Does Having A Local Terminal Help With Home Time?

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Charles K.'s Comment
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Im considering in getting changing careers and attempt to get a CDL. Using Swift as an example. If Swift had a local terminal near home. (If my intent is to not be a OTR driver.) Does that make any difference to having better home time? Are there positions that only work out of one terminal and the driver goes home each night? Im in the investigation phase. Thanks

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.

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.

Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
member avatar

I know that Swift has some 33 if not more terminals. They have local drivers that work out of them. My only concern here is that local driving is going to be tough for someone who has driven in local traffic with a big rig. I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm just saying it is not the easiest gig to get. I don't know where your from, but you would still do better starting as an OTR driver first. So much is factored in to this, you will need skills that local driving is a different animal. Also if you are going to go with Swift, then your best course would be G-Town, he does dedicated accounts and I think he is home either every night or every other night. But he could give a better steering curve. Good luck

Raptor

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.

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.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

The benefits of living near a terminal are few. One is you have a guaranteed & truly secure place to park your truck. If your tractor guess into the shop for a few days, you easily get to go home and that doesn't count towards Home Time. That's about it.

As for staying local, yes, there are drivers that do local pickup & delivery or trailers. (Swift operates with full trailer loads only.) After you get your truck, ask at the T-call window (the point of contact between the office and drivers) if there are any shuttles out of that terminal. Shuttle (also called line haul in other places) drivers do go out and back mostly every day, and drive the same route. I did this for over a year at Swift, pulling trailers from Memphis to St Louis. Neat schedule: 4 days on then two days off.

Be prepared to see the same mileposts every day for the rest of your life. Some people enjoy this, I got bored out of my skull.

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.

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.

Line Haul:

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.
Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
member avatar

I agree Errol It would drive me batty if I had to do the same runs everyday. But to each their own.

Charles K.'s Comment
member avatar

My only concern here is that local driving is going to be tough for someone who has driven in local traffic with a big rig. I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm just saying it is not the easiest gig to get. I don't know where your from, but you would still do better starting as an OTR driver first. So much is factored in to this, you will need skills that local driving is a different animal. Also if you are going to go with Swift, then your best course would be G-Town, he does dedicated accounts and I think he is home either every night or every other night. But he could give a better steering curve. Good luck

Raptor

Thank you Errol and Richard, Richard... If I got your advice correct is to not focus on home time in the beginning, and learn your craft for the first year; and OTR is the best way to do that?

Background: I am in Pennsylvania and have Swift, Prime, YRC and FFE (Frozen Food Express) closest to home. In consideration of my Rookie year (Im not even a student yet) and (God willing) my second year. Are there any benefits to selecting a carrier who has a local terminal? Charles

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.

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.

Keith A.'s Comment
member avatar

Personally I've really enjoyed having a terminal close to home, but that's only useful if you plan on still maintaining some sort of life outside the truck -- a very difficult task even when experienced. If you're going to be an OTR driver though, and follow in, say, Old School's footsteps then the local terminal is just a perk-- any productive driver will have the flexibility from his company to get the truck close to home with or without a terminal.

And to note, many companies also rent space as drop yards, so you may not have full terminal amenities, but you'll have somewhere to park-- so I'd say evaluate whether or not a company is going to be a good fit for you, and make terminals lower on that priority list than, say, their *actual* home time policy. (What good is it to have a terminal up the street if your company expects you to be out 4 weeks at a time and off 4 days, for example)

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.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hello Charles, welcome to our forum!

OTR is the best way to get started, and it's the gold standard for getting "experience." We've seen drivers start as local drivers, do that for years and then try to get on as OTR drivers only to be forced to go through training all over again because they are considered inexperienced.

Most local driving positions require experience and what they want to see is one year minimum of Over The Road experience.

Are there any benefits to selecting a carrier who has a local terminal?

I'm going to say no, but we may have a few people disagree with me. I've never had a terminal near me. I live in Texas. The two trucking jobs I've done were out of a Nashville, TN terminal and a Gulfport, MS. Terminal. Those are a long way from home. When I'm scheduled for home time they will route me with a load to Texas, I'll deliver it, and then go home and call them when I'm ready to get back to work. It's really simple.

Here's an article that might help you understand why going OTR at the beginning is wiser.

Why You Want To Start Your Driving Career As An OTR Driver

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Clearly I know very little so please heed what the Masters here tell you but I do know a dedicated account can work much the same way...

I trained briefly with J.B. Hunt on the Target account. Trainer and I showed up at the D.C. each work morning, met at his tractor and did the usual stuff (pre-trip tractor, move to office, get 1st load assignment, pickup and p.t. trailer and the combined rig, etc.).

Essentially he did 2 runs per day - Oconomowoc, WI D.C. to No. IL store and back, then repeat. Occasionally a back haul from a 3rd location. It was "double" (what I call QUADRUPLE) drop-and-hook. Great practice... boring as heck! Especially if both runs were similar. (Depending on the store location it was either all Interstate or "backroads". The backroads were more interesting but harder (lots if hills and curves)).

Job got you the same 2 days off per week and home every night. Traner loved it, but then he also ran OTR for many years prior to this.

Thinking this might be something to consider down the road if it is something you think you might like.

I am going with the "popular advice" (common wisdom?) here of starting my new career OTR!

smile.gif

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Drop-and-hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm going to back up what O.S says:

double-quotes-start.png

Are there any benefits to selecting a carrier who has a local terminal?

double-quotes-end.png

I'm going to say no, but we may have a few people disagree with me.

I agree. Having a terminal near home is like finding a parking space close to the front door of Kroger: "Woo hoo!"

The two advantages I mentioned are not all that important. But "Woo hoo!"

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Here's something I just thought I should add to this discussion. For a person like myself terminal location is a very low priority. I have three daughters who are strewn across the country. I can tell my dispatcher , "Hey, I'd like to take some home time in Branson, MO and see my newest grandchild." Or I can choose Dayton, OH where my oldest daughter lives. I have the flexibility to go where I wish for taking a break, and I'm not tied to any terminal. I simply park at a nearby truck stop and my children come pick me up for a visit.

I'm actually doing that right now. I delivered a load near Branson and I messaged my dispatcher letting him know that I wasn't available for a load until Friday. Yesterday morning I got to Branson and I've been getting acquainted with my fourth new grandbaby here at my daughter's house.

0728229001565886110.jpg

Don't limit yourself with terminal location. There's a lot of freedom to this career. The fools who liken it to slavery are really missing out on some great liberties.

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.

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.

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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