Is The True OTR Driver Dieing Out?

Topic 14044 | Page 1

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Eckoh's Comment
member avatar

Just wondering if you guys think real OTR driving is dieing out.

I was at MATS a few weeks ago just talking with recruiters and seeing what was out there and anytime I said I stay out anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks at a time their jaw about hit the table. It seems that staying out more than 10 to 12 days is too much to ask of the new drivers now.

Just wondering what you guys thought on the subject.

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.

classA's Comment
member avatar

Just wondering if you guys think real OTR driving is dieing out.

I was at MATS a few weeks ago just talking with recruiters and seeing what was out there and anytime I said I stay out anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks at a time their jaw about hit the table. It seems that staying out motor then 10 to 12 days is too much to ask of the new drivers now.

Just wondering what you guys thoughthink on the subject.

I have only been driving OTR for a year now. But the only way I have found to be able to maintain a somewhat consistent livable wage has been to stay out 4 to 6 weeks at a time. Most drivers seem to feel it is unreal to stay out that long. I guess it depends on what a driver expects to accomplish financially with the means they have available.

Good question.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Well for many years manufacturers have been regionalizing their freight more than they used to in order to bring faster service to customers and presumably save on shipping costs. Instead of having one gigantic factory and warehouse structure shipping all over the country they might put two or three warehouses in other regions so they're closer to the end customer. Over time this has opened up a lot more opportunities for companies to run regional routes and get drivers home more often.

Trucking companies have done the same thing. Many companies have satellite terminals and drop lots in various places around the country to help regionalize their freight a little more. So instead of having a driver pick up a load in New Jersey and take it to Portland he might drop it at a yard in Columbus, OH where another driver relays it to the Salt Lake City terminal and a third takes it on to Portland. That way all of those drivers are able to stay within their own region allowing them to get home more often.

So OTR isn't a dying breed by any means but there are enough opportunities to get home weekly or nightly that most people aren't interested in staying out for weeks or months at a time. And of course the average age in trucking is in the mid to upper 40's so most people have some sort of family they'd like to see as often as possible.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Eckoh's Comment
member avatar

I want that Jersey to portland load :D

I get the older drivers wanting to be home with families more, but more often then not when they started they did the 2-3 months on the road thing. I was more referring to the NEW drivers, the 20 somethings that feel entitled to the job the guy thats been on the road 30 years has earned. Of the group of guys i went though school with 2 are still driving out of the 12 and pretty much all of them regardless if they were single or had families said they wanted to be home every weekend.

I see the companies moving to more localized thing as that makes them money and that is ALL they care about in the end, but I am more talking about the dedicated driver that wants to do what it takes to earn money and just be a good driver.

Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

It also seems to depend on what your hauling. You find more reefer running longer runs because of the time sensitive nature of the cargo. When Walmart needs a load of tomatoes from Cali to Boston immediately gosh darn it they'll get them there.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

3-4 weeks is more typical of OTR. From what I've gathered, it was never about the time spent out on the road, but the distance covered. Which isn't necessarily one and the same.

Nothing wrong with wanting a trucking job that doesn't keep you out for weeks at a time. I wouldn't consider that wish as "entitlement," whether you have a family or not. Running for months on end doesn't make you any more of a dedicated driver than the one that gets home every night. Each can be an asset to their respective company, which in turn puts bread in the driver's pocket. Because unless you're retired and wanna go on a paid vacation, it's always about the money, for the driver and the company.

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.

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