Questions About Local Driving

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Steven's Comment
member avatar

Local driving jobs are more difficult to get than OTR or regional positions. I've heard the skill argument before. Some think local jobs require more skill. I disagree.

Honestly, I think OTR requires the greatest amount of skill and discipline because you are constantly visiting new shippers/receivers that you've never visited before. This means more unexpected situations (especially backing in random docks), more dilligent trip planning, more route analysis, etc. OTR drivers are also in tractors with full sleepers, which have an inferior turning radius are significantly more challenging to back up than day cabs that local drivers use.

Local (and regional) jobs are easier because you tend to visit the same docks repeatedly. After a 2 month learning curve you should be familiar with the route and all the customer locations.

I think the real reason local driving gigs require greater experience (usually 1-2 years) is because MOST DRIVERS want local jobs. That means an increase in driver applicants. And a higher level of choices means the employers can be pickier.

The biggest irony in trucking is that OTR requires the most skill, but because nobody wants to do it the carriers have to place new drivers in those positions. Easy jobs have senior drivers. Hard jobs have novice drivers. It's just the way it is.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thanks, Steven. I once worked as a temporary USPS postman during the holiday season, 1995, and the local post office supervisor gave me, the newbie, the most physically-demanding walking-loop delivery routes in town. It was often challenging because sometimes I would have a different route everyday and go into unknown territory. I did not get the preferred driving-only rural/semi-rural routes much: the seniors with union representation got those cushy routes where they just sit in the delivery truck or jeep and drive up to the mailboxes.

I could probably do Regional for some time before graduating to Local then going onto a non-driving job as Dispatcher , Load Planner or Logistics Manager. Will major carriers generally require any OTR (long-haul) experience at all for hiring non-drivers as Logistics Managers?

Is Regional to Local to Logistics Manager a possible carrier path?

How about just regional directly to non-driving?

Non-driving jobs are most desirable for the natural homebodies like me. They seem like the typical 9-5 daily local commute jobs. I love the simple pleasure of hiking on the local hillside trail with a dog after work. Some here are romanced by the adventure of dieseling in a big rig all over America in many different adverse conditions. Wondering if you can pull that heavy load up a steep grade and get back down safely. Sometimes this lifestyle entails the horror of trying to find safe parking places overnight, dealing with low bridges, being in unfamiliar crime-ridden areas or getting totally lost. For me, being based in Texas and doing no greater driving ranges than Regional routes would keep me out of those congested and crime-ridden big cities of the ocean coastal areas and of the Great Lakes areas. There are seldom mountain driving, desert driving and severe winter driving conditions in the south too. This latest Texas Big Freeze in one notable exception. The warm and flat south, think Get My Kicks on Route 66, seems to be the most desirable or favorable trucking territory in Lower 48 America. I've driven to California to Georgia a couple time over Route 66 even in the dead of winter. A cake walk in a car of pickup truck with a landscaping trailer even. There were a few mountains in Flagstaff, Arizona and in New Mexico but nothing major. I doubt if a Regional driver out of Texas would ever have to drive in the Rockies of Colorado

I view the prospect of driving as an experience ticket to get to those more desirable non-driving motor carrier positions. My mother once had a real estate man would drove a fancy 1976 Cadillac Seville. He told us he drove trucks for a while then got into the real estate business. I suppose he was more financially successful as a realtor than as a truck driver back in the 1970's. He,age 45 back in 1981, had a wife and three boys.

Truck driving is/was a stepping stone or a way to make a living on the way to to something else for many. Many young and new celebrity rock and roll musicians did heavy road touring early on then graduated to the more comfortable home life of a recording studio or solo career later on. People can get totally burned out being on the road too long. Prolonged road life whether being a touring rock star or a long-haul trucker has been the substance-abuse death of some too. The road life can stand in the way of other human endeavors as family life or taking Rover to the local dog park after work each evening. A truck can be a rolling jail sentence for some.

As the Jody cadences we used to sing in the army, leave that toughest stuff (airborne ranger, long-haul driver) to the young and the bold.

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.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
millionmiler24's Comment
member avatar

Thanks, Steven. I once worked as a temporary USPS postman during the holiday season, 1995, and the local post office supervisor gave me, the newbie, the most physically-demanding walking-loop delivery routes in town. It was often challenging because sometimes I would have a different route everyday and go into unknown territory. I did not get the preferred driving-only rural/semi-rural routes much: the seniors with union representation got those cushy routes where they just sit in the delivery truck or jeep and drive up to the mailboxes.

I could probably do Regional for some time before graduating to Local then going onto a non-driving job as Dispatcher , Load Planner or Logistics Manager. Will major carriers generally require any OTR (long-haul) experience at all for hiring non-drivers as Logistics Managers?

Is Regional to Local to Logistics Manager a possible carrier path?

How about just regional directly to non-driving?

