My Experience as a Line Haul Driver

Discussion in 'Motor Carrier Questions - The Inside Scoop' started by American-Trucker, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. American-Trucker

    American-Trucker Road Train Member

    Nov 8, 2009
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    My Experience as a Line Haul Driver

    This is Part 3 of my blog series:

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

    I originally wasn't going to start another thread, since i should be doing the same route 5 days a week, a simple round trip. But I've decided to start this blog for 2 reasons #1 Because there is little to no info about being a Line Haul Driver on here #2 quite a few readers of my blog requested that i continue my here it is!


    So it all started about 2.5-3 weeks ago I was home on home time and I saw an AD on Craigslist advertising a Local Line Haul Job for a Big LTL company.

    Now I've been applying with the big LTL companies since i was 18....and continue to update my apps every 6 months (they expire) and I've NEVER gotten so much as a call back. And im not just applying to apply i apply for OPEN jobs posted on their sites! and still NOTHING for 4 YEARS!

    So anyway, i was going to apply at their site like usual BUT this job wasn't even posted yet! :biggrin_25524: So I drove down to the terminal to fill out a paper app in person. And just in case i always like to be prepared like a boy scout so i brought a Copy of my MVR and a Copy of my Long form (for my DOT Physical). So i get their and fill out the app, and turn it into the Terminal Manager, and i tell him i also had my MVR and Long Form if he wanted to see it and to my surprise he said he did. So he made a copy of both and Faxed the App, MVR, and long form into Corporate and asked me to wait a few min to see what they said :biggrin_25511: ( I was thinking dang a few min and their gonna see my app that fast?)

    Well not 2 min later the phone rings, it was corporate calling to tell the manager to set me up for a Video Interview (web cam/phone) so i did that, and they seemed very interested in hiring me. When she asked how long i was on the road i told her out 5 weeks then home for 5 days she says "omg that sucks, lets get you home" i liked the sound of that.

    So after that the manager hands me a piece of paper and says "go here and do a drug test", i didn't notice it ALSO said DOT Physical on it too until i got their lol. When i saw that i was thinking dang they sure are spending allot of money on someone they aren't going to hire...:biggrin_25511:

    The terminal manager also gave me a stack like 2 inches thick of paper work to read/ sign/ fill out and return to him. So after the test and physical i went home to do the paper work.

    The terminal manager had also said as he handed my the drug test form, "when they send someone for a drug test, that usually means you have the job" and i about fell over! :biggrin_2555:

    Now at this point my head was spinning, i didn't know what to do! I had just started working at Lone Star Transportation (Started December 8th 2011) and i LOVED it there, i loved my truck, flat bedding, the money was insane, and i had a great dispatcher who ran me good and hard just like i like! BUT at the same time i also wanted to be home more and actually have a life...I'm only 22, i moved to NC after High School when i was 18 and have done nothing but work and i mean 10-16 hours a day 5-6 days a week, and unfortunately almost every job I've had in NC everyone i worked with was wayyy older like 30+ so little to no chance in making friends down here :biggrin_25511: and the FEW that were closer to my age were married and had kids lol. I had spent 1.5 YEARS LIVING in a truck, don't get my wrong, i like OTR, i love Sleeper trucks, i love this country and getting to see it (even the sheety places like NJ, NY, and CA) i really didn't mind leaving home, sleeping in a truck, truck stops, truck stop showers/bathrooms (i didn't LIKE them but i could live with it).

    Yeah there are things i don't like about OTR but nothing i cant handle, but this was an opportunity to be home, make good money, have a life, and all with a CAKE JOB! So i was lost, i spent 4 DAYS thinking, researching, calling friends (mostly truck driver friends) and after 4 days i finally decided to was going to give it a try, I've been 2nd guessing myself since i made the decision to apply for the job in the first place, and i am STILL doing it, i gave up a BEAUTIFUL 2007 379Exhd Peterbilt and a $60,000- $75,000/year job for this (this being the unknown)

    I am choosing to keep the company OUT of this blog for 3 reasons, #1 Company policy about blogging (it doesn't prohibit it, it just discourages it), #2 The name of the company doesn't matter, this is MY blog about MY experience in a Niche of trucking, not with this company specifically, #3 Line Haul is Line Haul so i want this thread to be helpful to anyone looking to get into this Niche of the Industry, not just this company.

