Image of red and white semi truck driving on a mountainous highway

Types of Trucking: OTR vs. Local Driving

Which One is Best for Me?

Before it’s time to hit the road and begin your new trucking career, you’ll need to decide what kind of driving is right for you and your lifestyle. For those who love to travel and tour the country, OTR (over-the-road) may be the best option. If staying close to home and spending nights with your family is important, local driving may better suit your needs. With trucking jobs being in high demand, you’re guaranteed to find a position that works for you!

Over-the-Road (OTR) Trucking

When thinking of trucking, we typically think of OTR. Over-the-road trucking, also known as long-haul trucking, can keep drivers on the road for days and weeks at a time. While these long trips can be daunting to some, there are many people who enjoy the freedom it brings, as they have the opportunity to travel and see many different parts of the country.

Since this style of driving can be intense and time-consuming, team driving has become a very popular way to combat these issues. Not only are you able to make fewer stops due to physical limitations, but you can also earn more money when working as a team. With or without a partner, though, OTR trucking is the highest-paid position in the industry.

While there are many pros to driving OTR, it’s not for everyone. The constant travel and time away from home can be daunting. Advancements have been made in the comfortability of trucks, but eating, showering, and sleeping on the road every night may not be your cup of tea.

Local Trucking

Want to sleep in your own bed each night? Local trucking is likely a better choice for you. Local truck drivers make shorter and more consistent stops throughout the day and often have a dedicated route. Reporting to a hub in the morning and checking back in in the evening makes this style of driving easier and gives drivers a feeling of consistency, as they don’t have to worry about managing themselves.

Just as OTR drivers will have to deal with highway traffic and delays, local drivers will face their own set of obstacles, including traffic, construction, and the increased need for backing and maneuvering. These shorter routes require coverage of fewer miles, leading to a slightly lower pay scale, but the median pay for local trucking is still above the overall national average at $62,078.

Ultimately, your decision depends on what is best for you, your lifestyle, and your family. At Napier, you’ll have the opportunity to speak with employers and find a job before graduation, so you can be sure to have a successful trucking career no matter what driving style you choose!

If you’re looking to begin your successful trucking career, we’re looking for you. Give us a call or stop by to learn more about our school and the companies looking to hire drivers to keep America on the move.

Updated March 2024

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