The trucking industry is an important part of the economy as it transports goods across the country. At the heart of this industry are over-the-road (OTR) drivers, professionals who spend extended periods of time on the road, ensuring deliveries are made on time. Below is more information about OTR driving jobs, their benefits, challenges, and requirements.
What Are Over-the-Road Driving Jobs?
Over-the-road (OTR) driving jobs, also known as long haul trucking jobs, involve driving large trucks or semi-trailer trucks across long distances, often across states or even internationally. Unlike local trucking jobs, which usually allow drivers to return home every night, OTR drivers may spend several days, or sometimes weeks, on the road before returning home.
Benefits of Over the Road Driving Jobs
One of the primary benefits of OTR driving jobs is the potential for higher earnings. Since OTR drivers often cover more miles and work longer hours than local drivers, they generally earn more. Additionally, many companies offer bonuses for safe driving, on-time deliveries, and performance.
OTR drivers also have the opportunity to see the country, experiencing diverse landscapes, cultures, and people. For those who enjoy solitude and independence, OTR driving can be a satisfying career choice.
Challenges of Over the Road Driving Jobs
OTR driving is not without its challenges. Long hours on the road and extended periods away from home can be tough physically and emotionally. Finding healthy meals and maintaining regular exercise can be challenging on the road, and long periods of sitting can lead to health issues over time. Work and life balance can also be tricky, as the irregular schedule and time away from home can strain personal relationships and family commitments.
Requirements for Over the Road Driving Jobs
To become an OTR driver, one must first acquire a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). This process involves passing a written test and a skills test, which includes a pre-trip vehicle inspection, a basic controls test, and a driving test. Once the CDL is obtained, most companies require a certain amount of experience or training. Some companies offer training programs for new drivers, while others may require a few months to a year of driving experience. It is also important for prospective OTR drivers to have a good driving record, pass a physical exam, and meet other regulatory requirements.
Like any job, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons, understand the requirements, and consider your lifestyle and personal circumstances before you decide if OTR driving is right for you.
Contact a local company to learn more about over-the-road driving jobs.