Questions About Local Driving

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Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Dispatching, load planning or operations isn't a 9 to 5 a lot of the time. We are so busy they are working like 12+ hour days and coming in on the weekends, plus working from home. All for less money than a lot of drivers make.

At least when I go off duty and head home, I am done I do not have drivers, dock workers and managers asking me stuff on my off time like they do. I always thought I would like to move to a office job at some point but it is way more stressful than I want so I give them 👍 👍 for putting up with it.

Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
member avatar

Done OTR Regional and Local.

Local blows.

If you have a work ethic, and you are willing to ride for the brand and move Freight for the full 14 hours available to you each day, your outfit will grab that brass ring. That means youll get to run a dull 14, and then you have 10 hours to be back for your fixed start time. That means, yes, you get to drive home, S,S&S, and then drive back to work. In time for your fixed start time. 10 hours after your end time. Not much time for a life.

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.

Steven'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:

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.

Hey Errol V. You're a harsh critic. But I can see your point. My assumption was that local drivers do usually have the same routes and stops. Even if it's complex, you will memorize it within a certain period of time. OTR, on the other hand, you will never memorize. There are too many routes and thousands upon thousands of customers.

Drawing on my personal experience going from OTR to Regional , I can say that my regional job is easier, less stressful, and it pays better all the same. And one of the primary reasons it pays better is because I memorized the routes and customers, so I can now work faster and more efficiently.

I agree that the routes of local drivers are not easier. Yes, OTR is a lot of interstate. Yes, local is a lot of complex city driving. Still, if you drive the same local route every day, I think you will memorize its nuances and it will become easier than OTR routes that you don't have memorized. I've known local drivers who have their entire city memorized to such an extent that they're walking GPS's.

OTR drivers will never memorize their routes. They will never be able to get comfortable. This is just my opinion. I do agree with you though that companies probably see it your way when making hiring decisions. I just don't see it that way.

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.

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.
Steven'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.

Hey Old School. Would you mind explaining to me the 'real reason' I was able to do what I did? I'm not being smart here. I genuinely don't know what you meant by this comment.

Mmmmmm. It's not that I disdain OTR. I just disdained the pay. I was making about $36K with my first company doing OTR. I didn't feel that was enough, not even for a rookie. But then I get 3 months of experience and JB Hunt offers me a regional gig that pays $55K.

I've read a lot of the posts on this thread. I know you guys shun job hopping. But I disagree in certain situations. If you were in my shoes, would you have turned down JB Hunt's job offer? I literally increased my pay by 50% and all I had to do was take a more enjoyable job.

And no, I didn't get my job because of the area I live in. JB Hunt has a pretty aggressive recruiting strategy nationwide. They make it pretty well known that they have regional jobs all over the USA (intermodal leans toward regional) and you only need 3 months to get one. It's how they market themselves. Why is this so unusual?

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.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Steve, you call me a "harsh critic" when I explained how your "assumptions" (your word) are incorrect. The factors I wrote for you are based on observation and experience. With one "Rookie Solo Driver" post you want to tell us how things should be.

I have driven over the road , worked regional accounts and line-haul (where there's nothing that needs memorizing). And trucking companies have worked many of the kinks out of their operations to get the industry to work safely and profitably.

I do not expect you to get too far in this business if you continue trying to use your imagination but do not want to adapt your thinking to reality.

You do have to freedom to choose your company and your type of driving. But as a new Rookie Solo Driver, please don't drop into this forum and try to tell us how we are wrong.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Steven's Comment
member avatar

Steve, you call me a "harsh critic" when I explained how your "assumptions" (your word) are incorrect. The factors I wrote for you are based on observation and experience. With one "Rookie Solo Driver" post you want to tell us how things should be.

I have driven over the road , worked regional accounts and line-haul (where there's nothing that needs memorizing). And trucking companies have worked many of the kinks out of their operations to get the industry to work safely and profitably.

I do not expect you to get too far in this business if you continue trying to use your imagination but do not want to adapt your thinking to reality.

You do have to freedom to choose your company and your type of driving. But as a new Rookie Solo Driver, please don't drop into this forum and try to tell us how we are wrong.

Errol V. I gave you my opinion and I never really said you were wrong. I just have a different perspective.

I suppose my issue with your posts about me is that you attack ad hominem. Not every comment. But some of them. By continuing to point out that I'm a 'rookie driver' and you're not, you think that wins the debate hands down.

Attacking my assumptions is fine and I do appreciate you doing that for me. Attacking my credibility is an act of self-deception on your part. Credibility attacks are the single greatest mistake that most people make in a debate.

My assumption that regional and local gigs are easier than OTR is based on my experience. It might not be the years of experience that you think I should have. But it's still experience. My pay went up 50% by switching companies with 3 months experience and the new job was regional and easier than the OTR job I had before. I don't think I'm wrong.

When I first took my job with JB Hunt Intermodal , I was paired with a trainer for 3 days mostly so he could evaluate my competence. They had no regional trainers available, so my trainer was a local driver and we ran local routes in a day cab for 3 days in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area. My assessment of the job is that it was easier than OTR jobs. And my trainer was really good, a big part of which is that he memorized the routes and customers.

Again, you're not wrong in capital letters. It's a gray subject. It depends on what you find most challenging. If you think backing up in docks is the most challenging part of trucking, then local jobs should probably be considered harder. But if you're like me, and think driving new routes all the time and worrying about taking a wrong turn or where you'll go down for 10 hour breaks in unfamiliar territory is the most challenging, then you'll probably see OTR as a harder, more stressful job.

Finally, telling me not to chime in with comments because I'm a 'rookie' is probably not a good position to take. Sure, you should scrutinize a rookie comment a little harder. But that doesn't automatically make them wrong.

