In our driver jobs series, we have looked at different types of driving jobs. When doing hot shot runs, drivers are typically only moving small amounts of freight over long distances as owner operators. Linehaul drivers move FTLs ( full-truckloads) of freight over two set terminals between partnering companies. Dedicated drivers usually only move freight between a couple locations for the same company. There’s one type of driver that ties these others together and that’s route driving, or what we call PuD. PuD stands for pickup and delivery, and it connects every other type of trucking.
Pickup and delivery driving is based on set routes that are taken daily by the same driver or driver teams. These types of freight runs are usually only done in a 50-150 mile radius surrounding the company that the driver works for. For instance, at Easley Transportation, our PuD drivers have daily routes that they take to deliver LTL freight (Less-Than-Truckload) to various customers around the midsouth area. A lot of the time these types of drivers are driving Box Trucks instead of the big 18-Wheelers that we typically think of when talking about trucking. These drivers have learned their routes and enjoy the routine of knowing exactly where they are going and when.
Even though these routes occur on a daily basis, the freight they are moving is no less time-sensitive than the freight the hot shot drivers pick up on the spot market. The routes are chosen to make sure that every piece of freight is delivered to the right location with enough time to get to the next pickup or delivery. These routes are organized so that a driver need not return to their starting location until the very end of their day, delivering packages and picking up new freight as they go. To break it down a little more, the schedule can be broken down a little like this:
- 8:00am Get truck loaded with freight at starting location
- 9:30am Deliver some freight to customer A and pickup some freight from their location
- 10:45am Deliver freight to customer B
- 11:30am Pickup freight from customer C that needs to be delivered to customer A
- 12:45pm Deliver freight to customer D and pickup freight that needs to be delivered to customer B
- 2:15pm Deliver freight to customer B
- 4:30pm Deliver freight to customer A and pickup freight that needs to be warehoused at starting location
- 5:45 Return to starting location to get remaining freight unloaded to be warehoused
For drivers who are trying to discover which type of driving job you prefer, PuD can be summed up in one word: Consistency. The set schedules and routes are almost like a daily checklist that you get to complete. They rarely change so you can rest easy knowing exactly what your job will look like when you wake up in the morning. Of course, there is always a chance for service hiccups and route changes because of unforeseen circumstances, but 9 times out of 10, you know exactly what you’ll need to do for the day. This is also a big deal for job security as well. Drivers that run these routes get very good at being as efficient as possible, knowing every turn, every railroad crossing and every stop light along the way. Companies highly value the efficiency of a driver that has been doing PuD runs for a long enough time to become a master of that route.
If you are looking for a consistent driving job with great job security, check out our career page to learn more about what our PuD drivers do. We look forward to hearing from you!