runs are given to those who show up at the terminal earliest. With my company, some drivers choose to remain "solo wild," or stay on the extraboard, because they have a greater earning potential, especially on a Wed-Sun schedule.

I should also mention that in the LTL world there are unions. Not every LTL company has a union, but most do.

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.

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.

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.

Mark J.'s Comment
member avatar

Awesome information. Thank you for taking the time to write this up.

I am a new reader to this site. I am contemplating trucking as a second career for me. I had never even heard about the LTL option before reading this I don't think I've even seen them listed on a website as a category for drivers to pursue. Thanks a lot. I am looking to replace lost income, and even though trucking will not replace what I formerly made I am interested in how to maximize income potential even at the expense of losing some of the oft cited reasons that people enjoy the trucking lifestyles. So, if you apply for a job with a company do you have to ask if they even have LTL opportunities?

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
Tyler Durden's Comment
member avatar

Just wanted to say thank you to six string for all your help and insight. I also sent you a pm and hope that is ok. Look forward to reading any more you have to offer

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

I had never even heard about the LTL option before reading this I don't think I've even seen them listed on a website as a category for drivers to pursue. ... So, if you apply for a job with a company do you have to ask if they even have LTL opportunities?

If you're referring to this website, I believe the moderator / owner is cautious about encouraging LTL as an option for new drivers because these opportunities can be somewhat limited, depending on where you live.

If you're interested in LTL, you'll want to apply to LTL companies. Applying to a truckload company, e.g. Prime Inc, and then asking for LTL positions isn't really how it works. Some truckload companies do have LTL opportunities, but you won't be paid like you would at a company that is strictly LTL. You want to apply to a company that specializes in LTL freight.

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
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
If you're referring to this website, I believe the moderator / owner is cautious about encouraging LTL as an option for new drivers because these opportunities can be somewhat limited, depending on where you live.

I'll tell you how limited they are. You are still the one and only driver I have heard from in 8 1/2 years of running this website that landed an LTL job their rookie year. We'll get almost 4 million visits from over 2.5 million unique visitors this year alone. Total tally of LTL jobs landed by rookies: 1

One other driver landed a job with an LTL company but wound up doing P&D and that has gone very, very badly thus far and we haven't had an update in some time. It's not encouraging.

And besides, it's not just the near impossibility of landing one of those jobs that I'm concerned about. I also don't believe a rookie should be pulling a set of doubles , especially in the winter. I really don't want to see people coming out of school and diving into something like that. I'm obviously thrilled it's working out for you. But just the same there are people that have survived crash landings out of airplanes from thousands of feet in the air when their parachute didn't open but I wouldn't recommend anyone try that. Just because a small, select group has gotten away with it in the past doesn't mean anyone else should jump in line to give it a shot.

I also don't like the idea of rookies pulling a flatbed or tanker. But just like with LTL I don't strongly advise them to avoid it altogether. I just warn people that they're taking more risk than I'm comfortable with but it's their decision. The only thing in the industry I do strongly recommend people avoid altogether is buying or leasing a truck. That I'm 100% against simply because from a business standpoint it makes no sense.

Trucking is inherently dangerous as it is without me encouraging people to dive straight into some of the more dangerous jobs in trucking. I want to give people the very best chance of success I can so I try to steer them toward the major dry van and refrigerated companies. People have their entire lifetimes to make all the money they can make, assuming of course they don't ruin their career or get themselves killed getting in over their head their rookie year, ya know what I mean?

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.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Just wanted to say thank you to six string for all your help and insight. I also sent you a pm and hope that is ok. Look forward to reading any more you have to offer

No problem! I don't get on this forum as much anymore, but if I can think of anything else that would be fruitful to add to this thread, I'll certainly do so. I just passed my 1 year mark recently, and was thinking about updating the thread since I've gained more experience.

I can say this much, as long as I'm driving, I'll never wanna leave Old Dominion.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Brett, I hear everything you're saying, and understand why you're saying it. But I can tell you that 2 other people besides me have landed LTL gigs their rookie year, one of which you've already mentioned. That's 3 people, including myself, from this forum. A fourth just hired on with ODFL, and he had just passed his 1 year mark. Four people total from this forum have LTL gigs.

You might not hear of a lot of new drivers on this forum getting LTL jobs simply because this forum focuses more on truckload. But I can tell you from experience that the northeast in general is a great place to get hired on at an LTL company as a rookie driver. The opportunities are there. But it does have everything to do with location, as I've always preached. Location, and the size of the terminal , have everything to do with opportunity. Seeing that the northeast has the most dense population, obviously that's why it's easier to land an LTL job as a rookie driver in the northeast.

I'm by no means arguing with you. I just wanted to point out for the readers that I'm not the only one on this forum. I also know that this thread has generated a lot of interest from folks who otherwise would not have known about LTL as an option. That's important to me, because I know how much it means to my family that I'm home everyday and earn a great living. That's why it's important for me to spread the word. I almost went truckload, and while I'm not disrespecting those who have OTR jobs, LTL has allowed me to have a more 'normal' life as a family man. I've gotten plenty of private messages confirming that this thread has served its purpose. I also believe it is the responsible thing to remind folks that these LTL opportunities are pretty much related to location - which is what I'm always painstakingly careful to advise. I don't like misleading people. But if this thread has even helped just one family have their driver home more frequently, and with a higher income, then it has served its purpose in my eyes.

In regard to pulling doubles as a rookie driver, it's nothing to be afraid of, as long as you're properly trained. I understand your reasons for not encouraging a rookie driver to start off pulling a tank or doubles. It all boils down to training. Minimizing risk is wise, but to a certain degree, all trucking jobs are inherently dangerous.

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.

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.
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