Does Having A Local Terminal Help With Home Time?

Topic 26314 | Page 2

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G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Welcome to the forum Charles. You have come to the right place.

So overall, I agree, home time does not coincide with proximity to a terminal. But trucking has many exceptions, such as being assigned to a Dedicated Account that is regionally based like Walmart or Target.

As Robert indicated, I have been running Walmart Dedicated with Swift for over 6 years now, delivering groceries to stores and Sams Clubs throughout the North Eastern region (Eastern half of PA, DE, NJ, MD, Southern NY State). There are over 100 individual store locations, about 24 Sams, plus 2 dozen vendor (back haul) locations within my territory. My experience running Walmart Dedicated, worst case scenario, home for the 34 hour reset on a weekly basis. For instance, Saturday afternoon, report back to work Monday morning. On average I am home (overnight) several times per week because I can shutdown, parking overnight at several Walmart stores local to my residence if the return leg of the trip is routed through or close to my home town. Pulling Walmart trailers makes it much easier to park overnight at a store or limited Sam's Club locations, a key benefit for this type of operation.

That said...

My suggestion is to first get your feet wet running OTR , before committing to a Dedicated Retail account like Walmart. That's an opinion based on personal experience, I was OTR for 3 months before committing to the Walmart Account. It's very different than OTR and requires a driver to manage their time to a tight daily schedule, multiple stops per dispatch and a myriad of close quarter maneuvering situations. Really need to hustle and be efficient to maximize earning potential. Search on my name; G-Town and Walmart for numerous threads written on this subject. I can elaborate further if you'd like...

Not sure if you have invested any time in the Trucking Truth starter links, if not, here they are:

We are here to help. Good luck!

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.

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.

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.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Charles, I live a 3 hour drive from the nearest Schneider terminal. Was never a problem.

What IS important is securing company approved parking near you for your tractor, and sometimes your trailer. That is much more critical, in my opinion. I had an approved parking location and it worked out great. It was only a mile from my house and I could leave my car there and go back to work. But I never once considered moving so I could be closer to a terminal.

Last winter, I could leave my empty trailer at the parking location and bobtail home where I could plug in the tractor during the really cold weather. That worked out great for me.

Bobtail:

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

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.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Congrats on the newest grandchild Old School!

I've not done OTR , all my experience has been local which is a completely different animal. With that being said, wouldn't having a terminal nearby help in the event of not passing your DOT physical? Assuming you're qualified, couldnt they shuffle you into a non driving position while you work on the issues to get your medical card back?

For us, if we cant pass our physical or lose driving privileges our job will be held for 6 months. We could be working as a shag/yard driver as it doesnt require a CDL on private property, janitorial or warehouse. Obviously it'd be a huge loss for pay but atleast you have a job and benefits continue until you can get back into driving. Even if OTR companies did this I dont think it would be enough for me to consider it a huge deal. Take care of your health and get any issues resolved as soon as they pop up.

Side note: if a driver cant drive due to failing a physical, blood pressure or sugar in urine for example, are they able to pull short term disability or take a leave of absence to protect their job/health insurance?

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.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Rob, that's an interesting thought about failing the physical. I know that happens occasionally because we've seen members here experience this disappointment. Big Scott is our current example.

I've never given it much thought. I do think it's unusual to get totally eliminated from driving like happened to Big Scott. His issue was Sugar in his urine - that's a critical issue. Most of your other common health issues like blood pressure allow the physician to give you a 3 month approval which allows you to drive while you focus on bringing it into line with the acceptable standards.

I was accustomed to having my physical renewed when I was on home time, but lately Knight has been wanting us to go to their chosen physician. They have terminals all across the country, and each terminal has it's own nearby physician. It's relatively easy to stop at a terminal no matter what part of the country you're in. I was slightly miffed that they changed my way of doing things, but the fact that they pay for it when I do it their way helped me get over it easily.

When you work in a situation similar to yours I guess there's really only one company terminal.

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

I think making a decision based on proximity to a terminal would really limit your opportunities. It would be like saying I'm only going to drive for a company if I can get a red tractor. Remember, truck driving is all about long distances and the trucking companies are expert at getting you home time, regardless of your location.

BTW, Old School, beautiful baby. But are you sure that child is not your Great Grandchild????? LOL.

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.

Deb R.'s Comment
member avatar

I drove OTR 4 years for a company who's yard was 3 hours from my house. On my home time, I dropped the trailer at a lot a mile from my house, then bobtailed into my own driveway. If my truck needed service, I sat around the yard while it got done. It worked out, I did not know any different.

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.

Turns out those were actually big things for me! Now I drive OTR for a company that is 6 miles from my house, and I LOVE it. I did not realize how much I worried about that darn trailer until I did not have to anymore. It will not be my (unpaid) job to dig it out of the snow and clear off the roof after a blizzard. No more wasted time sitting around for routine servicing; that used to totally drive me crazy, now I can just go home! If I need to talk to someone in the office, I have the option of doing it face to face, which is sometimes way better than using the phone.

I would not advise terminal location to be a deal breaker in picking a company, but it would tip the scales for me if choosing between two options.

Bobtail:

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

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

I drove OTR 4 years for a company who's yard was 3 hours from my house. On my home time, I dropped the trailer at a lot a mile from my house, then bobtailed into my own driveway. If my truck needed service, I sat around the yard while it got done. It worked out, I did not know any different.

double-quotes-start.png

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.

double-quotes-end.png

Turns out those were actually big things for me! Now I drive OTR for a company that is 6 miles from my house, and I LOVE it. I did not realize how much I worried about that darn trailer until I did not have to anymore. It will not be my (unpaid) job to dig it out of the snow and clear off the roof after a blizzard. No more wasted time sitting around for routine servicing; that used to totally drive me crazy, now I can just go home! If I need to talk to someone in the office, I have the option of doing it face to face, which is sometimes way better than using the phone.

I would not advise terminal location to be a deal breaker in picking a company, but it would tip the scales for me if choosing between two options.

I will defer to the Pros here but in my limited experience and somewhat extensive research I have learned a few things...

Not all terminals do the same services. Bruce, I think, shared that in Green Bay (Schneider's World Headquarters) they mostly do routine and preventative maintenance, moving trucks to local service shops for the rest. In another terminal (IN I think) much more is done in-house.

J.B. Hunt runs all new trucks for the region through their Chicago terminal. But if service was needed for an International tractor in the Oconomowoc, WI Target fleet - the driver would take a loaded trailer to the International dealer right off I-94. They would drop the trailer and pick it up with a tractor which had just been serviced. Guessing they do pretty much the same with a Freightliner.

Halvor lines told me they assigned tractor makes based on proximity of driver to dealers. When I lived in Butler, WI they probably would have assigned me an International or Peterbuilt based on proximity to dealers who would also allow us to park there. (The Volvo dealer was harder to get to, is in a not-so-great neighborhood and has limited parking).

In the Racine / Kenosha, WI area, Schneider and J.B. Hunt use the same "drop-lot" hosted by a 3rd party. Thought my Hunt tractor would stay at Amazon... turns out it would wind up as a "neighbor" to my (future) Schneider rig!

As with most things in trucking (it seems) the "big dogs" have this stuff figured out!

smile.gif

Bobtail:

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

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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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