Long-haul truck drivers operate heavy tractor-trailers with at least 26,000 pounds of Gross Vehicle Weight. These drivers are permitted to drive 14 hours per day and require a 10-hour break before they can drive again. There are numerous benefits of long-haul driving jobs. Keep reading to learn more.
What is Long-Haul Truck Driving
Before we jump into the benefits, it’s essential to know what long-haul truck driving entails. Also known as over-the-road (OTR) trucking, these drivers cover more than 250 miles, with some going up to 1,000 miles or more across states and some venturing into Canada and Mexico.
Long-haul truck drivers are responsible for loading and unloading their cargo safely and must assess a load and establish how best to protect it while on the road.
See the Country
Get paid to broaden your perspective and explore the country! While transporting cargo across the country, you get to see and experience every state and what it has to offer. In addition, you can explore new cities, sightsee, and meet new people during your downtime. In fact, many truck drivers say they are proud of the friends they’ve made around the country, and it is a nice change from solitary driving. Every pit stop is a chance to connect with other drivers!
Truck drivers are highly in demand, meaning that if you opt for a long-haul trucking career, you will enter a stable job with long-term security. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts steady and consistent growth in this industry. Truck Driver Institute works with countless carriers and has an over 86% job placement rate to help our CDL graduates get behind the wheel upon graduation.
Most people think long-haul drivers have little flexibility, but that is not the case. While it is a career requiring a significant time commitment, trucking companies acknowledge work-life balance. As a result, most companies will work with their drivers to build a flexible work schedule, allowing them to control when they are on the road and at home. Additionally, truck drivers can pick and choose driving contracts to ensure they accept ones that work for their schedules, giving them more flexibility than a traditional office worker.
Many trucking companies also provide driver benefits, including medical, dental, vision, and life insurance. Some companies also offer retirement plans and 401ks. Long-haul drivers can also receive paid vacation, so check what the carrier provides.
If income stability is something important to you, consider long-haul truck driving. In addition to the starting salary, long-haul drivers see consistent pay raises and bonuses over time. Additionally, long-haul truck driving is one of the few industries that provide equal pay, regardless of gender, making it an excellent career for anyone.
If you want a career that doesn’t take years of school to succeed, consider long-haul truck driving. To start your career, you need to get your CDL, which you can complete in as little as three weeks at TDI. Our team also works to place you with a job before graduating so you can get your career on the road right away.
When drivers first get their CDL, gaining as much experience as possible is essential to be an ideal candidate for other trucking positions. One of the best ways to do this is to drive long-haul because you will drive thousands of miles and gain hours upon hours of experience quickly. For example, if you want to be a local truck driver, you will need a certain amount of hours logged, so what better way to get them than travel the country while logging the hours?
If you want to have time to yourself and experience the open road and its freedom, long-haul driving is the perfect type of trucking job. While you still have to answer dispatches and follow the rules of the government and trucking company, you will have many opportunities to be your boss and spend your days how you enjoy rather than at a desk.
Challenges of Long-Haul Driving
While there are many benefits, there are still challenges to being a long-haul truck driver. The main ones consist of the following.
Following Hours of Service Compliance
HOS regulations are the rules that govern the 14 hours on and 10 hours off rule. However, there are additional rules that long-haul drivers must follow. They are reasonably straightforward, but some drivers might forget about them while on the road. The regulations include the following:
- A 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving
- During your 10 hours off duty, 7 must be spent in bed
- Drive no more than 60 hours in seven days or 70 hours in eight days
- After 60/70 hours, drivers must be off for at least 34 hours in a row
Long-haul drivers must also log duty status and hours into an electronic logging device.
Long-haul truck drivers must keep up with vehicle maintenance on their drives. For example, if something happens while on the road, they must find time to take care of the issue and locate a place to complete the maintenance in unfamiliar cities. Additionally, if the driver is on a strict schedule, it can be challenging to find time for maintenance, so these drivers must be strong planners.
Driving hours to a drop-off location doesn’t guarantee a drop-off. Rejected shipments are always a possibility due to either items damaged in transit or spoiled items on arrival. Therefore, it’s crucial for drivers to carefully load their cargo and monitor it throughout their drive to avoid rejection and high costs for the owner-operators.
Get Your Long-Haul Driving Career on the Road with TDI
TDI has been getting drivers behind the wheel since 1973 and has helped over 50,000 drivers get their truck driving careers started. If you are interested in getting your CDL to enter an industry that is growing, stable, and allows you to see everything this country has to offer, apply today. We have 11 campuses in seven states that can help accelerate your future.
There are numerous benefits of long-haul driving jobs, so to learn more, be sure to check out our blog.
Get your Class A CDL in our friendly, supportive CDL training program. TRAIN with experienced instructors – multiple good-paying, secure job choices with benefits available for eligible graduates. EARN $700 – $1000+ / week to start as a truck driver. Get started today by filling out the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!