Non-driving jobs are most desirable for the natural homebodies like me. They seem like the typical 9-5 daily local commute jobs. I love the simple pleasure of hiking on the local hillside trail with a dog after work. Some here are romanced by the adventure of dieseling in a big rig all over America in many different adverse conditions. Wondering if you can pull that heavy load up a steep grade and get back down safely. Sometimes this lifestyle entails the horror of trying to find safe parking places overnight, dealing with low bridges, being in unfamiliar crime-ridden areas or getting totally lost. For me, being based in Texas and doing no greater driving ranges than Regional routes would keep me out of those congested and crime-ridden big cities of the ocean coastal areas and of the Great Lakes areas. There are seldom mountain driving, desert driving and severe winter driving conditions in the south too. This latest Texas Big Freeze in one notable exception. The warm and flat south, think Get My Kicks on Route 66, seems to be the most desirable or favorable trucking territory in Lower 48 America. I've driven to California to Georgia a couple time over Route 66 even in the dead of winter. A cake walk in a car of pickup truck with a landscaping trailer even. There were a few mountains in Flagstaff, Arizona and in New Mexico but nothing major. I doubt if a Regional driver out of Texas would ever have to drive in the Rockies of Colorado

I view the prospect of driving as an experience ticket to get to those more desirable non-driving motor carrier positions. My mother once had a real estate man would drove a fancy 1976 Cadillac Seville. He told us he drove trucks for a while then got into the real estate business. I suppose he was more financially successful as a realtor than as a truck driver back in the 1970's. He,age 45 back in 1981, had a wife and three boys.

Truck driving is/was a stepping stone or a way to make a living on the way to to something else for many. Many young and new celebrity rock and roll musicians did heavy road touring early on then graduated to the more comfortable home life of a recording studio or solo career later on. People can get totally burned out being on the road too long. Prolonged road life whether being a touring rock star or a long-haul trucker has been the substance-abuse death of some too. The road life can stand in the way of other human endeavors as family life or taking Rover to the local dog park after work each evening. A truck can be a rolling jail sentence for some.

As the Jody cadences we used to sing in the army, leave that toughest stuff (airborne ranger, long-haul driver) to the young and the bold.

Brah, I’m gonna be blunt here: if you are REALLY serious about this answer us one question TRUTHFULLY for once: Are you REALLY Todd Holmes? Inquiring minds would like to know.

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.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Thanks, Steven. I once worked as a temporary USPS postman during the holiday season, 1995, and the local post office supervisor gave me, the newbie, the most physically-demanding walking-loop delivery routes in town. It was often challenging because sometimes I would have a different route everyday and go into unknown territory. I did not get the preferred driving-only rural/semi-rural routes much: the seniors with union representation got those cushy routes where they just sit in the delivery truck or jeep and drive up to the mailboxes.

I could probably do Regional for some time before graduating to Local then going onto a non-driving job as Dispatcher , Load Planner or Logistics Manager. Will major carriers generally require any OTR (long-haul) experience at all for hiring non-drivers as Logistics Managers?

Is Regional to Local to Logistics Manager a possible carrier path?

How about just regional directly to non-driving?

Non-driving jobs are most desirable for the natural homebodies like me. They seem like the typical 9-5 daily local commute jobs. I love the simple pleasure of hiking on the local hillside trail with a dog after work. Some here are romanced by the adventure of dieseling in a big rig all over America in many different adverse conditions. Wondering if you can pull that heavy load up a steep grade and get back down safely. Sometimes this lifestyle entails the horror of trying to find safe parking places overnight, dealing with low bridges, being in unfamiliar crime-ridden areas or getting totally lost. For me, being based in Texas and doing no greater driving ranges than Regional routes would keep me out of those congested and crime-ridden big cities of the ocean coastal areas and of the Great Lakes areas. There are seldom mountain driving, desert driving and severe winter driving conditions in the south too. This latest Texas Big Freeze in one notable exception. The warm and flat south, think Get My Kicks on Route 66, seems to be the most desirable or favorable trucking territory in Lower 48 America. I've driven to California to Georgia a couple time over Route 66 even in the dead of winter. A cake walk in a car of pickup truck with a landscaping trailer even. There were a few mountains in Flagstaff, Arizona and in New Mexico but nothing major. I doubt if a Regional driver out of Texas would ever have to drive in the Rockies of Colorado

I view the prospect of driving as an experience ticket to get to those more desirable non-driving motor carrier positions. My mother once had a real estate man would drove a fancy 1976 Cadillac Seville. He told us he drove trucks for a while then got into the real estate business. I suppose he was more financially successful as a realtor than as a truck driver back in the 1970's. He,age 45 back in 1981, had a wife and three boys.

Truck driving is/was a stepping stone or a way to make a living on the way to to something else for many. Many young and new celebrity rock and roll musicians did heavy road touring early on then graduated to the more comfortable home life of a recording studio or solo career later on. People can get totally burned out being on the road too long. Prolonged road life whether being a touring rock star or a long-haul trucker has been the substance-abuse death of some too. The road life can stand in the way of other human endeavors as family life or taking Rover to the local dog park after work each evening. A truck can be a rolling jail sentence for some.

As the Jody cadences we used to sing in the army, leave that toughest stuff (airborne ranger, long-haul driver) to the young and the bold.

