If you’ve spent time searching for a truck driving job, you have probably noticed two distinct types of truck driving jobs: over the road trucking (OTR trucking) and less than truckload trucking (LTL trucking). While neither job is better than the other, each one comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Below is a short comparison of the two classifications, to help you decide which direction to take your trucking career.
A typical OTR driver will travel to several locations in one day. Employers call this an “irregular route.” The location could be anywhere in the country with any expected destination or time. Drivers don’t have a set schedule or route and are expected to travel across the country which can mean weeks or months away from home.
OTR drivers have the benefit of seeing a variety of exciting landscapes and usually get above average pay. The job opportunities for OTR trucking are endless. Truckers willing to drive long distances for an extensive amount of time are in high demand.
LTL truckers haul a combination of different types of material, usually weighing less than 10,000 pounds. LTL drivers have different places to go but are on a strict schedule and timeline. LTL truckers tend to travel the same routes every week, with most of the routes being regional or local because of the high number of shipments.
Although those in LTL trucking don’t have the benefit of seeing a variety of places, drivers are able to spend more time at home. This creates tough competition for LTL trucking jobs. A good way to make the job search easier is by having a top-quality CDL education, all of your endorsements and at least two years of driving experience.
The lifestyle of an OTR trucker is drastically different from that of an LTL trucker, as is the earning potential. Take some time to consider the rewards and obligations of both positions. You will surely experience an exciting and stable career with whatever path you choose!