black and white photo of a semi truck driving down a highway with cars following behind

So you’re going into trucking. Before you start your job search or buy a rig, it’s a good idea to look at trucking job options. Broadly speaking, your three choices are over-the-road (OTR), regional, or local trucking gigs. Each has its good points, and frankly, each has its drawbacks as well. Here’s an overview to get you started thinking about which road is ahead.

Over-the-road trucking

With over-the-road driving, says you can expect to drive about 500 miles a day and be on the road a whole lot of the time. Here’s a summary of Smart-trucking’s advice about OTR:

Pro: Pay is good. And it gets better as you gain experience. Driving long distances racks up about a 20 percent premium in pay over short-haul. There are plenty of openings. So you can home-base from most anywhere you choose to live.

Con: Maintaining Relationships can be a challenge, especially working with companies who keep their drivers out for longer periods of time. Your health can suffer unless you make it a point to exercise and stop at eateries with healthier fare.

Regional driving

Regional Drivers typically drive 150-500 miles per day but the longer distances are usually “out and back.”

Some points about regional route driving from courtesy of Randy Cornell of Con-Way Freight:

Short haul doesn’t pay as well as long haul because more drivers are looking for regional routes these days. Not always, but equipment is sometimes not as good. On the other hand, you can pack a lunch which can be healthier and less expensive than restaurant eats. And you will be home most nights.

Driving locally discussed driving local routes. Here’s a summary of their view:

Driving a local route is a good choice if the driver is concerned about family life and time with friends. Hours can be variable (early/late and/or weekends) and days can be long. Also, this type of driving generally involves more tight spots to get the truck in and out of.

Each type of driving has good and bad points. But with plenty of openings in the industry, you aren’t necessarily stuck with your first choice if you try it and want to move on to something different. Not sure what’s right for you? Diesel Driving Academy offers placement assistance and experienced career advisors.

Whether you want a local, regional, or OTR driving job, we can get you on the road! Call 1-800-551-8900 today and we’ll find the CDL training course that is perfect for you!