Local Truck Driving VS OTR: The Debate

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You can picture the situation. You’ve made your way through trucking school, finished your training hours, and now you’re faced with an important decision. Do you want to take a local truck driving job? Or, would you rather travel a little further and take an OTR truck driving job. This is an important decision with a ton of factors so it’s important that you consider your options. Below we’ll take a look and compare local truck driving vs OTR. Let’s take a look.

Local Truck Driving VS OTR

Before we jump into specifics, let’s go over the difference between the two. Local truck driving is exactly what it sounds like. Drivers will transport goods between local locations. There’s no set distance when it comes to local driving, but you can expect to stay within your state, and most times within your county or neighboring counties. OTR or “over the road” will have you crossing state lines as a trucker. Regional driving is a third option, which will often have you traveling within a specific region like the Midwest or New England area. These job options differ so we’re going to go into more detail when it comes to Local Truck Driving vs OTR.

The Distance

One of the biggest factors in comparing local truck driving VS OTR is the distance that you’ll be driving. Local trucking focuses on the surrounding area and is often less stress and time while on the road. The routes are local, typically within a 200-mile radius and consist of an 8-10 hour workday. You’ll also have more time to take breaks because you will not be crunched for time.

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Over the road driving jobs will entail much more travel and time on the road. OTR drivers will often spend three or four weeks on the road at a time, and will often crisscross the country delivering a variety of different freight. You’ll often need to hit deadlines that can be days away, so you’ll need to manage your sleep schedule as well as the number of times to take breaks. This will all be managed by an ELD (electronic logging device) that ensures that you’re following the DOT mandated rules.

Flexibility

One big factor in the local truck driving VS OTR debate is flexibility. Local truck drivers are able to have a set schedule that gives them the ability to have a solid work/life balance. Drivers are often off on weekends and holidays so you’ll be able to catch your child’s sports game or plan a stellar vacation.

OTR truck driving jobs give you flexibility in a different way. Since you’ll often have deadlines that take a few days to get to, you’ll be able to drive when you want. If you’re a night owl like some people. You can opt to drive at night and sleep during the day. You won’t have a set schedule so you can manage your time how you want.

The Salary

We know that out of all the various comparisons between local and OTR truck driving jobs, what you really want to know is how the money stacks up against one another. For local truck driving jobs, you’ll almost always be making less. However, it will be a steady salary that won’t fluctuate. You’ll know exactly what you’re making week to week and it will be easy to budget.

OTR jobs, on the other hand, offer a larger salary, however, it will often be based on the amount your drive. If you find yourself breaking down or just being lazy when it comes to hitting your deadlines, you might find yourself losing money and in many cases, your job.

It can be a stressful time debating local truck driving vs OTR, but we truly believe there’s a perfect job out there for every trucker. If you need some guidance when it comes to finding a job, we’re here to help! Also, if you prefer on or the other, feel free to comment below!

Author: Troy Diffenderfer

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