What Is The Holiday Season Like For Typical Trucker?

Topic 23912 | Page 1

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Todd Holmes's Comment
member avatar

The holiday season is upon us.

Do full-time American truckers generally get to be with family on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years?

I can imagine drivers are especially busy this time of year.

Anyway, happy holiday season 2018 to all here.

Jamie's Comment
member avatar

Although I'm new to trucking, my company Schneider tried to get drivers home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The only two holidays they recognize I believe. I know I took my home time a week before Thanksgiving and wasn't expecting to be home for Thanksgiving since you need to stay out a min of two weeks before requesting home time. But they routed me back to my home OC and gave me a day and a half off for Thanksgiving. Not sure how other companies do it.

Amish country's Comment
member avatar

Bring local I am home for the holidays. I could choose to work if something is available but not forced to go out. If i did work it's at a higher pay for work done and $100 for the holiday. A lot of our customers are closed holidays and sometimes the following day as well.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Todd, the holidays will be different for a lot of drivers. Very few trucking jobs have "paid holidays" like normal jobs do. Most over the road drivers will choose if they want to work or be home for various holidays. Sometimes we get extra pay for working on a holiday. My company (Knight) makes a great effort at getting people home for Thanksgiving if the driver wants to be home. They also offer a little incentive pay for working on that day. This year I went home for Thanksgiving but left Meridian, Mississippi at Midnight of Thanksgiving morning. That got me home in Texas around 0800. I spent four days with my family, and still got the extra incentive pay because I was driving on Thanksgiving day.

Christmas is a really busy time for both groceries and retail. Many drivers are needed during the rush of goods being purchased during the holiday season. This makes it an ideal time to run some good loads and earn some good money. There will always be drivers who choose to capitalize on the opportunities available, while others choose to take advantage of the time to see their families.

It is a busy time for drivers for sure. I actually have a unique situation. I'm a dedicated driver for an aluminum extrusion production plant in Delhi, Louisiana. They close down production at the plant each year from Christmas to New Years for facility maintenance. We are allowed to work if we want to and the company will find us some brokered loads to haul, but I always take advantage of that time and stay home for the week.

Over The Road:

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.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

For any Dedicated Retail accounts like Walmart, Target, Kohl’s...etc., October to the 2nd week of January is the busiest time of the year.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Since I do linehaul it's a little different for me, I was off Thursday night we get paid for the holiday at our hourly rate for 9 hours. I could have done a linehaul run if they had any available and collected the 9 hours of holiday pay, plus the mileage for the linehaul run.

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.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

I can go home thanksgiving and christmas without issues. i have also worked them. some people say you cant get a load around those times but i was never without a load.

my company gives bonuses for staying out the entire month of december, by choice

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Todd, I should mention something else. I left out of Louisiana on the Saturday afternoon before Thanksgiving headed up to Farmington, Connecticut. Many drivers who live in Texas, as I do, and want to be home for Thanksgiving might refuse to take that load. I have a great deal of confidence in my dispatcher , just as he does me. He had me already pre-planned on a backhaul load that picked up in Cressona, Pennsylvania that would deliver in Richardson, Texas today, the Monday following Thanksgiving. That meant it was up to me to manage everything so that I could run through my hometown, and take some time off while on the way to Richardson. So, I got a 3,400 mile week, and still enjoyed four days with my family. It doesn't get any better than that my friend.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Due to the types of customers we have, it's no problem going home for any holiday at my company. We don't do retail and food loads are dry van and typically go to a DC or manufacturer. Also many of our customers close for annual maintenance and inventory at some point, during this time. Our freight can drop substantially through the holidays, basically from Thanksgiving to new year's, however, if we CHOOSE to or need to run harder during this time, they will gladly find us freight to haul through partnerships we have with Schneider, Knight, ABF, and various brokers etc.

Me, I run hard all year and I enjoy the little break. It's something my own trainer warned me about when I started at this company, but it was still a bit of a shock when I was OTR and got routed home almost every weekend lol. I'll be picking up a trainee later this week and they're going to want to see them turning miles so we'll probably be running some crazy loads lol.

Companies who service heavy retail and groceries are balls to the wall right now, I'm sure.

So to answer your question, how a driver runs through the holidays and their home time (or lack thereof) really depends on their companies major customers.

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.

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.

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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