If you’re thinking of a career in truck driving, you have a few important decisions to make. Will you be a company driver or owner-operator? Do you want to drive solo or as a team? Will you choose to be a local, regional or over-the-road truck driver?
As you do your research, be sure to take the benefits of OTR, or long-haul truck driving, into account. Just a few are:
- Get paid to travel the country.
- Earn more money the more miles you drive.
- Enjoy unparalleled job security in an industry with severe worker shortages.
- Have freedom to work on your own schedule instead of having a boss breathe down your neck.
- Climb the pay scale quickly for maximum earnings in just a few years.
Once you decide truck driving over the road is right for you, you still need to decide which type of OTR career to choose. Here’s a look at three of your options.
All over-the-road opportunities share some general characteristics. They require you to spend weeks at a time on the road. A typical schedule might be three weeks on the road with one week off to spend at home. Routes are paid by the mile and most drivers travel thousands of miles per week for great earning potential.
Dedicated routes come in many forms, including a long haul coast-to-coast version. A career working a dedicated route means you transport goods between the same locations on a set schedule. It’s a desirable option if you enjoy predictability and want a personal relationship with the companies you transport goods for.
Expedited Truck Driving
You can expect to earn more per mile in this category because the cargo is expedited, meaning it needs to reach its destination fast. Expedited loads include perishable goods, flowers and delicacies such as live lobster.
Your schedule as an expedited driver could be quite erratic, with hours or even days between loads. Then, you’re expected to drop everything and take a job at a moment’s notice. The unpredictability may be worth it though, thanks to the extra mileage pay. You’ll likely be an owner-operator if you drive expedited routes, so you can take whichever loads you prefer.