A Typical Week For Me Being A Local Driver

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Heavy C's Comment
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So I've been trying to figure out how to be a contributing member here since I'm not an OTR guy. So after racking my brain I thought why not break down my week to show other aspiring "local" drivers what it can be like. It goes without saying however that there are countless ways local companies can operate and what they carry. Still I think it could be beneficial to see another type of trucking.

First a short synopsis on me and my company. First off I'm married with two kids, both under the age of five. So getting into this I was hell bent on finding a local job so i wouldn't have to miss family ninety percent the year. I attended a local technical school and finished with my CDL I'm January. I immediately went to work on apps for local places. I did have my prehires for national companies, but they were a last resort. After about a week I had my first interview. In total I had four interviews within the first three weeks. From local companies. Oakhurst, sysco, diesel direct, and Olympia sports. And out of those I got offers from three. I think that's pretty good for not having OTR experience. After deliberating I chose Olympia sports.

My company Olympia sports for those who don't know is a sporting goods retailer, like a ****s or sports authority. Unlike those we are smaller and found mainly in malls, strip malls, and shopping plazas. We're based in Westbrook Maine and we have an area of pretty much the entire northeast corridor from Virginia north. Our fleet consists of the B trucks and eight tractors all leased from Ryder. This makes things convenient for fueling and maintenance. We run routes Mon through Fri no weekends. Paid holidays, hourly pay and time and a half after forty. Paid hotels on overnights, and money for food also on overnights. We currently have about a dozen day trips and about ten overnight runs usually only going out one night. The not trying to brag about these benefits but it gives you an idea why local jobs come at a premium and usually go to the pros. Believe me I feel extremely fortunate.

My job is pretty straight forward. The trailer is preloaded before I get to work. We bring boxes to each store and scan them off the truck with the scanner that each store keeps. I don't actually take them off the trailer I just bring them to the back, scan and the store employees unload. Then if the store has boxes going out to other store (transfers) I scan, load, and secure. That's it!

Now on to my week. I'll go based on this week because I already know what tomorrow brings. I hope ;)

Monday: This particular run goes to PA and starts at 1:00am and is a single overnight. I get to work a few minutes early to collect my paperwork and get my log filled out for the weekend and start it for the day. At one o'clock I punch in, hook up my trailer and do my pretrip. This run starts so really because we go over the GWB to get to our first stop. Anyway we can't get to the first stop before break time so I break in NJ. Then continue to my first stop at 9:30. This is how my log breaks down for the day I duty changes: 1 am on duty 1:15 driving 7:45 off duty (break) 8:15 driving 9:30 on duty (delivery) 10:30 driving 11:00 on duty (delivery) 11:45 driving 1:00 on duty (delivery) 1:30 driving 2:30 on duty (delivery/post trip) 3:00 off duty On this run the hotel is right across the street from the store so I just to on duty until after my post trip at the hotel. And that's day one. Not very tough stuff really. I love it because I get the driving coupled with getting out and doing some work. Now there will never be any sleeper birth logging because we driver day cabs. That makes things easy.

Day two: Day starts at 5:00 am. To this day I have three deliveries and two pick up or backhaul we call them. We stop at vendors while we're out and pick up product instead of having it shipped. 5:00 on duty (pretrip) 5:15 driving 5:45 on duty (delivery) 6:30 driving 7:15 on duty (delivery) 7:45 driving 9:30 on duty (pick up) two pallets 9:45 driving 10:45 on duty (delivery) 11:15 driving Noon (break) 12:30 driving 4:00 on duty (pick up) ten pallets 4:45 driving 6:30 on duty (post trip) 6:45 off duty This day took a little longer than usual because of the severe thunderstorms that came through and bogged 495 down to a crawl.

