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LTL Trucking - My linehaul job

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6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

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....signing on this thread. Will read asap and put forth the ole rookie questions.

Thanks for the info and time spent :)

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You got it!

I noticed your picture. I can see a board w/ a computer running a DAW on the screen, am I correct? I'm a 'retired' professional musician myself and have had a home studio for the better part of the last 10 years. Since I've gotten married and have children, I don't really have the time for it anymore. My last setup was a Logic Pro studio, w/ a MOTO interface, a couple keyboards, my drum kit, guitars, and basses. I wound up getting rid of a lot of my hardware, moving mainly to soft instruments, and then came full circle back to hardware ;) I mostly gigged as a drummer in a jazz outfit, but also play a little bass, guitar, and keyboards. You?

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You have me beaten on the talent friend. :) I'm just a recording engineer. I think you meant MOTU, as part of your rig.

I have run on just about every tape machine and console made. The digital bridge for me was RADAR on the way to Pro-Tools.

Now it is all Pro-Tools. I haven't smelled recording tape or aligned a recorder in years. The art is gone.

I talented writer can make a stunning record on a Mac laptop running Logic. Engineers are going the way of the Buggy Whip.

So here I am. Looking for the third and final phase of my life. Trucking seems pretty cool.

Yep, Mark Of The Unicorn - the "O" was a typo ;) And there's PLENTY of talent in being an engineer, but of course you know that! I tried my hand at PT a ways back, and Digital Performer made more sense to me. I've used a few, and really enjoyed Ableton Live, but settled on Logic.

Yes, a lot of one hit wonders are their own song-writers, engineers, and producers, all rolled into one, working up re-baked loops in their bedroom studios. Cynicism aside, it's amazing how much power any musician can have in just a desktop computer, and the freedom of non-destructive recording. I don't appreciate Cher's producer introducing that dreaded auto-tune effect as a production gimmick (that Believe tune a few years back was a Pandora's Box), especially since I hear it ALL the time now when I have to go grocery shopping or listen to a commercial in between ball games, but it is amazing what some plug-ins can do. I like that there's some musicians that still pick up an instrument and have honed their craft, but it's amazing what technology has given us.

Trucking seems like a fantastic meeting ground for an eclectic array of doctoral degree holders, bakers, retired law enforcement, medical professionals, travel enthusiasts, artists, philosophers, loners, gear heads, and somebody who just wants to support his/her family smile.gif

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

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Oh, and the most obvious of questions, what part did you play w/ that record?!

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I was the Tracking Engineer on Taylor's first record. We started out working with Liz Rose , Troy Vergas and Angelo as writer / producer types. She finally ended up working with Nathan Chapman, who was gracious enough to use some of recordings in the final product and give me credit. He magically reworked everything we did. He is a monster music cat.

Very cool!

AJ D.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

....signing on this thread. Will read asap and put forth the ole rookie questions.

Thanks for the info and time spent :)

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

You got it!

I noticed your picture. I can see a board w/ a computer running a DAW on the screen, am I correct? I'm a 'retired' professional musician myself and have had a home studio for the better part of the last 10 years. Since I've gotten married and have children, I don't really have the time for it anymore. My last setup was a Logic Pro studio, w/ a MOTO interface, a couple keyboards, my drum kit, guitars, and basses. I wound up getting rid of a lot of my hardware, moving mainly to soft instruments, and then came full circle back to hardware ;) I mostly gigged as a drummer in a jazz outfit, but also play a little bass, guitar, and keyboards. You?

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

You have me beaten on the talent friend. :) I'm just a recording engineer. I think you meant MOTU, as part of your rig.

I have run on just about every tape machine and console made. The digital bridge for me was RADAR on the way to Pro-Tools.

Now it is all Pro-Tools. I haven't smelled recording tape or aligned a recorder in years. The art is gone.

I talented writer can make a stunning record on a Mac laptop running Logic. Engineers are going the way of the Buggy Whip.

So here I am. Looking for the third and final phase of my life. Trucking seems pretty cool.

double-quotes-end.png

Yep, Mark Of The Unicorn - the "O" was a typo ;) And there's PLENTY of talent in being an engineer, but of course you know that! I tried my hand at PT a ways back, and Digital Performer made more sense to me. I've used a few, and really enjoyed Ableton Live, but settled on Logic.

