Old Dominion Freight Line - 3 Year Review

Discussion in 'Discuss Your Favorite Trucking Company Here' started by plynnjr92, Mar 6, 2024.

  1. plynnjr92

    plynnjr92 Light Load Member

    Jul 9, 2014
    Inland Empire, CA
    Hello all. I'd like to detail my experience as a driver for Old Dominion Freight Line after 3+ years with the company. Equipment, pay, benefits, atmosphere, etc and what a new hire can expect in this current freight environment.

    *This post will likely be a work in progress and I may miss a few things. I will add additional details should I believe them necessary.*

    Table of Contents
    1. My Personal Experience
    2. Pay
    3. Equipment
    4. Benefits
    5. Hometime
    6. Work Atmosphere
    7. New Hire Expectations *
    as of March 2024*

    1. My Personal Experience
    I'll try to keep this part brief. I was hired on in October 2020 to the Salt Lake City, UT terminal as a linehaul driver. After a year, I was granted a transfer to the Rialto terminal in my home state of California. Started in Rialto as a linehaul driver but as the freight market contracted in 2022, I joined their team operation to keep my wheels turning and my paychecks coming in.

    I've held a CDL for 10+ years and out of every company I've worked for, this is the best I've experienced hands down. I plan to spend the rest of my driving career at this company, and chapters 2 through 6 should help explain why.

    2. Pay!
    The part you really wanted to see at #1.
    As far as I understand, OD pays their drivers based on the region they live in. For example, Northern California drivers (Bay Area and Sacramento) make half a cent more than Southern California (LA through to San Diego) drivers because of their comparatively higher cost of living. So your exact compensation rate may vary based on the state AND region in which you live.

    There are THREE pay grades for drivers based on time with the company.
    11 months or less is the lowest rate
    12-23 months is the middle rate
    24+ months is top rate.

    Here are Southern California's Top Rates (24mo+):
    Linehaul: 82.88cpm
    P&D: $36.55/hr
    Team: 90.08cpm Split, 45.04cpm All Miles

    California drivers are paid $16/hr for all on-duty not driving time, and paid ~$22-$26/hr for state-mandated 15-min rest breaks. In every other state, you're paid for hooking/unhooking and fueling as like an add-on accesorial pay, depending on how many times you state you completed those tasks during a run.

    Combo Drivers (Dock Work and Driving)
    are paid on a separate slightly lower 3-tier scale until they move up to a regular driver position.

    Yearly cost-of-living adjustments are announced every August-September, to be enacted the following month. They vary depending on how well the company does, but you can expect around a 2-3cpm increase year over year.

    The pay period runs from Friday at midnight to the following Thursday at 11:59pm. Paychecks are delivered weekly, direct deposit available.

    3. Equipment
    *Based on my region's guesstimated inventory*

    65-70% Freightliner Cascadia Daycabs
    20-25% Kenworth T680 and T680 Next Gen Daycabs
    >5% International LT Daycabs
    All trucks have outward facing dashcams only without audio.
    Trucks 2018+ have radio w/aux, 2022+ have Bluetooth radio.
    All manuals are 10-speed.
    About 10% of trucks are 12-speed autos, but that number is ever increasing.
    Mostly single drive axle trucks, but there's a higher concentration of 3-axle trucks in snowy mountainous regions like Denver.
    Linehaul Daycabs are 2022 model year or newer, P&D are as old as 2016 but quickly being retired and sold.
    All sleeper trucks are Freightliner Cascadias, most with the 12-speed auto, all single drive axle.
    Older Freightliners have the DD15, but since model year 2020+ all trucks come with the Cummins X15.
    Daycab trucks governed between 65-70mph based on region and assigned run!
    All sleeper trucks governed at 65mph.
    Daycabs are slipseat! But if a truck is found to be egregiously dirty, tell dispatch or your supervisor. They can find out who drove the truck last in a heartbeat and handle the situation, and likely give you another tractor to drive that day if possible.
    Sleeper teams DO NOT slipseat! The truck you drive is for all intents and purposes, yours.

