Trucking is a unique career and is more of a lifestyle than a job. Within the field of trucking, there are variations in the types of routes that affect what exactly this lifestyle looks like. One example is the difference between over-the-road (OTR) and regional trucking. OTR routes can travel through any combination of states and may involve long distances, whereas regional routes stay within a smaller area, e.g. the Southwest United States.
Similarities Between OTR And Regional Trucking
Both OTR and regional trucking involve hauling freight. Compared to local routes, both types of driving involve spending multiple days at a time on the road and you will often sleep in the semi-truck. This means that whether you pursue OTR or regional trucking, your day-to-day will likely line up with what is typically considered the “trucking lifestyle.”
Both pay well due to high demand. Semi-trucks move 72.2% of freight in the United States according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA). Some of this freight must move a long distance whereas other shipments stay regional. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), 56.7% of goods by value moved less than 250 miles between origin and destination.
Difference – Time On The Road
The biggest difference between OTR and regional routes is the time on the road. The exact length of time will depend on the haul. OTR drivers typically are out for several weeks at a time. Regional routes vary from a few days to a few weeks, but are shorter than OTR routes and get drivers home more often.
Difference – Variety
Regional routes, as the name implies, stay within a more limited area than OTR. This keeps drivers closer to home, but it can also limit the variety. Many regional routes work with one customer or a smaller group of customers.
Depending on your preferences, this can be an advantage or a disadvantage for regional vs OTR. You’ll be able to get used to the routes more easily and can learn the quirks of traffic, weather conditions, truck stop options, et cetera. On the other hand, it can get repetitive, and if you want to wake up somewhere new every day, OTR would likely be a better fit.
Now Hiring For OTR And Regional Routes
If you’re looking for a well-paying truck driving career with excellent benefits, you can find one at DSW. Whether you prefer regional or OTR, we have positions available for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders. We offer the best home time around and are a family-owned trucking company. At DSW, we know our drivers by name, not by truck number, and we strive to work as hard for you as you work for us.