Ok, now regional jobs are a great option for many people. With regional jobs you are usually out 5 days a week and home on weekends. Now understand something: the freight you will be hauling is usually not predictable. Yes, there are some customers that will provide steady freight from one place to another on a rather predictable schedule. But the vast majority of it will not be.
They will do their best to keep you moving during the week and get you home on time for the weekend, but this is not always going to happen. Generally you can expect to get home sometime between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. You will then be home around 36-48 hours. Often times you will bring a load home with you that will deliver on Monday morning, hopefully somewhere fairly close to your home.
Here's an example:
Say you live in Indianapolis, IN. After driving and making several deliveries all week, you may find yourself delivering a load on Friday morning in Nashville, TN. You then pick up a load Friday afternoon in Nashville that will deliver Monday morning in Chicago, IL. You pick up the load and head for home. You get home 7 a.m. Saturday morning. You live about 3 hours from Chicago, and the load is scheduled for 8 a.m. Monday.
You KNOW morning rush hour in Chicago is a nightmare so you want to arrive before 5 a.m. Your best bet is to leave late on Sunday evening, maybe 10 p.m., drive two hours, sleep at a truck stop outside of Chicago, and get up at 4 a.m. to arrive at the customer by 5 a.m. You can get a nap in for a couple of hours at the customer before they begin unloading you.
Job well done.
You were home from 7 a.m. Saturday until 10 p.m. Sunday. That is very, very typical of your home time schedule on a regional fleet.
As far as pay goes, there isn't too much difference between over the road and regional anymore. Over the past 10 years or so, a lot of warehousing and production companies have divided up the country into regions. This is to supply their customers with product faster and to save money on shipping charges. So instead of hauling auto parts say from Texas to Michigan, the factory may relocate part of its production to Indiana. Now the haul is much shorter.
This has opened up many more opportunities for regional driving jobs. The demand for regional jobs has increased significantly, and trucking companies have found a way to attract more drivers with the promise of very good pay and better home time.
The equipment for most regional jobs is about the same as most over the road jobs. You can expect fairly new vehicles that are very well maintained. The level of equipment will vary a bit more in this category though. Some companies will try to push older, less reliable equipment on drivers with the excuse that you will make great money and be home more often.