Trucking jobs are plentiful these days. The trucking employment squeeze means there’s better options out there for people seeking employment. But trucking is no monolith. There are different trucking jobs for different tastes.
Deciding what type of trucking career you want to pursue depends on your personal need. Do you want to stay closer to home or are you the adventuring type that yearns for long-distance travel?
Browsing the available jobs may be confusing. After all, what does common carrier, over-the-road, less-than-truckload, dedicated route and owner-operator trucking actually mean? We’re here to clear up the confusion.
Common Carrier Trucking
Common carriers are defined as persons or companies that transport goods or people. These are the people and companies that transport goods on behalf of others and are responsible for any loss along the way.
In some cases a common carrier will work with only one shipping company and in other cases have contracts with several. How big their portfolio is depends on their fleet size and the needs of their clients.
Depending on the business they’re in, common carriers will often accept shipments of goods or passengers from anyone within their service area. Hazardous materials are a type of freight that is commonly carried. Tank truck drivers are thus subject to a higher quality and regulatory standard.
Over-the-road (OTR) or “long haul” trucking describes a form of trucking in which freight is transported by truck driver or carrier to any destination, at any time. These truck drivers generally don’t have predetermined routes or schedules.
Long haul trucking is the type of trucking that calls for extended periods of time on the road. It includes cross-country and sometimes even international routes. If you’re looking for adventure, travel, and life by the rules of the road, long haul trucking is for you.
Though being away from home for extended periods of time may be difficult, many long haul truck drivers love getting behind the wheel and traveling all over the country. Long haul trucking jobs also typically pay at the higher end of trucking wages.
Independent long haul truck drivers are normally given a delivery location and time, but they get to plan their own routes most of the time. These truck drivers need to find out which roads to take and how long it will take to get there.
When it’s a team run, which often happens in this type of trucking, truck drivers will usually plan when and where rest periods occur along their journey. Team runs are often the most efficient way to complete urgent deliveries on time.
Less than Truckload Trucking
Less than truckload driving is characterized by truck drivers or carriers who specialize in hauling various kinds of cargo, each weighing 10,000 pounds or less. Less than truckload truck drivers might travel to many different terminal facilities in the course of their work.
This type of trucking is for those who are looking for a career that keeps them close to home. These truck drivers typically have dedicated or regional routes that keep them within a more desirable radius of their company terminal or home.
Having a consistent route every day is one of the major points of appeal for this type of trucking. Being able to get to know the people and businesses that one delivers to also carries appeal.
Dedicated Route Trucking
Dedicated route truck driving jobs are those that transport cargo between set routes. These truck drivers work for any type of business that makes regular local deliveries, such as grocery stores.
Shipping companies like DHL hire dedicated route truck drivers as well. As an example, a route may include trips within an area between Cleveland, Ohio and Erie, Pennsylvania. A truck driver might make one round trip a day for six days a week.
Coming in at around 1,200 miles per week, these jobs often come with good pay and great benefits. Due to the nature of their job, dedicated route truck drivers also get to spend more time at home.
Over 80 percent of American cities and communities depend on trucking. So whether you’re looking for a job that will introduce you to the country, or one a little closer to home, there’s a trucking job for you.