What Does An LTL Driver Do & Why It Is Considered A Good Job

Nov 8, 2023 | Blog, Trucking Info

Looking for LTL Driver jobs? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is An LTL Job?

An LTL job means you will be carrying less-than-truckload freight or e-commerce deliverables.

As a freight driver, you would need to work with small quantities that do not fill an entire trailer.

What Do LTL Drivers Do?

If you are a P&D (pickup and delivery) LTL driver, meaning that you are hauling a wide range of freight loads, you need to make multiple stops and deliver to multiple drop-off points.

Line hauling is also common in LTL jobs. The difference here is that LTL drivers carry multiple loads to the same terminal.

What To Expect As An LTL Driver

As an LTL truck driver, you should expect short, regional routes run by local LTL carriers.

You should also expect dedicated routes, which means going to the same locations every day or every week and meeting the same customers. 

Local LTL often includes services like grocery distribution to markets in the surrounding area.

Longer line haul routes are typically done in day cab trucks, not sleepers. So, if an overnight is necessary, the freight carriers usually cover hotel stays. 

However, various freight logistics companies also run LTL services across the country.

How Does An LTL Driver Day At Work Look Like?

Here’s a summary of what a day would look like if you worked as an LTL driver (without counting any extreme weather conditions, road blockages, or the like!)

Starting the day

Drivers arrive early at the LTL trucker terminal and inspect their vehicles. 

With their trailer loaded, drivers get their delivery/pickup schedaule and all necessary paperwork. Also, a route plan. 

Nowadays, with route optimization software at hand, route planning often changes while on the road, to minimize delays and drawbacks (e.g., unexpected traffic jams, consignees not there on time, etc.)

Lunch

Because in the majority of LTL driver jobs local shifts end in the evening, drop-offs are scheduled until midday usually.

LTL Pickups

The afternoon starts with the pickups. Here again, route planning is optimized to save time and resources and also make it easy for the driver.

Stop time is calculated based on the conditions met at every drop-off place, i.e., loading personnel, parking areas, paperwork needed, etc.

Ending The Day

LTL drivers get back to the carrier’s warehousing facilities. They sort out paperwork and close the day while warehouse staff load off the pallets or parcels.

LTL drivers then go back home and spend the evening with their families. 

How Many Routes Do Delivery Drivers Take On A Normal Day?

There are no fixed numbers. Freight delivery drivers may have 10-12 deliveries and pickups per day, depending on the truck size, type of freight, and distance between stops.

Urban areas are usually clustered, while, in rural areas, smaller towns are spread out. 

For courier services, the schedule can be as heavy as 100+ parcel deliveries daily.

What are the Benefits of LTL Trucking Jobs?

There are many benefits in LTL driver jobs. That’s why being an LTL driver is considered a good job!

Getting Started As A Truck Driver Is Quick

Receiving a CDL endorsement usually takes up to 3 months (CDL stands for Commercial Driver’s License.) Then, you will need to follow a training or placement program that typically lasts between 120 and 160 hours of truck driving time.

Many carrier companies also offer in-house training for new drivers, with the obligation to drive for them for a specific period of time.

High Demand For LTL Drivers

There is a considerable offering of LTL driver jobs at present. This increases your chances of getting hired. 

According to recent statistics, the less-than-truckload market is estimated to grow by USD 103.05 billion from 2023 to 2027 at a CAGR of 7% – so chances are you can easily find a job as an LTL driver with a decent salary.

You Stay Close To Home And Enjoy Days Off

LTL drivers working in P&D get to go home every night. Even LTL driving for linehaul routes offers considerable home time, in contrast with FTL, long-haul deliveries.

LTL driver jobs usually offer 1 day per week off, plus extra holidays. Many LTL truckers also include some off days in case you need to take your kids to the doctor, or similar.

It’s a great life-work balance for truck drivers.

Scheduled And Social

Working in LTL, you’ll likely have a steady schedule. So, you know what to expect day to day, and thus, driving gets easier.

Plus, meeting the same people every day or every week is great for socializing and having some agreeable time, rather than spending lonely hours behind the wheel.

Good And Steady Salary Plus Extras

Because many LTL carrier companies face driver shortages, LTL driver pay has increased in the last couple of years.

On top of this, new safety regulations put a limit on driving hours to ensure driver safety.

Working at an LTL freight carrier ensures a decent, steady wage (paid weekly) with paid holidays, plus bonus for clean roadside inspections, adherence to safety protocols, retention time, and more.

See you can have it both ways….be home spend all kinds of “happy time” with your wife and still make a darn good living…..
Anonymous LTL driver

How Much Do LTL Trucking Jobs Pay?

Based on rates posted by users in job/recruiting sites, LTL truck drivers make an average salary of $66,494 per year – excluding extras. Additional annual pay of $7,789 may include: bonus, commission, tips, profit sharing.

Different recruiting sites show LTL trucking jobs wages at around $75,000/year plus extras. 

So, you can select the best-paying carrier in your area. LTL carriers need their drivers to reside nearby.

What About LTL Owner Operators?

Owner operators are normally paid more per trip. 

In 2022, there was the highest average compensation per mile for independent drivers, reaching a notable $2.94/mile, while company truck drivers received $0.72/mile

On the flip side, 21% of self-employed truck drivers had difficulty in finding loads to haul, while 61% of drivers co-operating with 3rd parties (like freight brokers) saw a decrease in loads worth hauling.

The Impact Of E-commerce On LTL Trucking & LTL Driver Salaries

After the e-commerce outburst of the pandemic, where LTL shipping boomed, demand decreased slightly. On the other hand, now there is a rise in 2-day or next-day deliveries.

So, the LTL market keeps fluctuating, but it stays strong and promising.

Carrier companies invest in new technologies, advanced equipment, and capacity optimization software to balance changing market conditions.

And surprisingly, even though rising fuel prices are the number one trucking industry concern, driver wages share the biggest part of the total average marginal cost for carriers

In fact, truck driver wages increased by 15.5% in 2022!

This rise in driver salaries reflects the logistics industry effort to attract truck drivers and also retain them. It’s worth noting though, that driver benefits remained unchanged.

LTL Driver Jobs At Pinnacle Freight

Working as an OTR/LTL Driver at Pinnacle Freight, you get to have a competitive salary and benefits package, excellent work-life balance, and open communication with dispatchers and support staff.

At Pinnacle, our drivers are a key component to our success. This is why we reward quality work and retention. 

Benefits of LTL Drivers working at Pinnacle trucking include:

  • LTL driver salary up to $100,000 yearly
  • $3000 sign-on bonus 
  • Multi-stop with Stop Pay – No touch
  • Flexible Home-Time
  • Paid vacations that increase with time
  • High-end trucks: Kenworth T 680’s & Freightliners 
  • Vehicle safety and comfort plus many extras (TV with DirecTV, microwave, etc.)

And much more!

Join the Pinnacle Trucking Family. Apply for an LTL Driver Job Today!

Contact Us

Phone: 732.667.5261

Fax: 732.667.5265

Contact Pinnacle

mgmt@pinnacletruck.com

pickup@pinnacletruck.com

sales@pinnacletruck.com

Pinnacle Freight Systems, Inc.
Pinnacle Trucking, LLC
500 Cedar Lane, Florence, NJ 08518