Considering ODFL As My First Employer

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Auggie69's Comment
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I just got my CDL A with all endorsements (yesterday I had appointment for HAZMAT fingerprinting so that one will take few more weeks) and considering job offer from ODFL in NYC as their terminal is 15min from the place I live. Looks like they accepted all my credentials, are willing to train me and tomorrow I will go for interview. From what I heard it is good company to work for but I would love to hear your opinion. They have Linehaul and local positions. First one is a night driving. On positive side the roads should be empty at night but it is unnatural and could be very unhealthy in long term I think. The other option is day driving but in NYC. Dont know if I should consider it as a beginner. Maybe I should start as a Linehaul and transfer later to local? What do you think? Is it good opportunity and I should not be so picky or there are better options in the trucking world for rookies? I would appreciate any advice. Maybe there are ODFL drivers in this forum ?

Thank you

Given the choice I'd take LH out of NYC. That said, looking at an overhead of the Brooklyn terminal, a vast majority of their trailers seem to be 28ft pups. Much easier to take into the city than the vans.

You should ask what they run.

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.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

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.
Bklyn Dreams's Comment
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You couldn't pay me enough to drive any rig in NYC. Don't know if you drive a 4 wheeler there Mancin but here's a few reason why you should not drive PD there.

Parking at customers is impossible so most of the time you'll be double parking. This means endless tickets with an occasional tow thrown in. Sure you don't pay them but do you really want to deal with parking cops?

If you're lucky enough to find a customer with a dock, good luck swinging that trailer around the traffic, parked vehicles, pedestrians, etc.

All the red light cameras, speeding cameras, bus lane cameras, police hiding everywhere to write tickets. What about those DOT checkpoints along heavy truck routes?

If I still haven't convinced you to to stay away from PD? What about traffic, pedestrians, restricted routes? Jump at Linehaul! Get lots of experience handling the truck & trailer. Sure you won't back much but you'll still progress and get lots of seat time to hone your skills.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Marcin M.'s Comment
member avatar

Quick update. So today I spoke with hiring manager and few hours later I recieved Offer Letter for Class A CDL Hourly Driver. Looks like I will be running between terminals in NYC and NJ as a Linehaul. I am still not sold into night driving but that is what ODFL has to offer and so far I have heard so many positive opinions about company. Night time = no traffic hopefully that will be good start to gain some experience. Other option I considered were Clean Harbour or just OTR with Schneider. I hope I am making good decision.

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.

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.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Greetings!

I've been doing P&D going on 4 years now at OD and I'm a Driver Trainer at my terminal so I'm actually one of the guys who takes new hires who want to get their license from point A to Z as well as doing driving tests for new hires who already have their license.

I think you would be wise to take that LH position. For rookies, dispatch tries their best to slowly work you in to harder stuff as you get more experience but even then its still extremely difficult. I wouldn't risk it especially in NYC. Linehaul is less stressful and pays more. Driving doubles is intimidating at first but its really not that hard once you learn what trailer whip is and how they behave.

You're actually in a wonderful spot right now because of the severe industry-wide shortage and because of how slammed we are due to covid. A few years ago you wouldn't dream of this opportunity. OD loves to promote from within (dock to driver) but they are a lot more hesitant hiring from the outside. They would usually prefer to invest and train a guy on the dock for a driving position than hire a guy from OTR so you're blessed.

Whatever you do just keep your head down. Don't complain, don't moan and groan to everyone. Have a positive attitude and you'll do well. Communicate well with dispatch and get your trainers' phone numbers in case you hit a tough spot and need their advice.

PS Anne: the baby arrived January 11th! He's happy, healthy, and is showered with love on an hourly basis by everyone. He just hit 6 weeks old yesterday so its definitely getting easier for us and we are getting our sleep back slowly. God has blessed us more than words can say.

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.

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.

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Marcin, I think you have to ask yourself why you went into trucking in the first place. Were you looking for the adventure that trucking can provide? Were you just looking for a job that paid well? I can't answer those questions for you, but I can honestly say that I would be digging my eyeballs out from their sockets if I had to make the same run every night. I know there are some folks who like stuff like that, but it's definitely not on my bucket list. I love the adventure that trucking provides me while also giving me a great income.

