Southeastern Freight Lines Jobs: Driver Pay, Requirements, and Reviews
In business for more than 70 years, Southeastern Freight Lines (SEFL) is a family-owned trucking and freight company based in Lexington, South Carolina. Recognized as the Transplace 2020 Carrier of the Year and the best company to work for in South Carolina by both Forbes and GOBankingRates, the company promotes a close-knit, family-like atmosphere.
SEFL is dedicated to exceptional customer service and, unlike many major trucking companies, services a relatively small portion of the United States. This allows many of its drivers to return home daily or weekly. If you are looking for a great work-life balance, SEFL might be the right choice for you.
Below, we’ll explore the different types of jobs available, expected salaries, how to apply, and what drivers say about their experience interviewing with and working for Southeastern Freight Lines.
Types of Southeastern Freight Lines Truck Driving Jobs
Southeastern Freight Lines primarily operates in the southeastern United States, including Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Due to the limited operation area, most truck drivers don’t spend weeks on the road. In fact, the majority are local pickup and delivery drivers, working in a 30- to 50-mile radius and returning home each night.
Other SEFL drivers run linehaul routes and return home daily, weekly, or several times per week, depending on the route and type of freight. The company hires five different types of drivers, as outlined below.
Final Mile Drivers at SEFL
Final mile drivers at Southeastern Freight Lines serve as the face of the company and drive non-CDL A vehicles to pick up and deliver local freight. Common tasks in this entry-level role include delivering freight from origin to destination in a timely manner, loading and unloading shipments with or without equipment, frequent lifting and carrying, inspecting vehicles for defects, submitting reports, and verifying shipping documents.
Drivers for the final mile fleet don’t need a CDL—just a valid driver’s license and a good motor vehicle record. They must also be willing to enter the Driver Training Program after working as a final mile driver for one year.
Driver Trainees at SEFL
Driver trainees participate in the Driver Training Program while performing freight handler duties. Tasks include loading and unloading trucks, guiding trucks into loading bays, keeping records, inspecting the trucks, and using a forklift to move freight.
Trainees must complete 80 supervised driving hours and 25 hours of yard training and be able to obtain a CDL with tanker, double trailer, and hazmat endorsements upon program completion.
P&D Drivers at SEFL
Pickup and delivery (P&D) drivers at Southeastern Freight are responsible for picking up and delivering freight locally. In this role, you will be home each night. Tasks include operating a tractor-trailer (single or double) in city and rural areas in all weather conditions, verifying dispatch instructions, safely transporting hazardous materials, and providing excellent customer service.
Regional P&D Drivers at SEFL
Regional P&D drivers pick up and transport freight locally while performing freight handler duties (loading and unloading, verifying paperwork, filling out reports). While these positions are full-time, this is a temporary, six-month assignment for P&D drivers at a service center that isn’t their permanent location.
Tasks for this role include driving a single or double tractor-trailer in urban, suburban, and rural areas, verifying shipping documents, safely transporting hazardous materials, cleaning and inspecting trailers, loading and unloading freight, ensuring proper weight distribution, and reviewing freight bills.
Linehaul Drivers at SEFL
Linehaul drivers at SEFL transport freight between service centers or designated drop sites. Tasks may include driving a tractor-trailer (single or double) in urban and rural areas and various weather conditions, verifying freight, managing hazardous materials, and providing superior customer service.
Southeastern Freight Lines Driver Pay
Although Southeastern Freight Lines doesn’t list salaries on the company website or in job descriptions, pay rates seem quite competitive.
According to Indeed, the average truck driver at SEFL earns $56,276 per year. Local drivers earn approximately $26.64 an hour. This is significantly more than the median pay for truck drivers in the U.S., $47,130 per year, or $22.66 per hour.
Southeastern Freight Lines Driver Pay by City
Pay rates for Southeastern Freight Lines drivers vary by location, seniority, and driving position. For example, driver trainees can expect to earn less than P&D or linehaul drivers. Although there’s no data available for specific positions, the chart below outlines typical salaries for truck drivers in the following locations.
All wage data compiled using Indeed reporting for SEFL Truck Driver jobs (2021).
Southeastern Freight Lines Driver Perks and Benefits
As one of the largest carriers in the Southeastern United States, SEFL is always on the lookout for talented drivers to join its team. And because it has never had to lay off workers, the company offers incredibly stable employment opportunities.
In addition to competitive pay rates, truck drivers enjoy the following benefits:
- Competitive pay
- Stable job and opportunity for growth
- Health, dental, and vision insurance
- Retail and mail order prescription drug coverage
- Short and long-term disability insurance
- Pre-tax flex and health spending accounts
- 401(k) retirement plan with company match
- Paid time off, including eight paid holidays
- Continuing education program
- Wellness program
One of the biggest benefits of driving for SEFL is the regional focus and the resulting shorter runs, consistent routes, and more time at home. Unlike many long-haul trucking companies, most drivers for Southeastern Freight Lines have weekends off and are home several times a week. This allows drivers to enjoy a better work-life balance than at nationwide trucking companies that may require employees to be on the road for weeks at a time.
