ABF Freight Is A Great Job - And They’re Hiring!

Topic 24557 | Page 1

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Jacob H.'s Comment
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Im putting this info out there because ABF is hiring drivers. Heck, they hired me before I even had a full year of experience.

About 10 month after I got my cdl and had some otr experience, I applied at several LTL companies. Had all endorsements before applying. The morning after I applied at ABF, the Atlanta (Conley) linehaul manager called me to schedule an interview for the next time I was home. The interview went well, and a couple of weeks later they called and said I was approved for hire after I passed a DOT/Drug/Hair test. I took the tests, passed, and started in August. The interview was very easy, seemed like most of what went on was making sure I understood the job and making sure all my questions were answered.

Orientation was 3 days, and I did one trip to Mississippi and back before going on my own. Orientation was 8 hours of pay per day ($24.92/hr) and I got paid for the one trip with a trainer as if I had been by myself (62.6 cpm).

Here is all the info I can think of to pass along:

You have thirty days of probation. I was at full pay from day one. Benefits start after probation ends. Automatic enrollment. Probation, it’s ok if you screw up, just don’t get in a wreck or a serious moving violation.

62.6 CPM. It is essentially hub miles. A few routes we run, there are quicker ways to get there than the pay route, but for the most part you’re truly paid for every mile. Want to go a longer way? Go out of route for some bubbas BBQ? No problem, just don’t expect to get paid for it.

$24.92 hourly pay. Hourly pay you get when you’re told to come in at 9, and the load isn’t ready or hooked yet. You get it for any time on other yards while doing hooking yourself, which only seems to happen 2-3 times a week at the most. If there’s a dock worker doing the hooking you still get paid the same to wait while they do the work. At large terminals like Atlanta, Winston Salem, Little Rock, Dayton, etc. you’ll never do the hooking yourself. Other terminals you may only do the hooking yourself at night or on weekends and whatnot. If you’re at a terminal and have to take the truck to a hotel, you get 15 min to drop your set. And another 15 when you come back to hook to your set. If the set isn’t strung, then of course you get paid actual time, not just the 15 minutes and depending on the situation you may get paid a penalty for your set not being hooked when you start your shift out of a hotel. You get hourly pay at the shop if you’re pretripping a truck and find a problem, and on the road if you are broken down and need roadside. No free time is given for that, it starts when the breakdown happens, not after thirty minutes or anything like that. Having started in August, I am averaging $1718.12 a week which is just shy of $90k a year if that average continues. There are drivers making over $100k here, and not just ones that have been around 20 years and have all the seniority. It is possible to hit $100k your third or even second year. I’ve had paychecks over $2600, lowest one was like $930 and that was only for 4 days work.

We get five sick days per year, paid at 8 hours which is almost $200. Use them or lose them. If you haven’t used em by thanksgiving or so, start claiming them on your off days. You don’t have to call in sick to use them, but you can’t work on a day you claim one either.

One week of vacation first year, two weeks after that. Three weeks after eight years. Five weeks after 20. Six weeks after 30. You earn vacation for the year after 180 shifts, or about 7-8 months of work depending on how much you work. Vacation is paid as 6 days of work and based on your average daily earnings.

Layover is paid starting at the 14th hour, with a two hour minimum. So if you aren’t rolling by 14 hours and 1 minute of punching out to go to the hotel you get 2 hours. This would happen at the hotel. You get up to 8 hours pay, give ten hours for free, then start getting paid for up to 8, and so on. Meal allowance is paid as well at certain intervals as well as at a higher rate and more frequent interval if your layover starts on a Sunday.

Holidays are paid at 8 hours, again, almost $200. These include New Years, 4th of July, Labor Day, thanksgiving and the day after, Christmas Eve and day. If you work on a holiday you get the 8 hours as well as a 4 hour bonus, and of course whatever your run for the day pays. Your birthday and company anniversary date are paid as holidays.

Insurance (health, dental, and vision) is all provided at no cost for you, your spouse, and your children. This is not cheap insurance. It is blue cross for health, not sure what the dental and vision is. Very low deductibles and prescription cost, vision is very good, dental is very good. I’m a former HR exec and this insurance plan is one of the best ones available, free or not.

