Over the road (OTR) trucking is in high demand, and OTR truck drivers can earn six-figure salaries. If you are looking for a career in freight transportation and you enjoy long drives, OTR trucking might be the right job for you. But what is OTR trucking, what are the benefits of the job, and how does a person become an OTR truck driver? Before you commit to a career change, it is helpful to understand what lies on the road ahead. Buckle up and read this guide about the five benefits of over the road trucking.
What is OTR trucking?
Over the road trucking is the movement of freight over long distances. OTR trucking hauls lots of different types of freight including consumer goods, construction materials, machines, equipment, vehicles, and more. When freight crosses state and national borders by road, OTR trucking is typically the logistic solution at work. To drive the long distance routes, OTR truck drivers may drive for weeks at a time. Along the way, the driver sleeps in the truck cabin or at hotels. Sometimes OTR truck drivers work alone, and sometimes OTR truck drivers work in teams of two so that the drivers can operate in shifts.
Benefits of OTR Trucking
1. High Salary
A major benefit of OTR trucking is the high starting salary and opportunities for income growth. OTR truck drivers receive some of the highest salaries in the freight transportation industry. According to ZipRecruiter, the national average starting salary for OTR truck drivers is around $64,000, with many opportunities to make $120,000 or more. Many job postings advertise sign-on bonuses and accelerated opportunities for advancement.
2. Job Security
Another notable benefit of OTR trucking is job security because truckers are badly needed. Now is a good time to begin a career in OTR truck driving because the demand for truck drivers is high. The American Trucking Associations estimated that the truck driver shortage hit a historic high of over 80,000 drivers in 2021, and projects that the shortage could surpass 160,000 in 2030. In order to meet the demand over the next ten years, the industry will need to recruit one million drivers into the industry. This overwhelming need for truck drivers means that OTR trucking jobs are more secure than ever before.
3. Few Requirements to Begin Career
OTR trucking is beneficial because there are very few requirements to begin the career. For many other jobs that deliver similar salaries, individuals must have a college degree and years of experience in the field. To be an OTR truck driver, individuals must have a clean driving record, meet physical health requirements, pass the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) exam, have a high school diploma or GED, and pass the Commercial Drivers License (CDL) exam.
4. Many Opportunities for Advancement
An important benefit of OTR trucking is that there are many opportunities for career advancement. Although there are many ways for individuals to grow within the freight logistics industry, many OTR truck drivers enhance their standing and earnings with additional certifications and licenses. Let’s focus on CDL licenses. There are three classifications of CDL licenses: Class A, B, and C. The Class A CDL license is the most common class and covers vehicles such as tractor trailers, tankers, flatbeds, and livestock trailers that weigh at least 26,0001 pounds. The Class B CDL pertains to vehicles such as buses and heavy duty trucks that do not have trailers and weigh more than 26,001 pounds. The Class C license covers HAZMAT vehicles and vehicle towing. Class B and C CDL licenses are typically career advancements for seasoned Class A CDL drivers.
5. Unique Lifestyle
A distinct benefit of OTR trucking is the unique lifestyle that the job provides. OTR truck drivers spend days and weeks on the road, crossing state and national borders. OTR truck drivers get to travel and see parts of the country that they otherwise would not have been able to visit. At the end of every assignment, drivers can return home or choose to stay on the road. Drivers who make their home on the road have the flexibility to save the money they would have spent on living expenses. For many, the solitude of spending long hours on the road is peaceful and enjoyable. Drivers can wear whatever they want, listen to their favorite music or podcast, and watch the endless landscapes roll by.
To learn more about OTR trucking, read this blog.
Become an OTR Truck Driver at First Star Logistics
First Star Logistics is a unique, asset-based global logistics provider with more than 60 years of experience transporting freight. First Star Logistics is always searching for experienced drivers across the entire nation. If you are interested in OTR truck driving for First Star Logistics, submit an online driver application today!