Southeastern Freight Lines Truck Driver Requirements
To apply with Southeastern Freight Lines for their CDL A jobs (linehaul driver, P&D driver, or regional P&D driver), you need to have a valid CDL with hazmat, tanker, and double trailers endorsements.
New team members entering the Driver Training Program must be willing to complete 80 hours of supervised driving and 25 hours of supervised yard training. During this program, you will work alongside another driver to learn how to load and unload freight, fill out the required paperwork, and meet safety standards.
Other driver requirements vary by position but usually include the following:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Have six months to a year of tractor-trailer driving experience
- Hold high school diploma or GED
- Ability to read, understand, and write in the English
- Ability to perform simple mathematical calculations
- Ability to handle receipts and maintain accurate driver logs
- Ability to meet DOT regulations and physical qualifications for commercial truck drivers
- Ability to pass alcohol and drug tests
- Willing to enter and complete their driver trainee program
Applying to Southeastern Freight Lines Driving Jobs: Tips and Advice
To apply for a Southeastern Freight Lines position, you’ll fill out their online application or apply in person at a local headquarters. Required information includes:
- Name, date of birth, and address
- Email address and phone number
- Social Security number
- TWIC card expiration date
- A statement that you are legally allowed to work in the U.S.
- Driving experience
- License restrictions (if any)
- License number
- License endorsements
- Education history (including college and driver training programs)
- Work history
Current and former employees report the interview process as being comfortable and professional. Interviewers take the time to get to know you and tell you about the company. Common questions include asking about your experience, why you want to work for the company, how you perform under pressure, and how you would react if you saw another employee stealing.
Southeastern Freight Lines Reviews of Truck Driving Jobs
Truck driving can be a fast-paced, stressful work environment but also a lucrative and rewarding career. These reviews from current and former Southeastern Freight Lines employees can help you understand if the company and job are right for you.
A P&D driver in North Atlanta, Georgia, reports some pros and cons of the job on Glassdoor: “Stable company with good benefits. Most leaders are pretty good at their jobs and treat employees with respect. The 401(k) match is generous. They’ve extended solid pay raises every year that I’ve worked here. No overtime pay after 40 hours although this is changing. They will start to pay time-and-a-half after 45 hours starting mid-April 2021. Long hours—usually about a 50-hour work week for P&D drivers. Some of the management team are incompetent. The company doesn’t publish company policy with employees.”
On Indeed, a former truck driver for SEFL says, “Good company to work for. Wish I had found them sooner. Not easy work, but we had mostly the tools to succeed. Don’t regret working there. The longer you stay the more money you have the opportunity to make.”
“I really enjoyed my time with SEFL,” states an Indeed reviewer and former Class A truck driver. “Great pay. Great employees. Management always understanding. Always an open door policy. Safe working environment.” While the driver details the “great schedule” as an advantage of the job, the only downside is that the “wait time can throw you off a bit.”
A local linehaul driver in Fort Worth, Texas, describes the biggest benefit as, “Maximum amount of pay for maximum amount of home time.” However, they didn’t like that they “have to wait one hour before going on the clock between driving times. So working for free isn’t fun.”
Summing up the position as an overall “good job,” a current P&D driver in Tennessee explains: “Above average pay, and benefits. Definitely one of the better LTL companies. Decent health insurance, 10% 401(k) match, and you get paid 9 hours for your vacation days (that’s kinda cool). You will work VERY hard, but you’ll be able to take very good care of your family.” Pros include “amazing pay, chicken biscuits once a month,” while cons include “50 hours per week on average. LTL can be very stressful.”
A P&D city driver enjoys the pay and family-like environment. “City driver: Mon. to Fri., 8am-ish to 7pm-ish typically. Could be an hour earlier or later, each day is different, that’s just the nature of this biz. Most freight is unloaded via pallet jack or forklift. You do more walking than you may expect. 20-40 stops/day. Pay is good around $30/hr. Trucks have A/C. Environment is kinda like a big family. Nothing much to complain about really. Good place to work.”
Alternative Trucking Companies to Consider
Fortunately, Southeastern Freight Lines doesn’t have steep experience requirements for its driving positions—just six months for P&D drivers and one year for linehaul drivers. So, if you have your Class A CDL with proper CDL endorsements and the required experience, you can apply for any of the driver positions.
However, if you’ve recently earned your commercial driver’s license but don’t have any driving experience yet, the driver trainee program can help you get your foot in the door on your way to a full-time truck driving position.
Without a current CDL, you may want to consider applying to be a final-mile driver with SEFL and then work on getting your license with the goal of transitioning into a driver trainee and CDL role down the road. Working for other fast-paced delivery companies that offer non-CDL positions, such as Amazon or UPS, may also provide a leg up when you apply with Southeastern Freight Lines.