What Is a Line Haul? (With Definition, Tips, and Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 10, 2022

In the transportation industry, companies group goods with similar destinations in long-distance trailers and transfer them to one or multiple distribution centres for further classification and sorting. At the sorting depot, the commodities go through another phase of consolidation before the facility despatches them to their ultimate destination. Learning about trucking can help you decide if it's an appropriate career path for you. In this article, we define a line haul, discuss the benefits of a career in trucking, provide examples of truck driving skills, and list tips on improving them.

What is a line haul?

In logistics, line haul refers to the transportation of products between two designated stations using any mode of transport, including land, air, or sea. Cities, ports, and warehouses can serve as these stations, and these services typically rely on scheduled departures and arrivals. The more calculable the transport offer is for demand, the more appealing scheduled transport operations become. While courier companies typically establish the routes, the products delivered often vary in volume and weight, ranging from small items to large containers.

Courier services often pick up freight at a predetermined depot. They consolidate it with similar destinations in trailers for long-distance transfer to a sorting facility or other kinds of depots. Sorting plants then separate and reassemble items of various sources for further transportation to their destination.

Related: Straight Truck vs. Tractor-Trailer Driver Differences

Benefits of a career in trucking

Here are some of the essential benefits of a career in line haul trucking:

Job stability

Trucking and other transportation industries are critical to the economy and can provide secure career opportunities. Truck drivers are essential in a variety of sectors because they enable businesses to get supplies and deliver their goods. There's often a need for drivers in trucking businesses that operate across the country and internationally. Drivers may have the opportunity to relocate and continue working in the same sector.

Travel

Truck drivers spend much of their workday driving to destinations throughout North America. These professionals can see the country and visit new areas while making a living. Many organizations permit drivers to choose from a variety of routes depending on their availability. Truck drivers may travel a predetermined path or, in some cases, alter their route to visit additional locations.

Related: 15 of the Best Travel Jobs

Self-determination

Truck driving often gives individuals the opportunity to shape their careers and schedules. Some truck drivers own tractors and offer their services to transportation companies as contractors. These professionals can determine which companies they want to work for and can negotiate the terms of their contract. Many trucking companies also offer their part- and full-time drivers the ability to choose their schedules.

Compensation

Many drivers get paid on a per-kilometre basis, and may have incentivised bonuses for additional activities such as loading or unloading their trailer or transporting hazardous materials. Numerous drivers also receive a per diem allowance, which typically covers daily food and lodging expenses. Opportunities for overtime work are also common in this industry.

Minimal educational requirements

Truck driving typically requires a high school diploma and a specific licence. A Class A commercial driver's licence (CDL) is typically the primary requirement. Drivers can get their CDL shortly after graduating from high school and immediately begin working. Many truck driving companies offer on-the-job training opportunities.

Self-directed work

While truck drivers are accountable to be on-time for deliveries, they spend much of their time on their own. This often makes truck driving an appealing career choice for self-motivated people or those who like to work independently. While they drive, they have the opportunity to listen to audiobooks, music, podcasts, or other audio material. These elements of the job may appeal to people who enjoy a more flexible schedule.

Purpose

Trucking is a vital sector that contributes to the economy, employing large numbers of people. It enables companies to get the necessary goods and deliver them to people all over the nation. Truck drivers are sometimes responsible for carrying valuable or risky items, making their expertise crucial. These factors often instill a feeling of significance and purpose in truck drivers.

Challenge

Driving a truck can provide challenges that are rewarding to overcome. Drivers often confront adverse weather conditions such as snow, ice, and rain, in addition to congestion and navigational challenges. These characteristics might make it an interesting career for individuals who thrive on everyday challenges and problem-solving.

Related: How to Become a Tow Truck Driver in Canada (With FAQs)

Essential truck driving skills

Excellent truck driving abilities contribute to your safety and the safety of others while you're on the road. Besides technical driving skills, there are several soft skills you can develop to excel in this role. When you include these talents on your resume, employers can understand what makes you a good fit for the position. Here are some abilities to consider when preparing for or advancing your career as a line haul driver:

Safe driving skills

Employers in this industry value safe driving skills highly. Maintaining a safe driving environment is critical, even more so while operating a massive truck. Numerous practise sessions can prepare you with excellent strategies for manoeuvring the vehicle. Comprehensive business training and certifications can provide you with the formal knowledge necessary to operate a vehicle.

Focus

As a truck driver, it's important for you to maintain a high level of concentration for long periods. It's critical to maintain focus throughout the night and during the daily rush hours. Consider developing tactics for staying focused, such as avoiding distractions and organizing your route in advance of your journey.

Responsibility

A competent truck driver is responsible and makes necessary preparations for their journey. This involves packing food, inspecting your vehicle, and becoming acquainted with your route. Responsibility implies that you're capable of driving when needed and completing your assignments.

Organizational skills

Organizational abilities are critical for a truck driver because of the amount of documentation required in the role. Some examples include signing in for work, logging vehicle safety checks, and submitting travel information. Businesses often demand truck drivers maintain extensive records to ensure they drive safely and responsibly, and these records also help you stay accountable.

Mechanical expertise

In most cases, truck drivers travel alone. Mechanical expertise enables you to resolve issues without requiring extra support. The ability to address mechanical issues without the assistance of the company or local mechanics can prevent delayed deliveries and extended journeys.

Cleanliness

Your truck's cleanliness can demonstrate that you're a responsible driver and a conscientious employee. As a truck driver, you often spend much of your time inside the vehicle. It's critical to keep it clean and orderly by regularly disposing of trash and unloading belongings. Consider keeping a broom to sweep away any dirt that accumulates over time.

How to improve your truck driving skills

There are both formal and informal methods for enhancing your skill set to make driving simpler and increase your confidence on the highway. Consider the following strategies for enhancing your truck driving abilities:

1. Practise driving

Practising your driving is an excellent technique to gain confidence while operating a truck. Experiencing the road in different trucks can help you gain a better understanding of traffic signs and determine your optimal driving style. Adapting your driving style to certain vehicles and paying close attention to variations gives you a better awareness of your driving skills.

2. Gain knowledge from others

Talking to other drivers and listening to their experiences can give you a wealth of knowledge about truck driving. Truck drivers with years of experience may provide recommendations and restrictions that you're unaware of. Conversing with other truck drivers allows you to gather suggestions and bits of advice and builds a community of like-minded individuals.

3. Maintain up-to-date knowledge of driving regulations

It's important to stay informed of current driving regulations and laws across the country and in the provinces and territories in which you work. Laws change often and restrictions can vary by location. The more acquainted you are with rules and the more of them you know, the more competent you may be while driving. You may also share this vital information with other truck drivers, helping to keep everyone safer.

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