So this will be just a straight up write-up of USF Holland. I am going to start with the facts and give my personal input towards the end. Please be advised that this IS going to be a long write up, but I promise it will have some useful info. Also, this is written with the target audience of experienced LTL drivers in mind. If you are new to the industry, PM me or ask on this thread if you don't understand some of the terminology.
I applied with Holland online after going to their YRC regional website and looked for jobs in my area. The online application process was incredibly lengthy and tedious to fill out. Every single box had to be filled out and every calendar day had to be to be accounted for and justifications had to be given for gaps in employment. I thought this would be a hurdle since I took a few weeks off to pack my crap and move from Montana to South Carolina. But it didn't come up at the end.
I have worked for USF Reddaway doing linehaul/P&D before so I knew what information they wanted to hear to get them to call me back. The application took 2 hours to fill out and two weeks later I had a phone job interview with a head hunter from Holland.
I was set up for a physical job interview with the local terminal manager that following week and was hired on the spot due to my experience.
My transition to Holland had three things that I had to pass before I could work there
1. DoT drug screen/physical
2. Company strength test
3. Pre employment screening which included some awkward unannounced questionnaires for my current boss to be filled out.
Two weeks after my interview with the TM I was hired on as a city driver. Holland honored the two week notice custom.
All new hires will go through orientation. Depending how close you live to Charlotte NC or Indianapolis IN, you will end up taking a one week course at one of those two terminals. It's all expense paid with your own hotel room.
When you get back from orientation, you team up with a driver mentor. His job is to ride with you for 1-6 weeks and teach you the ins and outs of P&D (or linehaul).
Major asterisk for me at this point. I worked for the sister company called Reddaway. Our process of picking up/dropping off freight and the whole computer system was 98% identical. I knew how to operate Omnitracs and the workflow. I actually taught my trainer several things on the hendheld he didn't even know. So he told management to just put me in my own truck.
So back to it.
When you first start, you do 30 punches of freefalling. You punch into the clock 30 times with no protection of the union. They can and will fire you for any reason if you get hurt or have any type of mishap. There is zero tolerance and zero second chances. It took me about 6 weeks to get my 30 punches. Your orientation will count towards those 30 punches.
After your thirty punches, you sit down with the Union steward and fill out a form to gain entry into the union. You now start your 30 days of company probation. I did not ask if we would receive more leniency than our 30 punches. The last thing I wanted to do is introduce the thought that I might crash something.
There are no company uniforms or company phones. I was lucky to get a hat and pen during orientation. Standard LTL dress code of hard toed shoes, pants or shorts, and a plain shirt with no print.
Most everything is pretty standard LTL. We run 53 foot trailers and extremely crappy to very new trucks. Outbound is the only shift that is exclusively casual dock. If you are full hire, you could bump a dock worker to get his hours.
So there are two full-time driver positions:
I am not a linedriver anymore. When I did it at Reddaway, I was home almost daily. Over here, many (if not most) will be out large portions of the week. They supposedly make more and are home weekly with parts of the weekend and holidays off. They are called Road Drivers on the Holland end, yet, they serve the same function as anywhere else. Move freight from our terminal to the next one over or beyond and then come back with freight from another terminal destined for us. I don't want to give anymore information beyond this because this really is the extent of my knowledge for Holland's road drivers.
Second full time driver position is P&D. Holland calls it City Driver. When you first get through the job interview process, you have to agree to be a combo driver. This means you will work the inbound dock in the AM and then run a route.
Inbound dock is staffed by the most junior and most senior drivers. The senior guys start out early so they can work their 10-12 hours with minimal driving. The junior guys usually start mid morning and do the dock/driver combo. They are usually drivers that are unassigned and just lack the seniority to bid themselves out of doing dock work altogether. The mid level drivers bid themselves out of dock work, but occasionally help out until their trailer is loaded.
I think this is the point where I gotta cut myself off before I move on to something that is proprietary or sensitive to my terminal. So I will move on to some personal (but hopefully helpful things to consider). Again, the following is City Driver only.
I have no idea how much I make. The Union just redid the contract. My pay stubs doesn't show my hourly wage, but it is somewhere between $19.84 - $19.96. I receive OT after 8 hours and our benefits are 100% company paid. They are worth an additional $12/hour. We get annual pay raises and top out near $25/hour.
Realistic work expectations:
If you are familiar with the field, and you are good at driving and backing, management will leave you alone. This is by far more laid back than Reddaway. Deliver what you can, and bring back what you can't.
My TM is a former driver and a straight shooter. He promised me 40 hours a week and anything above is icing. I currently work 50 hours or so and I am ok with it.
Please, listen to me now and hear me later. If you just graduated CDL school, this might not be right for you. This job is 100% hardball and you will be expected to play the way they play the game. You better keep up. You have got to be a confident driver and skilled enough to back from any angle without hitting anything. If you are skittish, new to driving, or the LTL field, you will probably have a bad time. We don't give second chances during your probation period and will fire you if you screw up
I don't even know where to start on this one. Some of our trucks aren't just old, they are downright neglected. The truck I had today was missing a passenger seat, was covered in rubbish knee high, was missing a window crank, and the passenger door latch was also missing. You will run some very crappy trucks and every week you will get a paycheck high enough to remind you why you put up with it.
Thanks for reading. Please feel free to ask any questions or leave comments.
I see a lot of guys with Teamster shirts, but you really don't feel a presence of the union. They don't hold alot of meetings or anything. It feels like any other workplace to be honest.