Linehaul vs OTR for rookie trucker and young family

Discussion in 'The Drivers Lounge' started by wawtrucker, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. wawtrucker

    wawtrucker Well-Known Member

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    Hello drivers,
    I posted a few weeks ago. I graduated from CDL school a few weeks ago, have my hazmat, doubles/triples, and tank endorsements. OD is hiring in my area and I applied for the L/H opening. Already took drug and road test, had photo ID taken, just waiting on corporate sometime this week for approval. I've got a young family and we are very thankful for this opportunity right out of trucking school. My wife would've supported me going OTR, but she obviously wants me home more. I know she'd be disappointed if I went OTR when I could've done L/H. I'll be making $20.65 per hour during 4 week training, then moving to cpm for my L/H job.

    Am I crazy for still wondering about going OTR? I had my eye on Shaffer before this L/H opportunity came. I know I'll make more and be home more often w/ the L/H gig. I'm just wondering about the quality of home time since I'll be night shift and will have to keep to that schedule even during my days off. I know eventually I could get an opportunity to make a bid on a day L/H run, but I'm pretty sure those are limited and that might take awhile to get that kind of seniority. I have no interest in P&D. I want to drive. Shaffer does offer bi-weekly home time, so I wouldn't have to be out a month at a time. I'd get two days off for two weeks out, my own assigned truck, won't have to drive just nights - although I've been told there are a lot of night appointments for reefer. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about the L/H job and what comes with it, I'm just comparing the two. Everything tells me that the L/H gig would be the way to go, and that I shouldn't squander the opportunity. If I go OTR and later decide I want to try the L/H gig, it might not be available at that time.

    I think the reason the OTR still appeals in some way is because it's an experience I might never know about. I'm also curious how the 12-14 hour days w/ night shift will be. I willing to do whatever it takes to support my family, and I'm a hard worker and good provider, I just have my hesitations. Part of me wishes I could go OTR for my first year, and then look at L/H. I just don't know if that opportunity will still be there, especially w/ OD. Out of all the LTL companies I've looked at, OD is the most attractive for me. No dock work, just driving for the L/H gigs, pays well. It doesn't matter to me that it's not union.

    So, thoughts? Am I crazy for still wondering about OTR with a L/H gig that's probably going to be offered to me? You don't know what you don't know, and I'm not claiming to know anything. ;) Which is why I'm asking for input.
     
  2. medic92

    medic92 The world is my oyster...I don't like oysters.

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    It all depends on the person. Some people enjoy the stability of being home every night and having a set route, while others enjoy not knowing where they're going from week to week. You might be crazy for wanting to go OTR or you might be crazy for accepting a linehaul position. Personally I'd rather be home every night but you'll have to decide for yourself. Most of the time the linehaul stuff pays better than the OTR gigs you can get right out of school, so there's that.

    Good luck with whatever decision you make!
     
  3. RacerX69

    RacerX69 Retired Gear Jammer/IBEW Retired/Wingnut

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    Like Medic, I agree that what choice you make is the one that is right for you.

    That said, for me, if I were in your shoes, the linehaul gig would be the better choice. Being home on a regular schedule is much better for a young driver who has a family.

    And family is everything.

    Also, you are getting a great opportunity to get a decent paying job right out of the gate.

    Good luck to you!

    Oh, and keep us posted on how you are doing too!
     
  4. Sugarfoot

    Sugarfoot " I'm just a truck driver "

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    Sir, I've read your post.Just a little background, I'm a 39+ yr. Teamster Freight Hauler, the last 35 with the same company.

    You are going to be over whelmed just doing a proper pre-trip. Forget about Shaffer Trkg. You are going to need every bit of your concentration and ability just to get that OD set from point A to B back to A correctly, safely and on time every night! You will be mentally drained every morning.

    You have benefited from an Industry in deep turmoil. 40 yrs. ago, you would have not been able to walk onto the property of an LTL Carrier, let alone fill out an app!

