(Just imagine one of those 1950s announcer guys on an old educational filmstrip.)

Ever wonder why there are so many differing opinions on the same company? It could be that they’re at a yard that doesn’t suit their preferred lifestyle and work habits, and are unaware that there are alternatives. So let me describe the different types of yards the company has…

HUB: These are the big yards where freight comes in from everywhere and goes out to everywhere. PHX, SBO, AQE and so on.

Pros: Usually on-site fuel and shop. Located in big cities if that lifestyle appeals to you. Due to sheer size, a fair amount of turnover happens, so you’re likely to move up quicker(especially if most of the senior drivers started out doing P&D on dinosaurs).

Cons: Lots of management and the accompanying micromanagement. Big docks can be the most stressful and chaotic environment you’ll encounter. Large pool of extraboard drivers mean overtime can be limited or nonexistent.

SATELLITE YARD: These are smaller, outlying yards where everything comes from or goes to the nearest hub. Basically a couple of line drivers and a few P&D guys. May or may not have on-site management. Mostly located in small towns.

Pros: Everyone knows each other, how they like to run, and cooperates because there isn’t that buffer of anonymity. Things are more laid back without 17 managers climbing up your nose and out both ears. When things are busy, you’ll get OT because there isn’t a huge pool of drivers to pull from. You generally get the same route and get to know your customers very well, helping things run smoothly.

Cons: Anything that needs to be fixed requires an outside vendor or a trip to the hub. Turnover is low, so you might be the bottom man for quite a while. You do everything from hostling to dockwork on the P&D end. Line runs are usually fairly short. And if one guy wants to start drama, it can be hard to get away from it.

These are basically a meet point with an office. Located in the exact middle of nowhere, they serve to facilitate cross-country linehaul and nothing else.

Pros: If you hate doing anything but driving, this is your dream job. You get in a truck with an already built set. Drive to a meet point. Swap sets with the guy coming the other way. Head back to the yard, fuel along the way, hand it off to the next guy. No hostling, dockwork, or make & break. Runs are long. Money is great.

Cons: You won’t get a lot of exercise. All repairs require outside vendors who may or may not suck. If the last guy leaves you a problem, it can be a while getting it dealt with. At least at the yard I was at, there was an amazing amount of completely unwarranted drama. Did I mention ‘middle of nowhere?’

So now you know the different options available in your Purple Driving Career. Thanks for watching, and drive safe! :D

(Filmstrip breaks. No one notices because the whole class has fallen asleep.)



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