Yes, a lot of one hit wonders are their own song-writers, engineers, and producers, all rolled into one, working up re-baked loops in their bedroom studios. Cynicism aside, it's amazing how much power any musician can have in just a desktop computer, and the freedom of non-destructive recording. I don't appreciate Cher's producer introducing that dreaded auto-tune effect as a production gimmick (that Believe tune a few years back was a Pandora's Box), especially since I hear it ALL the time now when I have to go grocery shopping or listen to a commercial in between ball games, but it is amazing what some plug-ins can do. I like that there's some musicians that still pick up an instrument and have honed their craft, but it's amazing what technology has given us.

Trucking seems like a fantastic meeting ground for an eclectic array of doctoral degree holders, bakers, retired law enforcement, medical professionals, travel enthusiasts, artists, philosophers, loners, gear heads, and somebody who just wants to support his/her family smile.gif

Indeed, I may have stumbled into the correct field for me. Lot's of people I could relate to. :)

I am just making sure I am on 100% before I ever step foot on a yard. Because, once I start something, it is very difficult for me to quit, even if I am hating it.

This site is the best ... I know exactly what I am getting into. No glamour, just I cool trade .

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Back to the topic at hand. I'll cover a little on how to get an LTL job.

Getting That LTL Trucking Job

You've already made the decision that OTR isn't for you, for whatever reason. Most folks choose LTL in order to get that local job, earn more than OTR (especially doing linehaul), and simply because the OTR life isn't for them. So, seeing that a lot of prospective drivers, student drivers, and rookies would love to make more money and be at home more often, why aren't these LTL jobs talked about more? Mainly, because they're hard to get. Most LTL companies require experience. If you don't wanna sling freight and do multiple stops at customer docks all day (P&D), then you'd wanna a linehaul gig, but some LTL companies keep those cherry jobs for their senior drivers and start the new guys on P&D. The other reason LTL jobs aren't in the forefront when a student driver's applying, is because a lot of them just don't advertise as aggressively as the truckload mega carriers - they really don't have to. Which brings up another point, LTL jobs are usually very competitive. A lot of drivers will look at an LTL gig as their career goal - I've seen it a lot on trucking forums from experienced drivers, and talking with experienced drivers in person. These LTL companies have a greater influx of experienced drivers that are looking to get out of OTR, they usually pay better than OTR, they have more frequent home time, and they are usually great companies to work for. The reason why linehaul gigs at most LTL companies can take years to get is because drivers don't really leave.

So you're asking, "how can I get one of these jobs?" It'll depend on a few things.

Location:

You're gonna have to be in a major freight lane and where the terminals are. Unlike OTR companies, LTL companies usually won't hire you if you're not near their terminals. You can live in the middle of Montana and get an OTR job, you might not be home very frequently, but you can get a job. To work at an LTL company, you'll need to go to the terminal for work. P&D is a local gig. Linehaul takes freight from one terminal to another. Even a regional linehaul gig, like mine, will have me start at my home terminal and then end up back at my home terminal. I live about 20 minutes away from my terminal. Location is crucial. Where there's one LTL company, there's usually another. I can think of at least 1/2 dozen LTL companies within a 30 minute drive from my house. I live in a major freight area.

Experience:

This whole thread is for newbs to LTL, or more specifically, student and rookie drivers - like me! So how can we get an LTL job if we have no experience? Because some LTL companies will hire you right out of school! Some LTL companies have an in-house program that will help you get your CDL A while you work for them. Con-way Freight and Old Dominion are two that come to mind. There might be others, you'll have to do your research.

But keep this in mind. One of the big things that differentiates LTL from OTR or truckload, is that their terminals have unique and varying hiring needs. Sure, an OTR company might not hire out of certain areas of the country, but these is pretty much across the board at all terminal locations. I've found that w/ LTL companies, unique opportunities can exist for one terminal that won't for another - and it could change as soon as positions are filled. I wouldn't have been able to land my linehaul gig at a different terminal than the one I live near, simply because my home terminal is a break-bulk terminal, which means they distribute their freight for the entire north eastern terminals, which means they need more linehaul drivers. AT the time of my hire, they didn't need P&D drivers, they were hiring for linhaul and combo drivers. Point being is that your local terminal will change in regard to its hiring needs. If they're not hiring at all, try again later. I've heard some guys wait for a year or more to get in w/ their LTL company of choice - and they have experience!

