Regional Truck Driving Vs. Over The Road Driving
If you’re considering a career in truck driving or you’re about to graduate from an ELDT certified school, you may be wondering about your route driving options. Afterall, not all trucking routes require cross-country hauls. Typically, trucking routes can be broken into three categories:
- Over-The-Road (OTR) – Usually has the highest pay, but drivers could be on the road for weeks at a time; routes include driving across the continental United States
- Regional – Regional truck drivers are gone for 4-6 days; pay is less but close to OTR; routes are confined to defined regions
- Local – Has the most amount of home time, but the pay is the least and usually requires loading and unloading; routes are typically within the same city or state
Starting your career in trucking can be extremely rewarding, and with proper training, you’ll be confident in your abilities. Coastal Truck Driving School offers unparalleled training and job placement assistance for all graduates. Contact our office today to get started in your new career.
What Is Regional Truck Driving?
Regional truck driving means that your route will cover a region of the United States, which can encompass a few states. For example, if you’re a regional truck driver in the Gulf Coast region, your route may include driving from Jackson, Mississippi, to Pensacola, Florida, and back.
Regional truck drivers typically drive for 4 to 6 days in a row and spend a few days at home before returning to the road. These routes are great for drivers who want to gain experience but may not want to do cross-country driving yet.
Recently, companies have been reducing the number of OTR routes in favor of regional routes in order to reduce the burnout from drivers. This change means that regional drivers will transport cargo to the edge of their area and transfer it to another driver. This “leapfrogging” style of routing cuts what would typically be a long cross-country trip into several shorter trips.
[Related: How to Become a Truck Driver]
What To Know About Regional Truck Driving
If you’re deciding whether regional truck driving is for you, there are a few things you should consider. Typically, the companies that hire recent graduates are the larger, more established companies. These established companies often offer regional routes to help newer drivers get their foot in the door and gain experience. The shorter, yet still multi-day routes for regional driving allows new graduates to learn the job and get used to the road, while not pushing them to drive for weeks at a time.
While the pay is usually slightly less for regional truck drivers than over-the-road drivers, the routes offer more variety than local routes. When home time is a priority, regional routes are a great middle ground, and some regional truck drivers transition into local routes after gaining experience.
Local routes are typically harder to find because there are less of these routes. Companies also typically hire more experienced drivers for local routes. While over-the-road normally doesn’t require any unloading/loading from the driver, some regional routes may require the driver to assist in loading and unloading the freight. If you’re wanting to gain experience or like a balance of home and driving time, regional truck driving routes are a great option.
[Related: Is Truck Driving a Good Career?]
You can start your career off on the right foot when you attend Coastal Truck Driving School! We have multiple campuses across Louisiana and a campus in Natchez, Mississippi. As a premier truck driver training school, companies know they can trust our graduates, so they regularly send recruiters to our schools. Find out more about attending Coastal by calling us today at 1-800-486-3639.