OTR Weekend Work???

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Robert McD.'s Comment
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So I've been on TT a while, working my way through High Road Training Program slowly, and checking these boards pretty frequently. I ask this question with a bit of shock and I apologize if it's a bit long winded.

I know that many OTR companies, but especially the sponsor-schools like Prime and Swift, have new drivers on the road weeks before they see home again. I always know that it is not unusual for OTR drivers to be away from home for 2-3 weeks at a time. So I just assumed that some of that time would include working over weekends. I just saw a post from Old School saying that weekend work is highly unlikely, though?

Can anybody clarify this? If OTR has you out for weeks and you never see home and you're not actually working on weekends...what do you do? Are you still staying in your cab? Do you usually find a motel? What do you guys do as far as routine when you're not near home on the weekends?

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.

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.

Rob T.'s Comment
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Old school runs flatbeds. I am looking into being a flatbed driver once i get my license, and from what ive seen most of the companies guarantee you to be home on weekends.

Michael S.'s Comment
member avatar

Did Old School say weekend work was unlikely, or did he say that weekend deliveries were unlikely? A lot of flatbed work is hauling building or manufacturing materials. Most places that take these deliveries work Monday to Friday. Although the delivery will be on a week day that doesn't preclude it being driven to the receiver over the weekend so that it arrives bright and early Monday morning.

I'm sure OS will chime in eventually to straighten things out.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey fellas, sorry about this confusion.

Robert, I think what you saw was a response from me in reference to someone wanting to know about part-time, or weekend jobs available from Over The Road companies. That is what I was speaking about - those situations are certainly unlikely.

As far as working over the weekends goes, my truck rolls seven days a week. It's not unusual for my dispatcher to get me a load on a Friday afternoon that needs to move about 1500 miles and be there Monday morning. He gets a little nervous if I'm sitting still.

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.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Old school, i was wondering if you choose to stay out for the weekend, or if the company you run for doesnt let you go home for weekend. I'm hoping to do flatbed once i get my license, and have found quite a few companies that guarantee weekends at home, Melton being one of them. Just looking for clarification, obviously going home for the weekend would cut down on amount of money your bringing home from less miles, i was just under the assumption they all had ya home for weekend (only flatbeds)

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Rob, I choose to stay out on the road. I'm generally gone for six weeks at a time, then I'll go home for four or five days. I've played around with my home time and tried it several different ways, but for me this works best at maximizing my earnings potential.

You are correct in that many flat-bed companies try to get you home every weekend, and that is certainly a nice feature that many of them offer. The flat-bed work lends itself to a strategy like that since most of the folks that we deliver to are not available to unload you on the weekends. I think it should be noted here that when you get on with one of those companies that promise to get you home on the weekends you need to realize that it's not like a regular job that is off on the weekends. Most of the time you may not actually get home until Saturday, and you will have a load on your truck. Then you will probably leave the house on Sunday evening so that you can deliver that load bright and early Monday morning. This may not be the case with all of them, but I know often times that is the way it works.

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.

Robert McD.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey fellas, sorry about this confusion.

Robert, I think what you saw was a response from me in reference to someone wanting to know about part-time, or weekend jobs available from Over The Road companies. That is what I was speaking about - those situations are certainly unlikely.

As far as working over the weekends goes, my truck rolls seven days a week. It's not unusual for my dispatcher to get me a load on a Friday afternoon that needs to move about 1500 miles and be there Monday morning. He gets a little nervous if I'm sitting still.

Thanks for everyone's response! Yeah, OS I figured I might be reading out of context a bit. I figure weekends off for interstate hauls must be problematic. Although, it is helpful to know that weekends of is (somewhat) of a feature of flatbedding companies.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

I been running flatbed for Prime going on 10 months now. They keep me moving and I've only delivered on a weekend once. When I get a short run for the weekend like this weekend I enjoy the break. I'm doing my laundry today having a sitdown breakfast and will be catching up on some much needed sleep. Plus I'll have a reset on my hours Monday morning. Even with the day sitting in a truckstop I'll still have over 3000 miles this week.

Robert McD.'s Comment
member avatar

Chris, did you start flatbeds with Prime right off the bat? I'm probably going to be applying for the Prime training. Did you mention that's what you wanted to drive and they gave it to ya or was it luck of the draw?

Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

Chris, did you start flatbeds with Prime right off the bat? I'm probably going to be applying for the Prime training. Did you mention that's what you wanted to drive and they gave it to ya or was it luck of the draw?

I went to a private truck school then drove for Sygma Network for a year. After much research I decided on Primes flatbed division, I specifically applied for the flatbed division and have no regrets about my decision. I enjoy flatbed, just last week I had fun in the mud at a job site, got stuck in the mud and had to lock my axles in and do the reverse forward routine to get out of it. I had fun spinning the tires!

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