Why Do Drivers Stay OTR Over LTL?

Topic 31139 | Page 1

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Joshua J.'s Comment
member avatar

I started driving for CRST in late 2008 driving team. After a year of that I drove solo for Transport America for two years. I switched to local driving once I hit three years of experience. I had the goal of switching to LTL , so I could be home daily once I hit the three year mark. I am nearly at 11 years with Dayton Freight lines in Ohio now. I easily make twice as much as I did when I was over the road. I'm wondering why so many very experienced OTR drivers decide to stick with it instead of switching to local? I believe I made 0.40 cents a mile with TA and I'm currently at 0.718 with DFL. I drop trailers off at company terminals, so that city drivers can deliver the freight to customers in the morning. No more trying to find a place or dealing with customers. Other than bad weather and working nights all the time it's great.

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.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

I do linehaul for OD and I think one answer is some people will just find it boring going to the same places everyday. Personally, I enjoy it especially come payday, but I definitely see how it would become boring to some.

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.
IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

BORING and large city driving. Too much city traffic. Most cities are older, even out West, and not meant to have 53' trailers in them. If they are using the shorter trailers, then it's more work for me....at 70, it's not what I want to do and I'm driving to pay off my bills still.

Laura

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Not everyone is cut out to be a superhero.

There's a variety of reasons, one of which as Bobcat mentioned of being too repetitive. Others think that being local and having a set start time sucks. In another thread other members brought up getting less sleep and spending more money. We even have a couple members that live in their trucks full time and are banking a ton of cash.

Everyone's priorities are different. Some days i tell myself I'd love to try out the OTR life but it'd be a paycut (atleast initially) and I don't think the wife would be too fond of that.

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.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

I enjoy the variety of the road, like keeping my own schedule, don't like city driving, would be bored going to the same place all the time. Can make more money doing otr and I hate mornings.

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.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

There are few LTL positions (and fewer companies) where I live. The majority of local truck driving jobs, in my area, either don’t pay well, require lots of physical work and/or middle-of-the-night driving. I just turned 60, have no desire to tear up my body again and, with a Daughter in school and a School Teacher for a wife, hometime is useless if it’s in the middle of the day.

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
Buster's Buddy's Comment
member avatar

I’m contemplating the other side of this coin. Years ago I drove OTR for 6 months, then switched to driving tour buses (class A & B). Needless to say that hasn’t been paying well lately, and my personal circumstances have changed. I’m seriously considering going back to trucking, and one of the aspects I miss the most is getting paid to drive across the US and Canada in a 50 sq.ft. tricked out vehicle. I love driving. I love watching the world go by, seeing new things, going new places. I loved living in my truck, and will again. “Home Time” is irrelevant. As others have mentioned, driving the open road is far, far more appealing than city driving. Having control over my work hours means a lot.

But I keep hearing that LTL pays better. At least with my limited choices with a stale CDL. I could get out of debt faster. That’s tempting, but I’m concerned the trade-off would mean more of the things I didn’t like about trucking, and less of the things I did like. It’s helpful to hear this conversation from the other side.

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

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.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

“ But I keep hearing that LTL pays better. At least with my limited choices with a stale CDL. I could get out of debt faster.”

Buster’s Buddy; you can make very good $ OTR. If OTR is your passion and desire, don’t abandon it if it’s truly a good fit for you.

Getting out of debt is going to require time AND you being intentional about it. The fact you’re not worried about hometime gives you the ability to do your 34hr break on the road. As long as you’re intentional about not spending your $ unnecessarily, it can work. I paid off $20,000 in 14 months while getting home twice monthly and still paying the monthly household bills. In the past 14 months, I paid out $26,000 for house work, all cash.

Whatever you decide, I hope you stay intentional about that debt. Achieving that goal is a liberating experience.

I hope this helps.

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

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

I’m contemplating the other side of this coin. Years ago I drove OTR for 6 months, then switched to driving tour buses (class A & B). Needless to say that hasn’t been paying well lately, and my personal circumstances have changed. I’m seriously considering going back to trucking, and one of the aspects I miss the most is getting paid to drive across the US and Canada in a 50 sq.ft. tricked out vehicle. I love driving. I love watching the world go by, seeing new things, going new places. I loved living in my truck, and will again. “Home Time” is irrelevant. As others have mentioned, driving the open road is far, far more appealing than city driving. Having control over my work hours means a lot.

But I keep hearing that LTL pays better. At least with my limited choices with a stale CDL. I could get out of debt faster. That’s tempting, but I’m concerned the trade-off would mean more of the things I didn’t like about trucking, and less of the things I did like. It’s helpful to hear this conversation from the other side.

If home time is no concern, go OTR. LTL pays more, but also has more expenses. You'll have to pay for somewhere to live, pay household expenses and have a car.

If you can live in a truck, do that and save all the money you can.

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

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.

Joshua J.'s Comment
member avatar

“ But I keep hearing that LTL pays better. At least with my limited choices with a stale CDL. I could get out of debt faster.”

Buster’s Buddy; you can make very good $ OTR. If OTR is your passion and desire, don’t abandon it if it’s truly a good fit for you.

Getting out of debt is going to require time AND you being intentional about it. The fact you’re not worried about hometime gives you the ability to do your 34hr break on the road. As long as you’re intentional about not spending your $ unnecessarily, it can work. I paid off $20,000 in 14 months while getting home twice monthly and still paying the monthly household bills. In the past 14 months, I paid out $26,000 for house work, all cash.

Whatever you decide, I hope you stay intentional about that debt. Achieving that goal is a liberating experience.

I hope this helps.

Definitely pays more! I am already over 100k in November as is most LTL driver's.

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

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

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