OTR: Paying Your Dues To Land A Regional Gig?

Topic 20804 | Page 1

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Hammer's Comment
member avatar

I am seriously considering a career change to truck driving. After spending several hours on this awesome website, I think I know the answer to my question, but would greatly value insight from those who know. Specifically, I'm wondering if all new drivers are assigned OTR routes before they can break into the regional routes?

I realize that the answer to this will depend a great deal on the individual company, but was wondering if this is a safe assumption? Reading many job postings from my local area, a year or more experience seems to be a common requirement for a regional job.

BACKGROUND: After 26+ years in the Navy and five more years with another government agency, I've had enough time away from home. But both kids are out of the house now and we can use the money, so it seems like a good time to pursue my childhood dream and drive a truck. I told my wife that for the first year or so, I might not be home more than a couple of days every two weeks or so -- she's supportive so far (we've been through worse). But I think a regional job is what I would be truly happy with.

Appreciate your insight. Thanks.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
MC1371's Comment
member avatar

In the broadest sense, and talking about major carriers. Yes that is the general rule or career projection.

The thing is regional can vary quite a bit. I'm regional and usually only get a 34 when I'm home.

I know nobody wants vague answers, but it really does change from carrier to carrier.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

H O Wolding will allow drivers to start out as regional. (out 5, home 2) It really all depends on where you live and what a particular carrier has for freight in your general area. Some areas have more opportunities for certain carriers than other areas.

Take H O Wolding. In the SE region living near either Cherokee, AL or Atlanta, GA will give you opportunities to be home more than some other areas would offer. If you want to see what is around, go to the nearest industrial complex as see what carriers are in that complex frequently.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

My first job out of truck school was a regional position. I was home 2 days a week and did one lay over at home as well.

I worked for Sygma Network a sister company of Sysco. Food service delivery is however physically demanding but pays well for starting out. I made $55k my first year.

Plus they put you up in hotels when your out on route.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OldRookie's Comment
member avatar

My company, Millis, will run you Regional (5 out, 2 home) straight out of school/training.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

That "pay your dues" thing is so that you will get serious experience, driving your seven story on-its-side building down the street, and generally get to know the beast.

OTR is actually one of the easiest/least experience required job assignments. Also, regional driving is often trucking contracted out by another company, like Walmart, Home Depot, etc. Think: if you were a big truck company servicing Walmart for millions of dollars a year, would you trust that account to a rookie who accidentally backs the trailer into the receiving office building?

Getting you seasoned in the truck before showing you off to the neighbors is good for both you and your company.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Unholychaos's Comment
member avatar

I started as midwest regional with Schneider. They offered 2 home time options: on 5 off 2, or on 11 off 3. I started as 11 and 3, after first home time, I decided to do on 12 off 2 (couldn't stand being out of the truck for that long lol). They kept me in the Midwest averaging about 300m loads until I started lobbying for more miles. First load out was 700+, then 800+, then 1200. Still got home every 2 weeks.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Unholychaos's Comment
member avatar

I started as midwest regional with Schneider. They offered 2 home time options: on 5 off 2, or on 11 off 3. I started as 11 and 3, after first home time, I decided to do on 12 off 2 (couldn't stand being out of the truck for that long lol). They kept me in the Midwest averaging about 300m loads until I started lobbying for more miles. First load out was 700+, then 800+, then 1200. Still got home every 2 weeks.

TL;DR: Major companies will work with your home time needs. You just gotta be reliable; be on time and don't b**ch.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Hammer's Comment
member avatar

Thanks guys. Appreciate your help. Be safe!

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