    Mostly Wabash 28', 40' 48' and 53' roll up door dry vans with some lift gate trailers for P&D work. Age of trailers are 2006+ but old trailers are being retired more frequently as of late.

    OD makes it a point to have properly maintained equipment. Safety-sensitive items are the priority when on a load, but they won't hesitate to fix comfort items when they have the time. Last month my sleeper AC stopped working. After I reported it to me shop, they troubleshooted and flat-out replaced the condenser during my 2 days off.

    Breakdowns on the road work just as slowly as any other company. Hard to get a flat tire changed or a tow called quickly when everyone else is calling the same road rescue outfit.

    4. Benefits
    *Will be extensively updated, don't currently have any documentation on me as I write this "sleeping" in my daughter's bedroom*

    Health is through UnitedHealthcare, OD offers 2 different tiers (basic and less basic) through them. Single people on the basic plan pay $0 monthly premium!

    Dental is through Delta Dental

    Vision is through Superior Vision

    401k is through Empower Retirement, 6% company match offered.

    5. Hometime
    As with many LTL outfits, hometime compared to TL is light-years better.
    P&D works Monday-Friday and is home after every shift with weekends off.
    Linehaul at large terminals runs 24/7 but drivers are mostly home after every shift. The odd exception is if you're running an oddball Wild Board or Extra Board run with a designated overnight stay in a company-paid hotel room, OR if you can't complete your run back to the home terminal due to some unforseen circumstance (accident, road closure, detours, act of God, etc). In which case the company will pay a hotel room for you as well.

    Team Linehaul drivers typically work 4-6 days out at a time and come home for a minimum 34hr reset. For some runs it's more like 48-56hrs, it really depends on where you run to, how far and how many delays you see.

    6. Work Atmosphere
    Every terminal will have its own atmosphere based on the people running it. In 3 years of employment I've visited about 36 of them mostly in the western US, and at the vast majority of them I've been greeted with kindness, professionalism and respect.

    In my time working in Salt Lake City and Rialto, I've made several great working relationships with my supervisors, fellow drivers and dispatchers. Of course there's the odd person or two you just don't get along with, but with the nature of the job you'll hardly ever see them.

    I can't speak for every terminal but at least in Salt Lake and Rialto, they don't micromanage you. You do your job safely and in a timely manner and nobody will give you grief. There's a much bigger emphasis on safety than on-time service, but it's made well-known to everybody that without the customer, we don't have a job. We do this work to serve the customer. And unlike the culture at the Washington Redskins under team president Bruce Allen, the culture is actually #### good here.

    Some additional info:
    If you get fired, you have the right to dispute it and write a letter to corporate to plead your case for reinstatement.

    Large terminals with plenty of thru freight (Denver, Sacramento, Phoenix) will have plenty of linehaul work and longer runs, whereas smaller terminals (San Jose, Las Vegas, San Diego) may have fewer or shorter runs and primarily operate P&D. Take this into account when considering the type of work you want to do.

    The bidding process for runs takes place every December to take effect the following January. Linehaul and P&D bids are selected based on the seniority order within the division you drive in. More seniority = you pick your run earlier.

    Daycab trucks are assigned to the bid run, not the driver. If you decide to change your bid linehaul run from one to another, the truck you drove last year will not follow you to the next year.

    Your pay rate is based on time with the company. But your bid seniority is based on time at the terminal. If you transfer to another terminal during your employment like I did, you start back at the bottom of the bid seniority board and have to work your way back up.

    Similarly, if you decide to switch from linehaul to P&D or vice versa, you start at the bottom of the board that you have switched to, becoming a wild board driver.

    6. New Hire Expectations
    To become a driver at Old Dominion, you should likely have:
    1 year CDL A experience +
    Doubles/Triples Endorsements
    Tanker Endorsement
    Hazmat Endorsement

    It took me a month from the time I applied to the time I was called to be offered the position. Expect OD to take their time combing through your last 10 years.