As a student driver, you will need to have your hazmat , doubles / triples, and tank endorsement. This is pretty much a must for all LTL companies. If you don't have them by the time you get your brand new CDL, some companies will allow you to get them within a certain time frame after hire. But don't rely on that - get your endorsements ASAP.

Some companies will still require experience - find the ones that hire students.

Persistence:

Yep - you'll need to try, try, and try again. Depending on your location, and your experience, these jobs are already hard to come by. If that LTL terminal isn't hiring, they will be eventually. As a student coming out of trucking school, you'll need as many pre-hires you can get. Have some OTR companies as back ups in case that LTL job you want isn't there for you. You might have to wait. Get some experience in the meantime.

Best of luck to you guys. For those that want an LTL job, I hope you can get it right out of school. I had one experienced driver tell me that I hit the equivalent of the power ball w/ my linehaul opportunity. I'll agree that I'm blessed. It seems that the stars have to aligned just right for some of these opportunities, but they're out there. Hopefully you live in an area that will present an opportunity for you.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

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

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

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

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

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

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.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Pre-hires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

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.

AJ D.'s Comment
member avatar

Back to the topic at hand. I'll cover a little on how to get an LTL job.

Getting That LTL Trucking Job

Experience:

But keep this in mind. One of the big things that differentiates LTL from OTR or truckload, is that their terminals have unique and varying hiring needs. Sure, an OTR company might not hire out of certain areas of the country, but these is pretty much across the board at all terminal locations. I've found that w/ LTL companies, unique opportunities can exist for one terminal that won't for another - and it could change as soon as positions are filled. I wouldn't have been able to land my linehaul gig at a different terminal than the one I live near, simply because my home terminal is a break-bulk terminal, which means they distribute their freight for the entire north eastern terminals, which means they need more linehaul drivers. AT the time of my hire, they didn't need P&D drivers, they were hiring for linhaul and combo drivers. Point being is that your local terminal will change in regard to its hiring needs. If they're not hiring at all, try again later. I've heard some guys wait for a year or more to get in w/ their LTL company of choice - and they have experience!

As a student driver, you will need to have your hazmat , doubles / triples, and tank endorsement. This is pretty much a must for all LTL companies. If you don't have them by the time you get your brand new CDL , some companies will allow you to get them within a certain time frame after hire. But don't rely on that - get your endorsements ASAP.

Some companies will still require experience - find the ones that hire students.

Persistence:

Yep - you'll need to try, try, and try again. Depending on your location, and your experience, these jobs are already hard to come by. If that LTL terminal isn't hiring, they will be eventually. As a student coming out of trucking school, you'll need as many pre-hires you can get. Have some OTR companies as back ups in case that LTL job you want isn't there for you. You might have to wait. Get some experience in the meantime.

Best of luck to you guys. For those that want an LTL job, I hope you can get it right out of school. I had one experienced driver tell me that I hit the equivalent of the power ball w/ my linehaul opportunity. I'll agree that I'm blessed. It seems that the stars have to aligned just right for some of these opportunities, but they're out there. Hopefully you live in an area that will present an opportunity for you.

Awesome info .... thanks for the time :)

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

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

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

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

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

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

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.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Pre-hires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thanks for the info, had no idea about LTL. Now I'm thinking of doing that when I get my cdl but OTR is still an option because it does sound fun.

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.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

I've been writing from an obvious bias in this thread. Depending on the purpose for writing, there's nothing wrong with a little bias, it's a reflection of what the author deems valuable and important. Just like anybody choosing a trucking job or company, why somebody chooses LTL over OTR is a personal, subjective matter. What's a good fit for somebody, might not be a good fit for another. You ask a dozen truckers if you should go OTR or LTL, you'll get mixed opinions ... I did. Actually, about 2/3 of my feedback came back as "you'd be crazy not to take that linehaul job!" rofl-3.gif

But I could understand the reasons for why that 1/3 of drivers chose OTR over LTL. Doesn't matter if I agreed or not, but I could appreciate why they choose to stay out 3-4 weeks at a time, even with a family, and potentially get paid less - it's what works for them, and what they want to do.

LTL works for my family, but there's a part of me that really wanted that OTR experience. Maybe I'll never get it, but that's OK. I'm going into trucking not only because I love to drive and have a fascination w/ big trucks, I need to support my family. Family is number one.

