LTL Trucking - My Linehaul Job

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6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

The above lists were typical things that most drivers would say - for, or against OTR or LTL linehaul.

To sum up for me, on what I'd consider the pros of OTR: having my own truck, seeing the country, not running as hard as LTL linehaul , having a greater chunk of time off, when I get home.

To sum up for me, on what I'd consider the pros of LTL linehaul: better pay, more frequent hometime, the routine of going to the same place(s).

Which brings an interesting point on hometime. Frequency of hometime doesn't mean a greater quality of hometime. One of the cons of running linehaul is basically drivers are running and sleeping during their work week. They'll have two days off a week to have downtime and enjoy leisurely activities or family time. Even though OTR drivers won't get home as frequently, they could be home for a nice chunk of 4 days or more, depending on the company. Plus, they won't be running as hard while they're working, which means less overall exhaustion.

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.
AJ D.'s Comment
member avatar

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

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

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

More to come...

I can't immediately find what company you signed on with .....

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

AJ, pm sent

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Here's another thought in regard to a couple statements I made about the quality of hometime. Skip up a few posts and you'll see it. This is to sort of add a flip side to what I wrote above. Above I wrote how OTR gives drivers more chunks of hometime, and perhaps there's an argument that it's more quality hometime. Some drivers certainly see it that way, and it's why they choose OTR. OTR drivers don't have to run as hard on the road, and they have more chunks of hometime. Here's the flip side ...

Even though drivers might not run as hard (if they choose) while doing OTR, they have a lot of downtime on the road away from their family. A lot of unpaid downtime that is. One veteran driver, who now runs LTL linehaul , told me he wouldn't go back to OTR because "there's too much free truckin'." What he's referring to is the amount of time when the OTR driver is not getting paid. This is part of the job, and what you should expect AND accept when going into OTR trucking, because that's just how it is. If you go into OTR w/ the mindset that you're not getting paid for things you think you should get paid for, you'll be miserable and prone to complaining. Now some companies offer detention and breakdown pay, but it's nothing worth writing home about, and you still have to reach a certain threshold for when that pay starts.

The reality of it is that w/ OTR, you're living the lifestyle. You start comparing it to a 9-5 office job, where you get paid while at work or away from home, and you're setting yourself up to get bitter. This is one of the big pros of LTL over OTR, in regard to hometime and being away from home for the job - you're getting paid well, even though you're working hard while at work for those 12-14 hours, and then you come home.

Granted, like OTR I'm getting paid with my linehaul job when my truck is rolling, and my layover pay might be better than OTR but it's still not the same as running. But when I'm away from home, I'll be running hard. Some guys would prefer not to run so hard, to be able to chill out in their truck loaded w/ all the modern amenities and pace themselves, see new places while driving to appointments. Nothing wrong with that! Just not for me, especially when I have a family I'd rather be with. While OTR seems romantic, I'd rather work hard and then play hard. Work while on the road, come home exhausted from a good day's work during the week, and have my two days off.

l know there's lots of drivers that run very hard w/ their OTR gig - so no disrespect towards these drivers! My point for all the prospective drivers out there, is to consider that while you can run hard OTR should you choose to do so, there's still a lot more downtime w/ OTR, when you're not at home. You're still going to perhaps chase for that empty trailer around town or state, wait to get unloaded or loaded, wait for that load in general, be away from your own bed - most of this time you're not getting paid or you're paid very little. And if you're working for a company that only pays for loaded miles, then you're not getting paid when you're deadheading! You might be able to pace yourself, perhaps run 8 hours one day, 11 the next to meet that appointment time, get there early and sit, and then yes - you will have that downtime. This pacing and sitting is preferred by some drivers, especially when comparing it to the 12-14 hour days of LTL where the work week is working and recuperating.

To each their own. I"m just showing two different sides of the coin. Remember, I personally would've liked to have tried OTR, if I was young and single. And some LTL guys would think I was crazy for saying that! rofl-3.gif

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

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

LTL carriers include:

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

OTR:

Over The Road

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

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

AJ D.'s Comment
member avatar

Here's another thought in regard to a couple statements I made about the quality of hometime. Skip up a few posts and you'll see it. This is to sort of add a flip side to what I wrote above. Above I wrote how OTR gives drivers more chunks of hometime, and perhaps there's an argument that it's more quality hometime. Some drivers certainly see it that way, and it's why they choose OTR. OTR drivers don't have to run as hard on the road, and they have more chunks of hometime. Here's the flip side ...

Even though drivers might not run as hard (if they choose) while doing OTR, they have a lot of downtime on the road away from their family. A lot of unpaid downtime that is. One veteran driver, who now runs LTL linehaul , told me he wouldn't go back to OTR because "there's too much free truckin'." What he's referring to is the amount of time when the OTR driver is not getting paid. This is part of the job, and what you should expect AND accept when going into OTR trucking, because that's just how it is. If you go into OTR w/ the mindset that you're not getting paid for things you think you should get paid for, you'll be miserable and prone to complaining. Now some companies offer detention and breakdown pay, but it's nothing worth writing home about, and you still have to reach a certain threshold for when that pay starts.

