As an Owner/Operator, you want to make the right choice for you and your business – do you drive regional or OTR? Both have their pros and cons. At REY Logistics, we want to empower you with knowledge and the tools to make the best decisions for your business. Continue reading for the comparison of Trucking OTR vs Regional.
Regional trucking involves primarily day trips, though they can extend as long as one or two nights. Your routes stay within a region, usually covering a few cities to a few states. Often these divisions are broken up as Northeast region, or Northwest region, and similar divisions and stay within about a 1,000-mile radius. These are the routes that give you time to know your area, master the various routes, and get to know people at the docks you deliver between.
Because you’re driving within the same region, you have more time to get to know the roads and routes. If you’re working dedicated hauls with the same companies, you also become familiar with the people you work with at your pickup and drop locations. The biggest advantage that comes with regional trucking, however, is your time.
Because your routes are never more than a couple of days at most, you tend to have more time with family. Even if your routes cover the traditional Saturday/Sunday weekends, you can usually schedule non-traditional weekends for yourself on other days of the week.
With regional trucking, you may have additional stop-offs as part of your haul, sometimes out of necessity depending on the length of your trip. Additionally, the shorter miles don’t always translate to shorter hours, as regional truckers often need to complete their routes in one trip. Regional trucking also comes with a higher risk of traffic depending on the region and route.
OTR, or over-the-road trucking, is long-haul driving, often coast to coast. These are the jobs that can have you out on the road for weeks at a time. For those unfamiliar with trucking, OTR is usually what they think of when they think of trucking – hitting the open road with only your haul and your radio for company. In reality, it is just as common for OTR truckers to work as two-person teams, both for the company and to split drive time.
Because you’re driving across the country, you’re likely to see places you’ve never been to before. That can include Mexico and Canada, depending on the haul. In addition to the sights, OTR truckers usually have more IRS deductions as they will typically max out their miles and can claim expenses as meals and hotel stays.
As an OTR trucker, your hauls will be more varied than a regional driver. Unfortunately, that comes with a little less predictability about your schedule than a regional trucker enjoys. In addition, you’re more likely to drive routes you’re unfamiliar with and you don’t have much time to stop and enjoy all the sights you’ll see along the way.
Your time is the other big disadvantage in OTR trucking. Because you spend weeks, sometimes close to a month, on the road, you have little time at home. If you have a family, this will give you little time with them.
Whatever you choose for your trucking – regional or over-the-road, REY Logistics is here. We offer 24/7 personal dedicated dispatchers, bonuses and fuel discounts, and more. Learn more about our Owner/Operator Program and contact us or apply today.
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