I'm going to kick off a list of pros for OTR compared to LTL, and will then have pros for LTL compared to OTR. Since the majority of the experienced drivers on here seem to be OTR or with truckload companies, I'd love to have you guys and gals chime in. This forum is geared towards prospective drivers, student drivers, and rookies. So is this thread. I'm just interested in presenting what I've researched and experienced in order for somebody else to perhaps make a better informed decision. Since my experience is pretty much zilch until I get rolling on Monday, and my experience will be limited to running linehaul for an LTL company, I'd love for those with perhaps OTR and LTL experience to chime in - that would be awesome! These lists will be generalizations, there's always exceptions to the norm.

Pros of OTR over LTL

1. You get your own assigned truck

2. You generally don't run as hard if you don't want to

3. The tractors usually have more amenities

4. You have a greater diversity in places you travel, which leads to a greater diversity of experiences

5. You can have a larger chunk of hometime, depending on how long you stay on the road

6. You have greater flexibility on when you choose to drive (nights vs days), depending on appointments

7. There are more job opportunities, and you can live pretty much anywhere in country

8. You can usually get by without tank, hazmat , or doubles/triples endorsements (some people really have an issue w/ giving their fingerprints to the feds!)

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

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

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

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

LTL carriers include:

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

OTR:

Over The Road

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

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.

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.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the info, had no idea about LTL. Now I'm thinking of doing that when I get my cdl but OTR is still an option because it does sound fun.

I totally hear what you're saying! If I was single and young, no doubt about it, I would've gone OTR in the beginning - at least to experience it.

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.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Oops, I just realized I worded something that could be misconstrued. I said that I chose LTL because first and foremost I need to support my family. I am not saying that somebody can't support a family doing OTR - far from it! I meant that for my family, we made a decision that LTL is better for us. Just wanted to be clear about that!

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

My following list for the pros of LTL over OTR will be based on comparing OTR (or regional OTR) with the linehaul part of LTL. There's a few reasons for this. Linehaul is more like OTR because of the exclusive driving, but also has a lot of the same benefits of P&D (like more frequent hometime). Linehaul pays more than P&D, and therefore will likely pay more than OTR, which is one of my points.

Pros of LTL (linehaul) over OTR

1. You will make more money. Maybe not the most important reason for somebody who chooses linehaul, but probably the most popular reason for why most people choose linehaul! I've shared on more than one occasion what I will be starting at, cpm-wise. This is not to gloat, but to show prospective drivers what they could also expect to get paid w/ an LTL company, running linehaul. This is important because everybody talks about a rookie driver making around 30-35K with OTR. You can expect more than that running linehaul. That option is potentially there for you. In fact, during my 4 week training w/ my company at $20.65 - if you stretched that out for 12 months, I'd be grossing over 40K - and that's just training wages. That's actually being conservative at 40 hour work weeks, and everybody knows an LTL driver doesn't just work a 40 hour work week, even during training! I was told to expect 11-12 hour training days.

Right after my 4 weeks of training, I will start solo at .55 cpm , and top out in two years at just above .57 cpm. So, you could see that with a very conservative average of 2K miles a week, I could be grossing over $50,000 my rookie year. Keep in mind that I will more than likely be running up against my 14 hours on a daily basis, and after I start becoming more proficient and getting more miles behind me during my 11 hours of legal drive time, I could conceivably hit close to 80K after I reach top pay. Linehaul pays. And my company isn't even one of the highest paying LTL companies.

2. You will get home more frequently, usually every day

3. You will work 5 days a week, having 2 off

4. With my company, not sure about other ones, holidays are not required, i.e. I'll be home for the holidays should I choose not to work

5. No waiting on shippers / receivers to get loaded and unloaded

6. You can expect the same run, day after day. Consistency means you won't get lost, need directions anymore, and will be familiar w/ your route (no surprise low bridges)

7. You won't really be bumping docks anymore, save for your terminals' docks

8. No sleeping at truck stops. You're in your own bed, or more than likely a hotel if you have to stay out for some reason - most linehaul trucks are daycabs.

9. You'll have plenty of miles. The downside is that you will run hard, very hard. More often than not, you'll stop running not because there aren't any loads, but because you don't have any hours left.

10. Unions - for some this is a plus, for others, not so much. Most LTL companies are union.

11. You won't touch the freight, at least with my company. No docks, no handling the freight. I"m hooking and unhooking sets, and driving - that's it. I'll also get paid for hooking and unhooking - how many truckload companies do that?

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.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

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