That's one trip. Easy enough and plenty of hours. I had a little over 27 hours after two days. I had weds off. Today (Thursday): This run starts at 3:00 am and is an overnight to NY. 3:00 on duty (pretrip) 3:15 driving 7:30 in duty (delivery) 8:30 driving 8:45 on duty (delivery) 9:45 driving 10:30 off duty (break) 11:00 driving 11:30 on duty (delivery) Noon driving 12:30 on duty (delivery) 1:00 driving 1:30 on duty (delivery) 2:00 driving 2:30 on duty (delivery) 3:00 driving 4:15 on duty (delivery) 4:45 post trip and off duty at hotel

And that's where I am tonight. Tomorrow's will have three stops then I head home. Then have the weekend off. I'll end up with around ten hours overtime. Relax and repeat next week.

Now we aren't a assigned routes or trucks so hours and location can vary, but its the same process every time. I love this company because I get to travel like I have a regional gig but get home so often that I'm considered local. I can't beat it. And this is what local driving CAN be like. Obviously like I said not always. I just to instill some confidence in those looking for local that it IS possible. Any questions hit me up

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.

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.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Prehire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Prehires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Gary A.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Heavy C! This post was really helpful for me. I'm currently in school, but am convinced more and more everyday that I do NOT want to be OTR. I want a local gig like you have. A recruiter came in today, and pretty much repeated the same thing we heard from OTHER recruiters, BUT THIS guy said" we're gonna take you out of your 900-1200 foot home and put you in a 6x8 foot box to live in". I think he was just "being real" and I read between the lines of what he was saying...That hit home for me.. One of our instructors is encouraging us to apply for feeder drivers at UPS. It's a daily gig that pays well. That's going to be my first effort. IF it comes down to it, I'll just have to keep applying like you did...But I'm 98% sure OTR/long haul is no longer an option...Too old and too tired for living in a box, while I have a home that I worked hard for sitting here empty..

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.

Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

Hey Gary, here's what I would recommend. Scour the job boards in your area for local gigs. If they say they require OTR I would call and talk to the hiring manager. And ask if this is firm or can they deviate from this. Sometimes the insurance dictates they can hire but sometimes just prefer someone don't to train. I did this and found out that a few places would consider training new drivers. I think you would be surprised how many would be willing to give you a chance. I also talked to one guy at a local freight contractor that said they will take rookies but not during the winter. He actually said that if I was still looking in spring to go see him. That job also listed they wanted a years worth of experience. Just stick with it and hit it hard when the time comes.

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.

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

This is great stuff, Heavy C. Keep the information coming! I'll be local too. Thanks for the post. thank-you.gif

That is some intense driving on the East Coast whereas we get a lot of open road, out here. Haven't been to Portland in a very long time but spent many a great summer up there in Maine as a kid. One was spent right off your port ... Cushing's Island. What a great summer. Not wanting to leave home much is totally understandable, considering where you live.

-mountain girl

Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

Oh so YOU'RE one of those tourists that need to get out of my state lol. Jk but yea it is prety nice up here. Trucking gives me a good reason to get out though and see some stuff.

Glad you liked the postthank-you.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

Hey that's funny but noooeeew-new-new. Not a tourist. Family, from before the big fire. I was a summertime Mainerd. I know how to say "Bangor" and "Bar Harbor." Tee-hee.

-mountain girl

smile.gif

Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

So you say things like Mainah Lobstah Bangah

That's being a local

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

So you say things like Mainah Lobstah Bangah

That's being a local

-Heavy C

When I'm in Maine, I sure do. LOL.

A tourist asked a Mainah once, if he'd lived there all his life and he said slowly, "Nahht yeh-et."

-mountain girl

rofl-3.gif

Joanna 's Comment
member avatar

Heavy C, thanks for taking the time to paint a picture of what local work is like. It's great to hear that, with enough persistence, a newbie can get local work. I'm not counting on this being a possibility for me but I am definitely going to make several phone calls and scour the local job boards before I take the plunge into OTR.

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.

Heavy C's Comment
member avatar

Glad I could help Joanna! I hope at least it gives you the confidence to go for it if that's what you want. Most local jobs I going were delivery type, but if your ok with that it could be a great fit. Good luck!

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