Here's What I'm Up To Now

Topic 22689 | Page 1

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Daniel B.'s Comment
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Don't go on here nearly as much as I used to but I'm still trucking (and always will be).

About a year ago I quit my tanker gig and it has been the best decision I have ever made in regards to trucking. I wasn't happy doing that job (sometimes I let my frustration show on here, for that I apologize).

I left OTR in hopes of getting my life back but I lost it more than ever on that tanker job. I worked 6pm-6am on a rotating schedule so my days off were never the same. We worked weekends, holidays, and nights and as much as 65 hours per week. 65 hours was easy for me OTR, but on a local physical job 65 hours is brutal especially on a night shift.

Each facility we loaded in had their own, different expectations and policies. Its an extremely dangerous and difficult job to learn. The pay used to be the best in the industry when Arco (BP) and Chevron had their own fleets but they sold their work to carriers. The pay dropped from a six figure salary to about 55 gross. My first year I made $23/hr and grossed $52,000, my second year I made $25/hr and grossed $62,000 and there wasn't much more to make. In those 2 years I had 2 coworkers die on the job. Every night was a struggle with druggies approaching me with a cigarette in their hand asking me for money or people driving recklessly and way too close to my work area.

I just really wasn't happy. I really wanted more of a "normal" life and I felt the job was turning me into a person I didn't want to be.

So with 5 years of experience back then (3 OTR, 2 local gas tanker) I began my search for my next job.

Luckily, I got blessed with exactly what I wanted. I now happily work at Old Dominion and you couldn't drag me away.

I opted for city driving as I think Linehaul is far too boring. Being a city driver we have every weekend, holiday, and OD even gives you your birthday off. The pay starts at $23.50-$25.00/hr depending on experience and tops at $28.73/hr and has risen every year for the past 5 years. I average 53 hours per week with the option to work Saturday for the extra pay.

It took 8 months, but I finally landed myself a route. So I deliver to the same areas everyday and go to the same shippers. My route uses a 48' trailer with a liftgate. There's a few tight places on my route but once you've been there a few times you know the drill.

Its the best work/life balance job I have ever seen in this industry while still making a good salary. Me and my wife now both work the same schedules, both have weekends off and both attend church on Sunday just like I have hoped for.

So that's where I'm at. I love this industry and don't see myself doing anything else.

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.

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.
∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
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That sounds like a great gig. Happy for you!

Daniel B.'s Comment
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Forgot to mention, my shift is 0700-1800. Banker hours!

Splitter's Comment
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Glad you found such a great gig Daniel. Thank you for sharing your struggles & your glory. Hope it continues to be a safe & happy endeavor for you. Also thank you for taking the time to create your pretrip!! Helped me in ways you couldn’t imagine. I screwed up my backing & road test but aced my pretrip!!

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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I started Linehaul in September with Old Dominion and so far have been very happy I had 2 months experience with another company when I got this job. They started me at 57 cpm or $25 per hour when doing shuttles no having to find or deal with customers, I prefer the routine of going to the same terminals, although I turned down my own run to stay on the extra board so it can very as to where I go everyday. In my first full year driving I am on pace to make $70,000 while working in the 50 something hour range most weeks.

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.

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.

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
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Thanks for the update Daniel. Glad all is well. I have heard nothing but good things about ODFL. They are one of my top choices for local when I'm ready for that.

Jeremy C.'s Comment
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Glad you found such a great gig Daniel. Thank you for sharing your struggles & your glory. Hope it continues to be a safe & happy endeavor for you. Also thank you for taking the time to create your pretrip!! Helped me in ways you couldn’t imagine. I screwed up my backing & road test but aced my pretrip!!

Same here! I will never be able to thank you enough for that PTI guide. I tanked both the backing and driving tests my first time out. But aced that PTI on the first try!

Not to mention, your recent experience with OD gives me hope. I think driving a big rig down the highway might just be the coolest job on the planet! But the time away from family is really beating me over the head right now. Thought I was more prepared for it, but I guess it takes some more getting used to.

This company took a huge chance on me, and they've simply treated me like a rockstar since I hit the payroll, so giving them back a year (10 months on contract) of service seems like the least I can do. And maybe I'll feel different in a year.

But for now (even being guided by gratitide) my sights are already shifting toward next year and being able to spend more time at home. So, many thanks to ya for providing a glimpse of hope!

Pete B.'s Comment
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Daniel, congratulations on finding something that you and your wife are happy with. I have a friend who used to be a suit with Old Dominion; nothing but good things about that company!

Rob T.'s Comment
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Does Health insurance start after 90 days or are they one of those companies that offer it day 1?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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