OTR or over-the-road truck driving is a crucial part of the transportation system in the US, and without drivers willing to put in the miles and hours, many goods would not be able to be shipped from coast to coast. Over-the-road truck drivers put on more miles than any other type of driving, and it can be difficult. However, if you want to be on the move all the time, it can be a great opportunity.
Finding a job working as an over-the-road truck driver is one of the easiest places to start in the industry. If you go through a training program and graduate with a class A CDL, many companies will hire you to drive for them.
In most cases, you start on the low end of the pay scale, but you get a company truck, and they pay for fuel, maintenance, and truck repairs. Often the loads are set, and the route is ever given to you by a dispatcher or the load planner, so all you need to do is pick up and deliver the load.
OTR companies range from small to large, and some will recruit drivers before they finish school. These are companies that are so busy, they need drivers to move freight, and they are willing to give new drivers the opportunity to get started in the industry. The benefits are often decent, and the pay is fair, but be ready to be on the road for several weeks between breaks. In addition, home time for these drivers is often just a few days to a week.
Many companies will hire you and a partner as an over-the-road truck driver team and allow you to work together if you are both qualified. Team driving means the truck is rolling more hours of the day as drivers can take shifts at the wheel and sleep when not driving.
Many people will seek these positions because they want to work together. Husband and wife teams are not uncommon at all, and if you don't have young children, it can allow you to take your home on the road and drive with fewer breaks.
Team over-the-road truck drivers are unique, and you have to like spending a lot of time with your teammate because you will be in the truck together constantly. For new drivers, that may not be how they want to start their career, but it could be an option worth exploring as you progress in the industry and want to spend more time moving to increase the amount of freight you can haul and the money you can make. For more information, contact a company like Advantage Transportation.