One of the most common career options for truckers is over-the-road (OTR). Making deliveries throughout the continental United States involves spending a few weeks on the road at a time. The freedom of the open road is what you get when you work an OTR job. There are, however, other options as well. You might consider regional trucking if you enjoy the open road but prefer to spend more time at home than OTR.
OTR VS REGIONAL ROUTES
There are many similarities between OTR driving and regional driving. There are, however, a few key differences. It’s important to talk to each recruiter to learn about how their routes and programs work to know what model works best for you.
A regional route and a longer one will be very similar on a day-to-day basis. Your day will be spent behind the wheel of a semi-truck transporting freight. Your hours of service (HOS) will be tracked during your time on the road so you stay compliant.
Route length is the main difference between regional and OTR trucking. Depending on the route, long-haul routes can travel from coast to coast and through any number of states. It is common for these drivers to travel multiple routes at a time and spend several weeks on the road at a time.
Regional routes cover a smaller area of the country. Each position varies in time on the road so it’s a good idea to visit with a few recruiters to weigh your options. Both our OTR and regional home time policies are excellent with many carriers, but regional routes tend to allow you to get home more often.
BENEFITS OF REGIONAL TRUCKING
More home time is one of the major reasons truckers choose regional routes. You may be a good candidate for regional driving if you desire some of the advantages of OTR trucking (such as being in control of your semi-truck and being free to drive wherever you want), but want to come home more often. While still offering more home time than local driving, it’s not as big a change as OTR.
A regional driving experience also allows you to get to know your region’s routes and customers better. As a result, weather changes, traffic changes, and other factors are easier to prepare for.
WHEN TO CHOOSE OTR INSTEAD
There is a difference in pay between regional trucking and OTR trucking. Most of the time, it’s a middle ground between OTR and local jobs. The pay you receive also varies based on your experience and the specific routes you drive, as well as the number of miles you can drive. When deciding whether to take a regional route, keep in mind that OTR typically pays more.
Due to the fact that you are only travelling in one area of the country, regional routes tend to have less variety than OTR routes. There are some drivers who prefer this, while there are others who find it repetitive. The decision to drive on the open road or in the regional area should be based on your personality and preferences.