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.

Over The Road:

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.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Keith A.'s Comment
member avatar

Steven, what I think we're trying to convey is that your situation is not the normal route for most folks and rarely if ever works out for the positive over the long term.

You're coming in here and applying your (very short, in relative terms) experience as a universal lived experience for us all.

I washed out of OTR the first time after four months and mustered my chops driving class B for about a year and a half, then came back and still had a learning curve of another year and change before I snagged my local... and while I know I'm not a model driver I'm also not the worst there is. From a safety context the almost two years I spent locally were the worst.

Input is always welcome here, but try to be cognizant of relative levels of experience. Your job variety is not very wide, and it isn't very deep yet.

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.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

Dispatching, load planning or operations isn't a 9 to 5 a lot of the time. We are so busy they are working like 12+ hour days and coming in on the weekends, plus working from home. All for less money than a lot of drivers make.

At least when I go off duty and head home, I am done I do not have drivers, dock workers and managers asking me stuff on my off time like they do. I always thought I would like to move to a office job at some point but it is way more stressful than I want so I give them 👍 👍 for putting up with it.

That's what I've seen. Start times are 4 AM, 12 pm and 8 PM. They all do 12 hours (sometimes more) and get paid salary so no overtime. Starting is between 60 and 70 a year.

Local driving (going home everyday) almost always goes by seniority. That means the new guy gets the stuff nobody wants. Nobody wants it for a reason. You'd also probably doing a different area everyday because you'd be covering for people that are off for one reason or another.

You can't say it's easier and you can't say it's harder. There are too many variables. Do you have a support system like people you can call that are familiar with the route and stops? Is it NYC or an industrial park built for trucks?

There is no one size fits all answer to this question.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Steven, here's the problem. You extrapolated your "opinions" from your extremely limited experience. Then you come into a public forum to share your "opinions" as though they were reasonable expectations for all new drivers. You don't realize how misinformed you are, but you still persist in arguing your case.

That's fine, but we are going to provide some push back when you push ideas about this career that are not going to hold true for most drivers. It is not just our "opinion" that most of the time local type jobs don't work out for rookie drivers. It's been proven repeatedly. We see the stories of these failures often right here in our forum. A new driver lands a local delivery type job, has a minor accident, and then nobody wants to touch them. No one considers their local work as experience, plus they have an accident on their record. It's generally not a prudent way to start one's trucking career. That is something we teach regularly. You entered our sphere claiming we were wrong based on maybe six months experience, just because your experience differed.

It's all fine and good for you to have an opinion. It's not fine for you to believe your extremely limited experience is somehow a well established pattern in the trucking industry, because it certainly isn't. We are thrilled you found your place in trucking and are happy with it - that's excellent. But when you make such remarks like this...

OTR drivers will never memorize their routes. They will never be able to get comfortable.

It shows you really don't even know what you are talking about. I could sit down and tell you every exit number and highway to get me from Delhi, LA to 65 Scott Swamp Road in Farmington, CT. I am extremely comfortable making that run too. In fact I am comfortable on every run they assign me.

To be fair with you I thought you were saying you had a local job. It appears now that you are on a regional job. That is different, but why would you insert yourself into a discussion about local driving when you now claim you are a regional driver? That is two very different types of work. Are you home every night? That is the type jobs this discussion was about. Todd wants to be home sleeping in his own bed. If you are doing that then your comments are out of line. If you are a regional driver then I don't know why you jumped in here with so much misleading information about local delivery jobs.

We are all for rookie drivers taking on a regional job, but your comments came across as doing a local delivery job. You made this statement...

Some think local jobs require more skill. I disagree.

Then you went on to tell us all about how you loved the job you got with JB Hunt. That made us feel you were encouraging the OP to get a local job first. You went on to talk about how and why you thought local jobs were easier, but the truth may be that you have never even had a local delivery job. Now you keep talking about regional. That is a total different job, and much easier than a local delivery job. How can you disagree with us when you have never even had a local job?

Surely you realize that you are new to this. Maybe you think your limited experience gives you some authority on the subject. I honestly don't know what it is you think. But some of your comments leave us chuckling. They are naive at best, and ignorant at the worst. Take this one...

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.

I just don't know what to say. You claim you didn't like the pay of OTR, yet I earn double what you claim to make at JB Hunt.

Steven, you were and are a rookie. You did poorly at OTR because you never learned how to manage the job properly. It wasn't because it was harder than local jobs. It wasn't because it pays less. That is what you have claimed. It was because you were a beginner who never took the time to master the job. You just moved on to something else. Had you mastered it you would have so many more opportunities open up to you. Instead you took a short cut because you found a way to increase your pay without having to increase your skills or knowledge. That's fine, and we are happy for you, but we don't appreciate your way of doing things. We would have been more happy with you had you decided to buckle down and figure out how this career works. Had you done that, you would have some real and helpful knowledge to share in here. Instead you busted in here sharing your "opinions" based on extremely limited experience. That isn't what we are known for. We share facts and truth - something your first posts were devoid of.

I'm sorry to be so harsh, but we have standards here. So far you have come up short.

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.
Auggie69'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:

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

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.)

Most local drivers DO have the same route. However, there are always additions to it that we've never seen before. And I fill in for drivers that are out so I see a different route everyday.

The GOOD news is though that during our preshift, drivers will ask each other, "You ever been here? How do I get in? Is there a dock? Are they pricks?" So for the most part we can usually get an idea from the more senior drivers what we're in for.

Local driving does suck. You'll deliver to office buildings. Hell, I delivered to a company the other day that I was barely able to fit in a 28ft pup trailer. And when I got there you could see where folks had driven into the grass in front of the dock as there simply was no room to maneuver!

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.

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.
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