I worked for a gentleman who over the course of time had two women in his life time cheat and run off with OTR Truck drivers. He was a very bitter and petty little man with smug snarky comments. Life was a constant struggle for him, especially any time he was on the road. Trucks would cut him off constantly, and every time one passed him, or he pulled into a gas station to fill up, it was a constant reminder of his weakened stature and his humiliating defeat at the hands of a culture he felt was beneath him based solely upon ones occupation. Rather than combat his feelings directly, he would address truckers and tradesmen, rough necks and such in a condescending tone, full of vengeful backhanded comments and diatribes. He felt he was more intelligent and sophisticated than others because of their vocations and avocations. Perhaps you share much in common with him.

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.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
midnight fox's Comment
member avatar
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Steven, you list yourself as a "Rookie Solo Driver" with two posts. Then you regale is with all these dirty "facts" that OTR driving:

requires the greatest amount of skill and discipline because you are constantly visiting new shippers/receivers that you've never visited before. ... more unexpected situations (especially backing in random docks), more dilligent trip planning, more route analysis, etc. ... tractors ... have an inferior turning radius are significantly more challenging to back up than day cabs that local drivers use.

How do you come to this conclusion?

Local drivers don't always have the same route, the same stops. Most Pickup/Delivery (P & D) includes those "unexpected situations", and surprise, surprise, day cabs have a shorter wheel base than sleepers, but both being tied to 53' trailers, the turning radius is about the same. (I've driven both types of tractors.)

Now let me throw some arithmetic at you:

In OTR, you will be at a new-to-you dock about every 2-3 days. In between is miles/hours of interstate road, the easiest kind of driving there is. Yes, you have surface street and tight traffic for a while, but local driving has that local stuff all day long. With 4-8 or more stops every day.

Finally, there's a reason the Bigs don't like to put rookies on local assignments: they are more dangerous than OTR.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

P & D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I always ask myself if the transportation and delivery segment of work occupations consists of a higher (or the largest) percentage of BS'er's than most, or it's a gender or "generation's" thing. I have seen and heard more BS in my almost three years in this industry, than in my entire life previously.

Steven, you list yourself as a "Rookie Solo Driver" with two posts. Then you regale is with all these dirty "facts" that OTR driving:

double-quotes-start.png

requires the greatest amount of skill and discipline because you are constantly visiting new shippers/receivers that you've never visited before. ... more unexpected situations (especially backing in random docks), more dilligent trip planning, more route analysis, etc. ... tractors ... have an inferior turning radius are significantly more challenging to back up than day cabs that local drivers use.

double-quotes-end.png

How do you come to this conclusion?

Local drivers don't always have the same route, the same stops. Most Pickup/Delivery (P & D) includes those "unexpected situations", and surprise, surprise, day cabs have a shorter wheel base than sleepers, but both being tied to 53' trailers, the turning radius is about the same. (I've driven both types of tractors.)

Now let me throw some arithmetic at you:

In OTR, you will be at a new-to-you dock about every 2-3 days. In between is miles/hours of interstate road, the easiest kind of driving there is. Yes, you have surface street and tight traffic for a while, but local driving has that local stuff all day long. With 4-8 or more stops every day.

Finally, there's a reason the Bigs don't like to put rookies on local assignments: they are more dangerous than OTR.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

P & D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Steven is a new driver who landed a nice position that he is grateful for. Unfortunately he thinks his experience is the norm. He obviously didn't care for OTR and thinks his disdain is felt by us all. It is unfortunate that he considers his limited experience to give him authority to make such misleading remarks. We will continue to try to help potential drivers understand the best ways to get established in the driving jobs they are looking for.

It is certainly true that there are a lot of local jobs available, but it is equally true that most of them require experience. There are always exceptions based usually upon location, but most of them require experience for good reason. Steven just happens to be in one of those areas. He just doesn't understand the real reasons why he was able to do what he did. If he has an accident he may discover some of the harsh realities we warn people of. I hope he doesn't have to figure it out the hard way.

He is seemingly unaware of how unusual his experience has been.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
A truck can be a rolling jail sentence for some.

Which is why you will never be a driver. You are a couch potato - too soft for the vigorous lifestyle of The American Trucker.

I could probably do Regional for some time before graduating to Local then going onto a non-driving job as Dispatcher , Load Planner or Logistics Manager. Will major carriers generally require any OTR (long-haul) experience at all for hiring non-drivers as Logistics Managers?

We thought you wanted to be a driver, but that is obviously beyond your capabilities. Now you want a cushy office job to fit your homebody leanings. Why don't you just start with what you are aspiring for. There are a ton of folks in the offices at trucking companies who have never even seen the interior of a big rig. I have never had a dispatcher with any driving experience, and I have had some very excellent dispatchers. There is no driving prerequisite to become a dispatcher. We only ask that you warn us ahead of time as to which company you are going to work for. shocked.png

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.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Eugene K.'s Comment
member avatar

I know everyone loves to rag on younger generations for being lazy and entitled, but I must say, I can’t remember the last time I’ve see anyone this convinced they are entitled to a cushy senior position while expending minimal effort with zero experience.

Congrats, Todd, for making millennials look good for once 🍾

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