Old Dominion is a great operation, and they have great opportunities for those who want that sort of job. One of the great benefits is being home a lot more than an OTR driver. I get it. I just always recommend that a new driver start out as an OTR driver. It is such a well established path to gain experience. Everyone will recognize it as experience. I have seen drivers right here in our forum start out in a local job and get fired for a minor accident. Then nobody wants to touch them. They have no driving experience that counts to anyone, and they have an accident on their record. Suddenly their career is over just because they thought they had found a great opportunity.

For me, the better choice is obvious. I would accept Schneider's offer, get in one full year of safe driving and then decide if I wanted to try a job at Old Dominion. I realize that my advice is counter to most of the others who responded, but I'll just say that I call them as I see them. Prudence would cause me to go with the OTR job first, develop my skills, and then take a second look at ODFL. You want to build this into a career. I am just saying to take the safest steps to get there. Daniel B is killing it over at ODFL. He is making great money. He didn't start there. He worked into that position by spending years developing himself into a professional. I think that is the best way to go about it.

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.
Keith A.'s Comment
member avatar

I would in general like to echo Old School's advice. It wasn't until I had a better grounding driving trucks and a better understanding of what my goals were that I was able to settle down into my local position.

If I had tried settling in too early I would have shot myself in the foot a half dozen times out of frustration at feeling penned in by my job.

If you're not thrilled about night driving... I wouldn't recommend making that your bread and butter.

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

It's a tough call on whether or not to go OTR or stay dedicated. I had a dedicated route(s) with US Xpress. After 9 months I was kind of sick of it. That's why I decided to go back OTR with Prime exactly 2 years ago tomorrow (happy anniversary).

On the other hand, my father drove as a feeder driver (I guess that's like linehaul) pulling doubles for UPS for over 30 years, and he loved it. Home every day, weekends off.

I guess it all depends on the person...

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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.

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

And the current has shifted!

So much to think about! So many great points! So much perspective! Only you can decide!

Marcin M.'s Comment
member avatar

Yes, decision will be hard. Both companies Schneider and Old Dominion have good reputation and both accepted me out of school. Two different styles. I still think I will start with OD and see how things go. Driving local in NYC is definately bad idea but during night time there is no traffic and the position is paid well considering that there is no (un)loading, just drop and hook between terminals. I agree that after few nights going same route 2-3 times during shift could be very boring. I love adventurous part of OTR , specially with Schneider National Dedicated account and its base pay system. It stated that driver will drive all 48 states hauling dry vans, reefers, flatbeds which I think could give idea which freight is prefered by driver. Base pay is not the worst either I think considering zero experience and allows to budget yourself avoiding pushing hard to accumulate miles. At least, from my, beginner’s perspective. Plus they have a tank division too. Is it bad idea to try different truck driving fields when not having favorite one yet? My personal situation does not allow me to fully immerse in adventure with OTR at this moment thats why I am trying to find different option but it might change in the near future.

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Banks's Comment
member avatar

When I lived in Brooklyn, I worked nights. My main goal was to always be home 30 minutes before street cleaning rules expired because if I wasn't, I'd spend hours (literally) looking for a parking spot.

Linehaul pays well. I think NYC may one of the few exceptions to that ruleb of thumb. At 6 AM, every major highway is a parking lot. That OD building is based off of the BQE between the LIE/Triboro bridge (that connects to the George Washington Bridge) and the Williamsburg bridge/downtown Brooklyn. I can guarantee that it's moving at 20 MPH from 6 AM to 9 PM. I've had days where my 100 mile drive from Brooklyn to PA takes 6 hours because of an accident or construction and I take that drive at night.

It can take 45 minutes just to clear the exit ramp at Morgan Ave (exit for ODFL) or Metropolitan AVE (alternate/next exit for ODFL). When I would drive through there I would skip both and take the Wythe Ave Kent Ave exit and drive the extra miles to avoid it, even though I lived 3 blocks away from the Metropolitan AVE.

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.
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