    You'll likely be hired on as a Combo Driver if no regular position is available. This person will drive a truck for P&D or Linehaul as needed, but may primarily be driving a forklift on the dock. With time, you can be promoted to a regular driver position with a pay bump and no more dock work, provided the division you choose has an open slot for you.

    Every driver has set days off, even wild board. These can change at your choice when the bid period comes around every December.
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  3. Lonesome

    Lonesome Mr. Sarcasm

    Dec 15, 2007
    Northern Indiana
    Nice writeup. thanks!
    JOHNQPUBLIC and plynnjr92 Thank this.
  4. Goldenfan

    Goldenfan Heavy Load Member

    Apr 8, 2013
    Very detailed. All of the linehaul ODFL drivers I meet are nice to deal with with the exception of one, who usually finds something to complain about. He's been on a different run all winter. I hope he stays on it or takes a different one.
    JohnBoy, Lonesome and plynnjr92 Thank this.
  5. Lethal2389

    Lethal2389 Bobtail Member

    Mar 13, 2024
    So 90% manual transmission fleet?
    FreightHolla Thanks this.
  6. Gomer1969

    Gomer1969 Light Load Member

    Jan 13, 2013
    It's terminal to terminal. My location has quite a few automatics.
  7. plynnjr92

    plynnjr92 Light Load Member

    Jul 9, 2014
    Inland Empire, CA
    It depends from region to region. My terminal Southern California has quite a number of them, but the fleet is still primarily 3-pedal. In Denver they don't have any automatics at all. That's likely to give drivers more direct control during harsh winters through the mountains.

    A few more random tidbits:

    OD has a profit-sharing program that dumps money into your 401k once every year. The company is consistently under a 74% OR, and dumped over $3k into my 401k last year.

    It should be noted that there is no rider/pet policy here. Anyone in company equipment must be an employee.

    The company does an online anonymous survey every year to all employees regarding the state of the company, how employees feel and any suggestions they may have. And surprise surprise, corporate actually listens!!
    For example, Thanksgiving was always a paid holiday, but many employees grumbled at having to report back to work on Black Friday. As a direct result of employee surveys, now Black Friday is a paid holiday!

    Every truck except sleepers have 5-minute idle timers when parked. Sleepers can idle indefinitely. And though the sleepers don't have mini-fridges (bring your own cooler), they do have power inverters. Bring your microwave and TV to enjoy hot food while watching (or playing) the game!

    The outward facing dashcams save clips 15 seconds before and after being triggered, and are triggered by:
    An accident
    Running stop light or rolling through a stop sign
    Less than 100ft following distance for 4+ seconds at highway speed
    Hard braking or turning

    The parameters are basically set in a way that if you're driving responsibly, the only way the camera gets triggered is in an event that's not your fault.
  8. Gamecock Taylor

    Gamecock Taylor Bobtail Member

    Dec 16, 2019
    Great post(s), OD sounds like a great outfit to work for.
    plynnjr92 Thanks this.
  9. Gomer1969

    Gomer1969 Light Load Member

    Jan 13, 2013
    In the midwest the tractor idle time is based on the outside temperature. We can idle indefinitely if it falls below or above the parameters they set it at. We just got our discretionary match and OD put $11,500 in my 401k which is on top of my guaranteed match that we get weekly.
    plynnjr92 Thanks this.
  10. Ralph4159

    Ralph4159 Heavy Load Member

    Sep 17, 2008
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Do they accept an experienced driver's current medical cert (still over a year before expiring)? Or like a lot of companies do they require you to take a new physical regardless of your current expiration date? Also, are they non-union? Thanks
  11. plynnjr92

    plynnjr92 Light Load Member

    Jul 9, 2014
    Inland Empire, CA
    They will conduct a new medical exam during orientation. Old Dominion is a non-union company.
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