The reality of it is that w/ OTR, you're living the lifestyle. You start comparing it to a 9-5 office job, where you get paid while at work or away from home, and you're setting yourself up to get bitter. This is one of the big pros of LTL over OTR, in regard to hometime and being away from home for the job - you're getting paid well, even though you're working hard while at work for those 12-14 hours, and then you come home.

Granted, like OTR I'm getting paid with my linehaul job when my truck is rolling, and my layover pay might be better than OTR but it's still not the same as running. But when I'm away from home, I'll be running hard. Some guys would prefer not to run so hard, to be able to chill out in their truck loaded w/ all the modern amenities and pace themselves, see new places while driving to appointments. Nothing wrong with that! Just not for me, especially when I have a family I'd rather be with. While OTR seems romantic, I'd rather work hard and then play hard. Work while on the road, come home exhausted from a good day's work during the week, and have my two days off.

l know there's lots of drivers that run very hard w/ their OTR gig - so no disrespect towards these drivers! My point for all the prospective drivers out there, is to consider that while you can run hard OTR should you choose to do so, there's still a lot more downtime w/ OTR, when you're not at home. You're still going to perhaps chase for that empty trailer around town or state, wait to get unloaded or loaded, wait for that load in general, be away from your own bed - most of this time you're not getting paid or you're paid very little. And if you're working for a company that only pays for loaded miles, then you're not getting paid when you're deadheading! You might be able to pace yourself, perhaps run 8 hours one day, 11 the next to meet that appointment time, get there early and sit, and then yes - you will have that downtime. This pacing and sitting is preferred by some drivers, especially when comparing it to the 12-14 hour days of LTL where the work week is working and recuperating.

To each their own. I"m just showing two different sides of the coin. Remember, I personally would've liked to have tried OTR, if I was young and single. And some LTL guys would think I was crazy for saying that! rofl-3.gif

It's amazing how much info you have gathered on both types of trucking.

It's hard to believe you are just starting out!! lol... How did you come across all this knowledge without being in the field ?

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

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

LTL carriers include:

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

OTR:

Over The Road

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

Linehaul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

It's amazing how much info you have gathered on both types of trucking.

It's hard to believe you are just starting out!! lol... How did you come across all this knowledge without being in the field ?

LOL. Lot's of reading, talking with drivers on the phone, meeting drivers at truck stops, and constantly thinking about options. As a stay-at-home-Dad, I used to take my toddler on road trips to terminals and truck stops, partly because I had no idea what to do with her anymore, partly because I wanted to soak it all up. I've been self-employed the past few years so I had the freedom to do this.

During my eight weeks at trucking school, I asked question upon question. My one instructor was a driver for 25 plus years. There's a lot of knowledge and wisdom to be gained from the internet forums and other drivers in person, if you can chew up the meat and spit out the bones. The positive and successful drivers who love their profession are almost always saying the same things, so are the complainers and slackers ;)

Keep in mind I've also been reading about trucking and researching for about three years. Much to the chagrin of my wife, I spent a lot of time on these forums, trying to educate myself with the facts and learn from others' experiences. I needed to see if this was the career for me and my family. My wife fully supports me, and that's a plus. I get to go drive a truck and be a man, she gets to stay at home and be a home-maker. We'll be like a typical 50's family, sort of like the Cleavers ... smile.gif

I'm happy to share all the info I've absorbed. It's threads like these, I hope, that might give prospective drivers the freedom of options.

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.

AJ D.'s Comment
member avatar

Wonderful.... I'll be absorbing all I can from you :)

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

6 string rhythm a few post ago you wondered why LTL trucking was not talked about that much and there is a reason I promise you.

Back when this site first started LTL was for experienced drivers only at the time. And since we were about helping people get started it was never given the attention it needed because there was no need. Everyone or almost everyone was new so that left out the LTL companies and we mainly concentrated on giving advice we had learned through years of driving and encouraging new people and guiding them the best way we could.

Then the website started to grow in 2009 and slowly our focus turned towards helping them get their cdl and the schooling and company listing came into being. Along with the application process.

Not long after High Road came alone and is still pretty much tops in my book. Even after 16 years of driving I used it to get my tanker and doubles/triples endorsements. Next will be my hazmat.

We figure, Brett and Mike did, that since schools were so fast paced why not help prepare people before they head off to school and do it for free. The first few days of schooling is permit preparation and it it was done before they got to school then a lot of the pressure would be removed. Yet I digress.

It was not until recently that LTL companies really started looking towards new drivers without experience but since the overwhelming majority of the drivers came here never brought up the subject it was not really looked into. And besides until recently no one here knew much about it now all at once, it seems like, you, Mountain Girl and myself seems to be starting this journey together in a way. While yall will be mostly or strictly LTL local or otr regional so that part is covered and I am otr LTL for an outside contractor. So most of the bases are covered I believe and it's from two different companies. I have hauled freight for both ABF and Conway and believe me though they do the same thing it's two different operations altogether.

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

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.

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.

Aaron Placencia's Comment
member avatar

Can't seem to find much of LTL in the Kentucky area.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

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

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

Can't seem to find much of LTL in the Kentucky area.

They're there Aaron. Just gotta do a quick search on Google. I found terminals / service centers for Estes and OD immediately. Lexington and Louisville are hub areas for these companies. There's sure to be more.

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
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