ABF Freight System, Inc. - Fort Smith, Ar.?

Discussion in 'Motor Carrier Questions - The Inside Scoop' started by sponge, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. sponge

    sponge Bobtail Member

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    I have a interview with ABF and I was just wondering if anyone had any info on this company. This will be my first interview for a driving job. I just got my CDL's. Any info would be appriciated.
     
  2. pro1driver

    pro1driver Heavy Load Member

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    ABF has been around for many years. they specialize in LTL freight which means "less than truckload".

    if you get hired on for the city (P&D) you will be making deliveries and pick-ups daily, expect long hours, about 11-15 hour days. a union shop (teamsters) with good pay/benefits. some dock work can and may be required. if you get to be on "linehaul", you'll be a road driver going from terminal to terminal, sometimes pulling "doubles" or "pups" as they may be commonly called. the bigger combination of "doubles" or "turnpike doubles" requires a special permit your CDL doesn't cover.

    you will be required to have hazmat endorsement and the doubles/triples endoresment on your license, no matter what you were told by any recruiter.

    linehaul drivers make about the same money as P&D drivers, but expect to be doing some "overnighters" as you will be the bottom person, and have no say in what you do.

    you may be "slip-seating" your truck, meaning you may not have the same truck every day/night, and this can be a pain in the ###, as the last driver may leave it a mess when he gets out.

    overall, if you get hired on, take whatever they give you, as after 90 days (i think) you will become a regular employee with union pay/benefits, and i don't see ABF going out of business any time soon........
     
  3. rl- LTL driver

    rl- LTL driver Bobtail Member

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    ABF your first interview, you are starting strong
     
  4. sponge

    sponge Bobtail Member

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    Thanks for the info. The job is for a linehaul driver. Ive been told ABF is a good company, but I wanted some opinions from guys in the industry. I have prehires from PTL and TMC but I really want the ABF job. Once again thanks for the info.
     
  5. pro1driver

    pro1driver Heavy Load Member

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    if you mean TMC the flat bed company, i'd advise against that company.

    if you mean PTL (paschal truck lines) out of jersey(?), i'd recommend a better place than that one too.
     
  6. TurboTrucker

    TurboTrucker Road Train Member

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    Paschall Truck Lines is located in Murray, Kentucky. I leased some trucks to them for a couple of years (1994-1996), and my drivers liked the company better than they did Crete Carriers. I didn't leave them over any issues. I folded the trucks into my own company. I personally qualified as a driver with them, and ran one of my trucks for a sick driver for three weeks, so that is the extent of my personal involvement with them hauling their loads, but it was a fine three weeks...

    PTL has some unique plans for drivers and Owner/Operators. All drivers have the option to not run the northeast (north and east of Pennsylvania), and may opt out of having to handle freight, but if a driver will go into the northeast, they pay an extra $100 (I believe this to be correct) to the driver for their trouble for any loads going to or originating out of the optional areas. They had decent rates for those that wanted to make extra in unloading their trucks as well. Their mileage pay WAS above average, and they now run all conventionals, but had a bunch of cabovers at the time.

    I personally found the company to be straight forward in their business practices, and I never had any settlement problems with them. The freight was decent, and they had a solid customer base, and the guys didn't sit...but at the same time, they have continued for years to go through people in high numbers, but I don't really know why that is.

    If ABF doesn't work out, and I certainly would recommend going for that one first, don't totally rule out PTL. Check them out carefully, and see if they offer something you could live with. I give them a thumbs up, but remember that I am almost a decade out of touch on any personal level with them.

    You don't hear alot of bad about PTL, and their safety stats could be better, but they could also be worse. They are average in all categories but driver out-of-service rates. They are slightly higher than average in that category for some reason. I do know that they are not in the habit of forcing drivers to violate the rules, and it could be the their high number of leased trucks, whose drivers are a bit more independently minded, are affecting them in that category.
     
  7. Tip

    Tip Tipster

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    Definitely go with ABF if they will hire you on. If you DO get hired on, be sure to make some offering to the great "gods" of trucking. It's tough getting a job at ABF for even those with experience. If your first driving job is with them, that's something to celebrate. You should definitely be thankful.
    After all, you COULD be starting out with Swift (like I did).


    Good luck. I hope you land this ABF job, man.
     
  8. MACK E-6

    MACK E-6 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    City drivers don't work those kind of hours. They can't work those kind of hours. If they did their outbound freight would never get moved. They do work hard hours though. They run their tails off.

    Co's vary with regards to dock work. It's not required where I'm at. They don't want drivers on the dock at all. Some do require linehaul drivers to do some city work though.

    City drivers are paid more, probably around $22 an hour. I don't know what ABF's city drivers make but that's about average. As for the overnighters, they may put you on a relay run, meaning you meet someone coming from the other terminal, switch trailers and go back home.

    You may have an assigned truck, but you'll be sharing it with another driver, who will run it while you're off duty. This bites, but get used to it, because until you get a run with an odd start time, such as other than between 7-10 AM or PM, that's the way it is. Only senior drivers have those runs, because they know they won't be sharing their trucks.

    If you do the linehaul thing, you'll be working the night shift for quite some time. Since daytime linehaul runs are the most wanted in the entire industry, only senior drivers have those also.
     
  9. Cybergal

    Cybergal Road Train Member

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    Since when does LINEHAUL do CITY Work??
    Are you talking Eastern Conference or Central States??

    Because if a Central State Driver (LINEHAUL) goes into a Eastern Conference Terminal, The Central States Driver DOES NOT DO CITY WORK, Such as Drop and hook and fuel, peddle etc...
    That Grievance was won.
     
  10. pro1driver

    pro1driver Heavy Load Member

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    Turbo, the PTL i am speaking of is based out of New Jersey, maybe its not Paschel, but close to it by name.

    mack-6, some city drivers do put in long hours, over 11 in fact, and up to 15. depends on where YOU live and YOUR route. i know of an estes driver from seekonk, massacheusetts that puts in up to those hours...........nearly each and every day. this is why i will not work for estes, nemf, old dominion, abf in my area, as a city driver. traffic, tight places, "old world streets" etc make for long days here on the east coast. my friend at estes has had to on occassions find a motel when he ran out of legal hours to run, pissing off the terminal manager, but the TM can't say squat.......