OTR or Regional Trucking? What a New Owner-Operator Should Know

You may want to be an owner/operator who takes on any job, but not all trucks are suitable for all types of trucking. OTR and regional trucking are some of the most common types of work available. Discover what you need to know about them.

What Is OTR Trucking?

OTR stands for over-the-road, but many people recognize it as long-haul trucking. You will travel long distances and typically stay on the road for a week or more. Some assignments can have you on the road for months at a time.

OTR trucking will take you over state lines and possibly into states or jurisdictions where the trucking rules aren’t the same as the state or jurisdiction you previously passed through. You’ll have to stay alert and knowledgeable of the rules and laws that govern trucking wherever you go.

Advantages of OTR Trucking

To a certain extent, many companies who hire owner/operators will want to know your long-haul miles more than any other type of trucking you’ve accomplished. This doesn’t mean you can’t find work doing other types of driving, but you should first build up OTR miles to start with.

Employers who hire OTR truckers tend to pay more and offer more benefits. As you gain experience, you can also demand more for your services.

Another benefit of OTR trucking comes from the pure joy of traveling. You may be on the job, but you also see new places and travel to areas you may have never seen otherwise. In this way, you can think of OTR trucking as a way to get paid while sightseeing and traveling.

Potential Disadvantages of OTR Trucking

OTR trucking can often require someone to stay on the road for very long periods of time. For those with families or obligations at home, that time spent away can become a problem. In addition, you may find yourself in the cab of your truck for much of that time you’re away.

On very long hauls, you may not find any opportunities to get out of the truck. Not all people can handle that type of solitude or have the discipline to handle it while keeping themselves focused on the task at hand.

Of course, a lot of this will depend on the assignment. Going out for a week isn’t the same as going out for several months. Also, you’ll have the final say on what jobs you will accept.

Many OTR drivers drive company trucks. However, many of them also purchase their own, since the pay is more because you own the truck and not the company.  When looking to purchase your own unit, you need to choose a truck that can give you some room and maybe some amenities for when you’re on the road. Also, make sure it is fuel efficient and reliable for long trips. Make sure you keep the long haul in mind when looking at trucks for your business.

What Is Regional Trucking?

Regional trucking involves keeping your driving to a particular region of the country. You may still have to cross state lines and go long distances, which makes regional trucking similar to OTR trucking.

Regional trucking can involve a large area, such as the New England states or the Midwest. You can still find yourself on the road for several days at a time, but your routes will remain in a territory you’re probably at least a little familiar with.

Advantages of Regional Trucking

Employers often consider regional miles the same way they look at OTR mileage. You can build your resume and reputation without traveling across the country to do so.

Regional trucking also allows you to stay relatively closer to home. In some cases, you can find job opportunities that still allow you to get back home for weekends or more frequently. This can make for an ideal situation if you have a family and obligations at home that need your attention more frequently.

Regional truckers can still make good money, mainly because they still commit to longer hauls. Also, if you love to travel, you can still do so, just not as broadly as you would with OTR trucking.

Potential Disadvantages of Regional Trucking

Employers generally expect regional drivers to move quickly and to take on repeat loads. You will find yourself going back and forth during the week running hauls for companies that assume you can make tight deadlines because you technically don’t travel too far.

Once again, you have the most control over what jobs you take, and not all jobs are the same. You may find good-paying work that leaves you with some downtime. Nevertheless, new owner/operators will feel a lot of pressure to build up their profiles quickly, and regional driving jobs can help with that.

With regional trucking, you’ll need to look for a truck that can handle a lot of back-and-forth driving. You also need to consider the atmospheric conditions of the region you will spend most of your time in. Choose a semi that’s good with your locality’s weather and typical driving conditions.

Your business plan and truck choice should consider the type of trucking you will do. To find the right truck for you and the type of trucking you plan to do, contact Arrow Truck Sales today.