Small and larger companies, as well as tractor-trailer owner-operators looking for ways to improve their freight processes, should consider a practice called drop-and-hook trucking.
What is Drop-and-Hook Freight?
In this case, company truck drivers or owner-operators are asked to drop off their trailer when they arrive at their destination rather than wait with it until it’s emptied. With the full trailer unhooked, they’ll then be asked to pick up an empty trailer and go to their next pick-up. At this customer, they will drop the empty and pick up another full trailer and then get right back on the road with it.
Drop-and-hook trucking is designed to be especially efficient for the company and for the driver alike.
Drop-and-Hook vs. Live Loads
Traditionally, many trucking companies use “live loads”, where the driver pulls their truck to their destination and then sits and waits for it to be unloaded. Depending on how busy the yard is or how many items are in the trailer, sometimes this task can take hours.
These long waits can leave the driver with nothing to do during their wait – they’re essentially standing around losing money. Then, after their trailer is fully unloaded, the driver still has an empty trailer that they have to drive to the next stop or drive home.
However, in most drop-and-hook trucking freight, if the warehouse staff has been able to focus their efforts on being more efficient and productive with their loads, they’ll have the next trailer all loaded and ready for the driver to pick up when they arrive with a full trailer.
Provided the driver is familiar with drop-and-hook practices, it’s easy for them to work with the warehouse staff to get the second full trailer hooked up and ready to move out, often as fast as 30 minutes. This way, unloading doesn’t need to be rushed either, at least for the driver’s sake.
Advantages and Disadvantages
If a driver has plenty of drop-and-hook hauls on their schedule, he or she will be able to put in more miles each day and also have less waiting time at each stop. They’ll also be more likely to hit their scheduled pick-up time and end times more dependably.
Live loads may still be preferred for certain cargo like food, pharmaceutical products, or frozen goods. Live loads also might work better for flatbed cargo vs. trailers, and situations where the driver should have a role in unloading.
Looking for Drop-and-Hook CDL Trucking Jobs?
At Barr-Nunn Transportation, we offer our Solo Drivers, Team Drivers, and Team Owner-Operators opportunities for 100% no-touch freight, most of which is drop-and-hook. That means our drivers can enjoy more time on the road and less time waiting for freight to be unloaded. Barr-Nunn also offers drivers Practical Mileage Scale pay, paid time off, and safety-based pay raises.
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