    You have hit the equivalent of the power ball. Be careful, drive your own truck, don't let others, either OD drivers or any other drivers force you into a dangerous situation. Use the Smith System Five Keys of Defensive Driving :6799:. Good Luck :guiness:, keep us posted on your progress.:shift::usa2:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2014
  5. wawtrucker

    wawtrucker Well-Known Member

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    I really appreciate all the feedback everybody. I feel like the responsible choice would be to take the L/H job. There's really no reason for me not to take the L/H job, especially when I could eventually bid on a day run. I guess driving those long night hours and having to get adjusted to sleeping at day just has me concerned. My wife currently works 12 hour weekend nightshifts so she knows what it will take for me to be healthy and rested. Once I get hired she'll be leaving her job to take care of the kids. I have the support at home, and they'll know that I'll have to sleep during the day. I guess I just wanted to see if I was nuts for still wondering what an OTR gig would be like! I'll keep everybody updated on what happens this week. I realize this is a fantastic opportunity and I am very grateful.
     
  6. wawtrucker

    wawtrucker Well-Known Member

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    Family IS everything, you're absolutely right! I can get caught up in what the job will be like and how much I love trucks that I forget about why I"m really doing this...to support my family :)
     
  7. RacerX69

    RacerX69 Retired Gear Jammer/IBEW Retired/Wingnut

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    Sure, adjusting to working graveyard can be tough, but if you are young the adjustment is so much easier. And after 6 months to a year you should be able to bid that P&D route. Lots of drivers are reaching the retirement age these days, so jobs are coming available frequently.
     
  8. Lazer

    Lazer lied to again

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    Yes, 3rd shift is tough. The hardest part of working nights for me was the sleeping during the day. After 13 years I made a carreer change out of LTL into the west TX oil patch. I now sleep at night, drive during the day. I feel 100% better. I've lost over 30lbs, my stamina has increased, better moods, I'm tanned. Don't get me wrong LTL l/h is a darn good paying job, but it is tough on the body and mind. Humans are not designed to stay awake all night and sleep during the day.Just be prepared to miss alot of your kid's growing up even being home every 'day'. You will miss ball games, school play's, family functions if not actually at your house. After my first few years I gave up trying to sleep on Monday before my work week started Monday night, so my Monday's were alway's a 24 hr plus day for me. After I got home Sat morning about 10am, I stayed up all day, did yard work, errands,chores etc., went to bed by 9-10 pm, wake up 8am Sun morn, enjoy the day as normal as possible, go to bed Sun nite, wake up Mon morn 6-7am, do my around town errands, the bank,hardware store, doctor etc., leave for work after monday evening dinner, get home Tues morn about 7-8 am go to bed.
     
  9. wawtrucker

    wawtrucker Well-Known Member

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    Wow Lazer, I don't think I'd be OK with not keeping my night shift schedule during days off. You must have been exhausted! I appreciate you sharing your experience w/ L/H. If there's one thing I can see as a negative w/ the L/H gig, it's night shift. But that isn't a permanent thing, I'd just have to be patient and wait to bid on a day shift run.
     
  10. Lazer

    Lazer lied to again

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    For me, I was not going to waste my weekends sleeping during the day. But, that was me, to each is own. As far as being patient for that day l/h run, boy you gonna need it. Depending on your company's policy on drivers 'jumping boards', plan on your children being out of high school if not college before you even have a shot at bidding on a daytime l/h run.
     
  11. Cornbinder

    Cornbinder Well-Known Member

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    Line Haul ...............

    If your young :15: I'd suggest line haul. your stamina will help you get used to the night shift/ sleeping day gig. You'll be home with your family somewhat during the week and on the weekends.
    OTR companies promise the moon but just give ya the fog and some will try and push you beyond your limits and won't have your back if something goes wrong.