Retirement is sort of a toss. There is a 401k plan, but no match. The plan is decent, good investment options for the average person to set it and forget it. The reason we don’t get a match is because of the pension we receive. I won’t go into the pension because it will likely be bankrupt within a decade. I’m saving enough to not count on the pension or social security, and that isn’t difficult to do with what ABF pays.

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.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.

Jacob H.'s Comment
member avatar

Here’s the rest of the info. Wouldn’t let me put it all into one post:

Hometime: You can take off after 6, 12, and 18 shifts. After 6 shifts you get 58 hours off, 12 you get 72, 18 you get 96 hours off. If you aren’t at your home terminal at the end of your 6th shift, then the next time you end a shift at your home terminal, you are then allowed to take off as if it were your 6th trip.

Seniority date is based on your first shift. We have 139 or so road drivers in Atlanta, and looking at the seniority list it looks like people who have been here say, five years, are around the 90s-low 100s in seniority. A lot of guys here are nearing retirement age(or past it)so I imagine over the next five years people may be moving up the board very quickly. Seniority get you out of your home terminal first and gives you first choice of available runs. Expect shorter runs a lot for the first year or two with some longer runs mixed in, and as the longer you stay, that will reverse. Of course if you have the seniority and want the short runs, you could do that too I guess. We have bid runs, about 65-70 of them so about half the board. I would guess to get a bid run paying $90k+ you’ll have to be here 8-10 years. But $90k is possible for a hard worker on the extra board from pretty much day one.

The hotels we stay at are decent for the most part, a couple are trashy, a couple are very nice. Once you punch out to go to the hotel they can call you as soon as 8 hours with a 2 hour notice to return.

Runs vary between overnight runs or one day runs but 90-95% are overnight runs where you’ll stay a hotel and come back the next day. 90% of overnight runs will get you back home the very next day. We don’t stay gone for more than one night all that often. It is a contract requirement that they get us home on the 4th day though. If not you get a lot of $ in penalties so it doesn’t happen much. We have 335 mile runs up to 670 mile runs. You may go direct, or 1,2,3,4 stop points in between. Most runs are either direct or just have one stop. We go to Winston Salem, Orlando, and Little Rock a lot. Shreveport, Miami, Tampa, and a few others are going to be frequent runs starting in January.

Teamsters negotiated a new contract in July 2018. Were essentially getting 1cpm raise and roughly $.20/hr raise each year of the five year contract so in 2023 we will be at 67.6 cpm and $26/hr.

I hope this information helps. Forums helped me get started driving. If anyone has questions feel free to ask.

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.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

I am always interested to see how the other halfs live in the LTL world.

Most of our guys are home daily, I made 75k in my first full year at OD and didnt work as much as I could have. I'm at .64 com or 28.50 if on clock now when I get my 2 year raise I'll be around .70 cpm and $30 a hour. We have to hook and break our own sets but we get 2.00 for each hook or drop for a total of $8 per set.

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

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

C T.'s Comment
member avatar

Every carrier is different I see. Herr at fedex ex it's 28 something an hour and .68 cpm. Hooking a set is .5 of your pay rate and dropping is the same. They pay us to fuel, switch tractors, hook up to a single van or pup, bobtail , etc. We don't have overnight stuff, just shuttles, meet and swaps and half turns.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

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

Jacob H.'s Comment
member avatar

Old dominion I’ve always heard good things about. If I’m on a my first via and doing my own work I do it as quick as possible since I get a half hour minimum. Outside that, or if I’m going to have to put the trailers to the dock or butt them up or extra I sorta drag around to get 45 min or an hour pay for my hooking. Safe is slow after all :)

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

C. T are you a Fed Ex employee? or work for one of the contractors?

C T.'s Comment
member avatar

Bobcat, I work for FedEx freight in the atl area

Spaceman Spiff's Comment
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These are the kinds of jobs I would think it would be worth it to work on having an auto restriction removed, yes?

C T.'s Comment
member avatar

Space man, absolutely worth removing the restriction. We have autos and 10spds. All our road trucks are autos however. Most city trucks are 10spds. I'd say most companies are moving towards autos but it helps to be able to drive a manual just in case.

Jacob H.'s Comment
member avatar

Spaceman, I don’t know that they’d have a problem with an automatic restriction. I’ve only driven a manual truck at ABF once, and it was an old city rig I was bringing in from Tallahassee to be sold. Heck, within a few years, even all the city rigs will be autos.

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