A career in trucking offers numerous benefits. Truck drivers make good money, have flexible hours, and often revel in the independence and freedom this job gives them. To top it all off, trucking school is reasonably priced, and it is possible to become a qualified truck driver in as little as eight weeks. If you are considering a future as a truck driver, you’ll find yourself wondering about the differences between long haul and regional trucking routes sooner or later. Keep reading to discover the benefits and disadvantages of long-haul and regional trucking routes.
What Is the Difference Between Long Haul and Regional Trucking Routes?
What Are Regional Trucking Routes?
Truck drivers who cover regional trucking routes usually stay within a radius of 1,000 miles or so — and they work in the region they live in. Regional truck driving may cover four larger states or up to nine smaller states.
These routes have predictable hours, and while truckers covering regional routes spend a lot of time on the road, they won’t be away from home for weeks at a time.
Regional truck drivers cross state lines and can expect to spend three-hour stretches on the road before taking a break. Some regional truck drivers have dedicated routes, which means they drive the same stretch all the time.
Regional trucking is more exciting than covering local trucking routes, which usually take no longer than a day to complete. However, it offers an excellent work-life balance and a schedule that allows truckers to enjoy an active social life outside of the trucking community.
What Are Long Haul Trucking Routes?
Long-haul trucking routes are also called over-the-road (OTR) trucking. Truckers on long-haul trucking routes may routinely cover routes between 250 and 1,000 or more miles.
These drivers spend most of their time on the highway and are routinely away from home for weeks. They may drive across the country and take on international trucking routes as well. Long-haul truck drivers haul all sorts of goods, and the supply chain would break down without them.
Not everyone is cut out for long-haul trucking. OTR drivers can expect gruelingly long hours on the road. While there’s plenty of camaraderie among truckers, they will typically spend most of their time alone — in the truck. Along the way, long-haul truckers have to be prepared for everything, from securing loads and vehicle breakdowns to logistical planning and complex administrative tasks.
People who are always up for a new challenge but take a responsible approach to everything they do are best suited for a career in long-haul trucking — but only if they also love their own company and the thought of seeing the whole country from a unique perspective.
Long-haul truckers will rarely be home on time for dinner, and they’ll have to embrace unpredictable schedules. On the plus side, long-haul trucking jobs are the best-paying truck-driving jobs in the industry.
Long Haul vs Regional Trucking Routes
Regional trucking routes cover one region — like the Northeast or South. These routes have predictable hours and don’t keep truckers away from their families for weeks at a time.
Long-haul trucking routes can cover the entire country and beyond. On top of long hours and logistical and administrative challenges, long-haul truckers have to be prepared to spend most of their time alone. At least the views are amazing!
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