Are you keen on exploring the career option of being a line haul driver? Are you wondering what it is all about?
Don’t worry! We have all the answers for you.
Keep reading to learn everything about a line haul driver – what is it, the job description, how to become one, and the pay & benefits. We’ll also help you learn how it is different from a long-haul driver.
What is a line haul driver?
A line haul driver is responsible for transporting goods from one location to another. They usually drive commercial vehicles like tractor-trailers to move the cargo. The cargo can be anything from food products to construction materials. A line haul driver is an essential part of the transportation industry.
What is the difference between a line haul driver and a long haul driver?
The major difference between a line haul driver and a long haul driver is in terms of the length of the haul and the amount of time they spend on the road.
Both line haul drivers and long haul drivers work long hours but a line haul driver usually has a fixed work schedule and completes the route in a day. They go back to their homes at the end of the day.
On the other hand, a long-haul driver typically drives on longer routes. They drive to other cities and may be away from home for days or weeks at a stretch. They also have to drive late at night or early in the morning to complete their routes.
A line haul driver drives on the local roads and has to make frequent stops during the day. A long-haul driver drives on highways and interstates. They don’t have to make stoppages as frequently.
What is the job description of a line haul driver?
A line haul driver’s job responsibilities include the following tasks:
- Loading and unloading the cargo
- Planning the best route for transport
- Keeping a log of the driving hours
- Safely transporting goods from the start location to the destination(s)
- Securing, reviewing, and signing off on the loading documentation
- Maintaining the commercial vehicle being used for transport
- Communicating with the dispatch team regarding workload and schedule
- Ensuring the safety of the cargo and securing the goods with ropes or blocks if needed
Line haul drivers may also have to assist with warehouse tasks in between deliveries.
Prerequisites to become a line haul driver
Most employers require you to have a high school diploma or its equivalent to be considered for the job of a line haul driver. In addition to that you should have the following:
You need to have a current driver’s license which allows you to drive a standard vehicle on the road. This ensures that you know the traffic rules and can drive safely. You’ll have to pass the driver’s license exam.
Clear driving record
You must maintain a clear driving record as employers carry out a background check before hiring a line driver. There should be no traffic violations or accidents in your driving history.
Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)
CLP allows you to go on the road with a driver who holds a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). It helps you to have a closer experience and prepares you to take the wheel. You can also get some helpful tips from an experienced driver. Sometimes you have to ride with a CDL driver for a minimum number of hours before you can attempt a CDL exam.
Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
To be a line haul driver you must pass the CDL examination and obtain a CDL. You can take a CDL course to prepare for the exam. Driving a commercial vehicle is a different ball game altogether. Hence, a CDL ensures that you are prepared to take on the role.
Having some prior experience always comes in handy. If you’ve cleared the CDL exam but are not able to get a job as a line haul driver, you can look for some experience. You can take up taxi driver or delivery driver jobs. You can also help with handling cargo at the warehouse to gain experience.
Pay & Benefits
A truck driver’s average salary in the United States is $82,952* per year. The salary can vary depending on experience, educational qualifications, and geographical location.
Additional benefits may include health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, paid time off, 401(k) with matching, life insurance, and disability insurance.
*Updated as on May 2023. Subject to change.
Being a line haul driver is an interesting career option with a lucrative salary. The job comes with some serious responsibilities. However, you can give it a shot if doing a desk job is not your thing. You can obtain the required licenses step-by-step and kickstart your career as a line haul driver!
All the best!