OTR vs. Local Truck Driving: Which Is Right For You?

July 25, 2018

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Are you currently a long-haul driver who’s interested in making the switch to driving locally? In this article, we’ll discuss the many benefits of driving locally versus transporting materials over long distances.

Over-The-Road Driving vs. Driving Locally

Over-the-road drivers transport goods across many miles, often across state lines. These drivers are responsible for hauling a variety of freight, including heavy freight, machinery and other equipment. As most OTR drivers know, routes can vary. Traveling all over the United States and Canada, long-haul drivers are regularly on the road for weeks at a time.

Local truck drivers, such as fuel-transportation drivers, usually average around 33 miles a day. This means truck drivers who drive locally are home after every shift.

The Benefits of Driving Local

Local CDL drivers enjoy a myriad of benefits - and we’re not just talking about health plans, dental plans and a 401(k). We’re talking about the advantages that allow local drivers to have a reputable career as a truck driver all while enjoying the benefits working close to home has to offer. There are pros and cons to every trucking job and company, which is why it’s important for drivers to weigh every aspect a company has to offer before making the switch so they can find the position that’s right for them.

Incredible Work/Life Balance

The first, clear benefit of being a local truck driver is that drivers can enjoy a work/life balance OTR drivers miss out on. Because local drivers are home after every shift, they get to see and spend quality time with their families and can regularly practice their hobbies. They get to indulge in home-cooked meals and fall asleep in their own beds. Local drivers know a sense of freedom and fulfillment long-haul drivers don’t have the opportunity to appreciate.

Health Benefits of Being a Local Truck Driver

Truck driving, especially fuel transportation, is a lot of work. Being a HazMat truck driver requires a skill set many drivers don’t possess, and it demands a certain attention to detail to keep themselves and others safe on the road. While these qualifications are asked of both OTR and local drivers, OTR truck drivers face greater health risks than local drivers due to the amount of time they spend behind the wheel and on the road.

One advantage of driving locally is being able to maintain an active lifestyle. With most local trucking jobs, drivers are required to load and unload freight, resulting in consistent physical activity. Remaining active throughout the day results in fewer health risks than sitting for extended periods of time. When drivers work for a local trucking company, they can go to work every day knowing their safety and wellbeing are always put first.

Other negative consequences - like obesity and hypertension (or high blood pressure) - can also come as a result from being idle for too long. Because local drivers make various stops throughout the day, they have more opportunities to stay on their feet and lead a healthier lifestyle.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Driving locally, specifically for Solar Transport, also means competitive wages and consistent opportunities for salary increases - a trend becoming more and more frequent in the field of HazMat trucking. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become a Class A CDL driver, that’s why local driving companies frequently evaluate and update their benefits package to stay ahead of the competition. Additionally, a truck driving career is one of the most popular career choices in over half of the United States. In fact, the trucking industry is set to see a 21 percent growth by year 2020.

Close Relationships With Superiors and Coworkers

Local drivers are valued team members whose work does not go unnoticed, in short, they’re not just a number. Daily face to face contact with fellow driver associates and management results in close relationships provides more opportunity for team bonding. When employees maintain close ties with those around them, productivity levels and overall happiness on the job increase immensely. Not only that, but local driving companies understand the importance of transparency and strive to provide their driver associates with the latest news within the company, as well as the latest advancements in technology. It’s not hard to understand why a consistent schedule means local drivers are provided with individualized care to sustain a friendly, professional work environment.

Become a Truck Driver for Solar Transport Today

Is it any wonder more than 350 of America’s finest fleet choose to drive locally for Solar Transport? Look for an open position near you and advance your career in one of the leading industries across the country. When you become a fuel transportation driver for Solar Transport, you aren’t just driving for yourself. You’re driving for the nation.

If you’re interested in learning more about what it takes to become a fuel transportation driver for one of the best HazMat trucking companies in the midwest, check out our driver qualifications and disqualifications, or contact one of our personnel today.