Best (?) LTL Carrier For Linehaul

Topic 28111 | Page 1

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Roger P.'s Comment
member avatar

I've been all over this site and read every topic on the subject of linehaul LTL driving.

First, a bit about my personal situation: I've run my own company for the last ten years. After ten years, the money ain't the same and my heart isn't in it, so I'm considering a career change. I'm looking into trucking because for the last year I've been living in a travel trailer, moving around a lot and I like driving / seeing the world from the highway. It also doesn't take 12 years to learn and doesn't land me in an office. It's obviously not the same, but I rushed my family from Las Cruces, NM to Grand Rapids, MI in two days when COVID started ramping up.

After researching for the last two weeks, I would really like to get into linehaul. I have a wife and a young son and while I want to provide for them financially, I also want to be there for them. Linehaul seems to offer the most home time.

I want to work in a union shop for a variety of reasons, but the most relevant one is that I come from a union family (father is an ironworker) and want the job security that comes with a CBA. I'm fine with working my way up the seniority rankings, to me that's just how jobs like this work.

Some questions I have:

First and foremost, for a guy who wants to work at one company, preferably in one city (I would love to relocate the family to Colorado Springs -- and am able to do so on my own dime), what is the best union LTL company to work for?

Beyond this, how long does it take to get off the extras board and get a bid? And while you're on the extras board, what kind of monfey are you making?

I do not have a CDL and a company that will train me is preferred to driving school. I can start on the docks, but prefer not to. My time from for starting is either this fall (if we can't travel for another year) or the end of next summer (f we can).

I know there's a lot of "it depends" in here and I'm fine with that. Just looking for a place where I can work for 25 years, get a pension and retire without moving around. Am mostly looking at YRC, but figure you guys can help me to both broaden and refine my search.

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.

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

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

I'm no authority on LTL jobs, but I'll just say you are really limiting yourself by wanting to work in a union shop. There are just a few.

I do know a good bit about business, and I can tell you that my personal opinion on YRC is that they are not very stable. Their stock is highly volatile and their ledger lacks the liquidity for most investors to consider them as worth buying into. All of that is simply my personal opinion, but I don't see them lasting for another five years. They're got some serious issues going on.

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
Navypoppop's Comment
member avatar

Roger P.,

Old School is 100% correct on YRC. They have been unstable for awhile especially since Yellow and Roadway merged it has been downhill from there. Just look at their equipment that seems to be held together by "bubble gum and bandaids".

Your best bet might be ABF. They seem to be a solid choice for a union shop. Their equipment is fairly new and in very good condition and their drivers seem content and happy. Talk to one of them and ask questions. I'm not sure if they operate in your area or not but worth checking out. Good luck.

Roger P.'s Comment
member avatar

Does ABF train new drivers?

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Honestly man, the unions heyday in trucking “sun-setted” years ago. The mass consolidation of LTL has reduced the total number of national freight companies to just a handful in less than a decade. It’s a tough racket to make money...

Indeed ABF is a good option. So is non-Union Old Dominion. If I was ever to move away from Walmart Grocery, running P&D for OD would be a great option. We have several members driving for them (Bobcat Bob & Daniel immediately come to mind). Nothing against unions, as others have stated it just limits your choices.

One important thought I’ll leave with you; we create our job security out here by becoming top-performing drivers, practice safety at all times and consistently “getting the work done”. If you achieve that level of performance, you’ll never need to worry about a good-paying trucking job anywhere.

Good luck no matter what you decide!

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

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.

Roger P.'s Comment
member avatar

My other question is: If I start in, for example, ABF in ABQ but I get a transfer to Colorado Springs, do I lose all of my seniority?

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

My other question is: If I start in, for example, ABF in ABQ but I get a transfer to Colorado Springs, do I lose all of my seniority?

Roger I am not aware of any ABF drivers on here. Call them.

Roger P.'s Comment
member avatar

One important thought I’ll leave with you; we create our job security out here by becoming top-performing drivers, practice safety at all times and consistently “getting the work done”. If you achieve that level of performance, you’ll never need to worry about a good-paying trucking job anywhere.

Good luck no matter what you decide!

Ok, well I guess calling ABF is the way to go.

FWIW, reading more about the work, union definitely sounds the way to go to me and with respect, I think you guys are nuts for not wanting to be union. "At-will" employment is for the birds.

If there's anyone at YRC who can tell me a bit about moving up off the extras board / off the dock, I'd appreciate it.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
FWIW, reading more about the work, union definitely sounds the way to go to me and with respect, I think you guys are nuts for not wanting to be union. "At-will" employment is for the birds.

I've always been a big fan of unions myself, but one great thing about trucking is that it's performance-based. Those who perform the best make the most money and get the lion's share of the work. Those who don't perform wind up with less.

It's like the sport's world. The best players get the most playing time and make the most money. The rest sit the bench most of the time and make far less.

It's very hard to find truly fantastic drivers. If you do an awesome job you'll make great money and be treated well.

There's always plenty of work for the best performers.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar
FWIW, reading more about the work, union definitely sounds the way to go to me and with respect, I think you guys are nuts for not wanting to be union. "At-will" employment is for the birds.

Trucking is very different. Thanks for the insult.

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