What's the Difference Between Less-Than-Truckloads & Full Truckloads?

Truck drivers transport many types of loads, ranging from food to farming equipment. When starting out, truckers will find various products to haul, along with different load sizes. You’ll likely have the option between less-than-truckload (LTL) and full truckload (TL) shipping. Both have significant advantages that can help drivers meet their needs while remaining on schedule. If you’re considering a career behind the wheel, learning more about the industry will help you make decisions sooner. 

What Is Less-Than-Truckload Shipping?

There’s a shortage of truck drivers and an increase in products needing shipment. Not all freight will take up the expanse of the trailer or weigh more than 15,000 pounds. With the extra room, companies consolidate shipments, adding more products to be delivered in multiple stops. It’s a cost-effective strategy that’s also lucrative for drivers, who are paid for every additional stop they make. Carriers can also make extra money for every out-of-route mile on top of their established rate per mile. Given the high-demand for truckers, companies often compete to offer the best incentives for out-of-route driving. 

LTL shipments are most often used for local and regional transit. Carriers who want to stay close to home can increase their income with LTL jobs without having to drive across the country. 

What Is Full Truckload Shipping?

Truck Driver

Some shipments are large enough to fill an entire truck, making only a single stop feasible. Full truckload shipping is also sometimes preferred by companies and drivers in the industry. In TL transportation, drivers only make a single stop. This makes route planning and delivery estimates easier for the company. Drivers benefit, as well, from a less stressful schedule. 

TL shipping is also sometimes necessary. Due to client preference or the transported goods’ sensitivity, a whole, unshared truck will be needed. Fewer stops decrease the amount of freight-handling, reducing the likelihood of damaging products. 

COVID-19 has seen demand often outpacing stock for many products. Manufacturers and retailers are struggling to keep up with orders and are relying on shipping companies to help them stay in business. These time-sensitive deliveries are easier to accommodate with full TL shipping. 

Truck drivers make many decisions throughout their careers. Hamrick School can help clarify options, answer questions, and plan for the future. For over 40 years, they’ve prepared Medina, OH, residents for life on the road with classroom and driving lessons. Their accredited CDL courses have seen over 10,000 students begin new and lucrative careers as truckers. Once you’ve graduated, they can also help you find your first gig and get on the highway much sooner. For more information on their financial aid services, visit their website or call them at (330) 239-2229. 

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