    Good Luck.:coffee1:
     
  12. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    like a few others here, i too have done "line haul" for an LTL company.

    but "line haul" to some "other types" of trucking companies needs to be addressed.

    some of them "think" that line haul means, from (say) New England, down to the Carolina's is "line haul", with multiple stops along the way.

    when i tried "correcting" a hiring manager at a local company here the "true meaning" of line haul, he got all shook up, and no longer wanted to talk to me. which was just fine, as the equipment sucked, he sucked, the pay sucked, and i had more driving experience than he had as a manager...

    that being said, an LTL company i did "true" line haul work for, had me home daily, no lay over's. many now, or at least many that i had applied to up to my injury date of April, now have you doing one night out, or two, or more, making nearly home time and good rest and family togetherness nearly impossible.

    so, when considering a line haul position, be sure to get ALL the facts...time away from the house, lay overs, dock work (A. Duie Pyle) requires dock work, and lay overs, and switching out trucks, (i was TOLD by the terminal manager at their location about 15 minutes from my house in Johnston)..

    i will NOT drive several hours, work the docks, go to sleep, work the docks again, then drive only to yet another terminal for the same BS, for an entire week.

    some LTL companies (A. Duie Pyle) pay an excellent wage, but at what price your back, time off, time home, etc,etc.
     
  13. 4ramsey

    4ramsey Active Member

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    My 2 cents worth, You need a 1st or 2nd shift LTL city peddle position.. Get city experience, Gain backing skills etc. When your kids are older then go Linehaul. OTR is fine but for starting out with a family might leave you with a Bad Taste of this industrty
     
  14. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    when i eat a bad taco...i get a bad taste.....

    is that the same thing...???

    sorry buddy....(the devil made me say that)...

    cuz......

    this morning was the first time for me go for a ride (someone had to take me, as i still cannot drive yet), and after 2 weeks of being cooped up in the house makes me feel all giddy inside.....
     
  15. wawtrucker

    wawtrucker Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again everybody for the responses. To clarify some things, the opening L/H position is indeed a bag run. Out 5 days, home for two. This is just starting. I will be running the NE. Now, I can only go by what the L/H manager is telling me, but he's thinking 6 months to a year to get a daily night schedule (meaning still night shift but home daily), and he seemed less able to give me a time frame of when I could expect a day run. He noted that a L/H driver recently w/o much seniority was able to get on to a day schedule, but it might take a year or so. I completely understood and didn't push him for when I could expect these openings to become available. He can't tell the future.

    Oh, by the way, I got the job. I can start in two weeks. $20.65 hourly during 4 week training, 5 days P&D training, 15 days L/H training, the rest I'm assuming is in the yard learning to build sets etc...
     
  16. wawtrucker

    wawtrucker Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice, but I'll stick w/ either L/H or OTR before trying P&D. By the way, that's a great looking Shepard!
     
  17. pro1driver

    pro1driver I am LAST

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    when i started at NEMF, i was linehaul, which is exactly what i had wanted.

    ok, i was at number 14, two other guys made up 15 and 16th.

    i think it was for me, less than 1 year, when a couple of senior guys either quit, or went p&d.

    so moving up the proverbial ladder was quick, and by my 6th (and final) year, i was number 3. if i had stayed there and not left in 2005, i'd still be number 3...!!! as the 2 senior drivers above me are not retiring or going to p&d.....

    3 spot is good, you get to bump off the lower guys, and get the better runs.


    good luck
     
  18. wongway

    wongway -15% Pay & Broke Pension Fund

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    Stay away from OTR jobs they really suck & low pay & never home , best you can get is a city P&D job , or better yet don't get into trucking at all !!!
     
  19. wawtrucker

    wawtrucker Well-Known Member

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    Well, I start at OD, Monday 28th. Very excited! Should be on my solo linehaul run by September starting at .55 cpm!

    You guys have any suggestions for working 12-14 hour nights? I know I'll build my stamina up eventually, didn't know if there's any tricks of the trade. I'll do my best to get my rest during the day and won't drink coffee all night - I got the basics down.
     
  20. Sugarfoot

    Sugarfoot " I'm just a truck driver "

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    You'll be fine, calm down. I drink coffee every night, If you are running out of Carlisle, I'll be watching for you. I start @ 1800 and run LI, NY. for YRCF.
    The most important thing to remember is..........SAFETY FIRST,.....THEN PROCEED!!!!!!!
     

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