    I know some of you know who I'm going to work for, if you don't know you clearly aren't looking. But i would appreciate it if we can keep the company Bashing and questions about this company out of this thread. If you have questions about the company (like you already know who im going to work for and you applied here to and want some info about the company...PM me I'll be glad to help)

    For any of you thinking "WTF is Line Haul?":

    A line haul driver is a shuttle driver, most commonly seen pulling a set of pups (Doubles or Triples) or a 53' trailer. Line Haul Drivers simply do a round trip, from their home terminal to another terminal a few hours away and straight back to their home terminal OR they meet up with another driver halfway between terminals and switch trailers. So basically you hook to a trailer or trailers drive to a terminal or a meeting point, drop your trailer or trailers, hook to another trailer or trailers and return to your home terminal...same route every day...easy!

    They had 2 different routes open when i applied so I'm not sure which one I'll be getting.....yet.

    I start Monday April 16th 2012. First day is basically just watching videos etc (typical orientation type of stuff) and learning about the dock stuff, forklifts, loading and unloading etc all the stuff I'll need to know about the terminal operations and dock work. Tuesday and Thursday I'll be riding with a driver trainer, his job is basically to show me how to put together and break down a set, and show me how the paper work and whatever else is involved with the run is done.

    Then Thursday i should be own my own, running my route. Also NOTE: most line haul drivers run Night Shifts. My shift starts at 7pm Mon-Fri with weekends and Holidays off, shift goes to 6-9am so basically 11-14 hour work days.

    Thanks for Reading!

    American Trucker
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  3. freightlinerfever11

    freightlinerfever11 Light Load Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    East of the Rockies
    good to see you keep your blog going!
    American-Trucker Thanks this.
  4. win-some-loose-less

    win-some-loose-less Medium Load Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Mount Vernon tx
    Dude, you are off the road. You don't need b.s. threads anymore to fill your downtime. Lol good luck
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2012
    American-Trucker and CenutryClass Thank this.
  5. Wookie Dude

    Wookie Dude Light Load Member

    Jun 15, 2010
    Slidell, LA
    Good luck with the new job - I too have been looking into doing ltl work when i get burned out on otr. keep safe!
    American-Trucker Thanks this.
  6. triplesanddoubles

    triplesanddoubles Bobtail Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    You are going to love it!!!! Linehaul is the perfect job for someone who wants to have a normal home life.
  7. windsmith

    windsmith Road Train Member

    Sep 2, 2011
    Isn't linehaul night work? Not too much that's 'normal' about working night shift.
    EHB Thanks this.
  8. xbmann

    xbmann Light Load Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    north texas
    Good luck I'm sure you wil do great
    American-Trucker Thanks this.
  9. 3 steps

    3 steps Light Load Member

    Apr 10, 2012
    A/T if you are new to pulling sets, listen to the older guys advice. Pulling empties in the wind can be like trying to push a string down a hallway.

    Also, beware of the different types of convertor dollies. There are different kinds of air valves and setups. Always release the trailer brakes, and walk back to the dolly and the tail listening for air leaks. If you have a trailer hand brake that will stay applied, use it to check the service lines for leaks throughout the set.
  10. RoadCall

    RoadCall Road Train Member

    Mar 12, 2012
    Home everyday with weekends off, lots of people work nights. :biggrin_25511:
  11. 3 steps

    3 steps Light Load Member

    Apr 10, 2012
    And dont be a lazy sack like many of the guys I work with and leave the service valve on the back of your lead in the open position after you break the set down......Some people are so lazy. And dont drag your chains around the yard when you are moving the dolly!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2012
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