Over the Road Trucking (OTR): Definition, Pros & Cons You Should Know!

When you’re a truck driver, you open up a world of possibilities. One of the first considerations you must make is if you want to be an Over The Road Trucker or a local driver. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of each option will allow you to make an informed decision. We will discuss the meaning of Over The Road Trucking along with its Pros and Cons in the article ahead.

What does over the road mean in trucking?

Over The Road Trucking entails transporting goods over great distances, frequently across state lines and even national borders. An over-the-road trucker may travel for 3-4 weeks at a stretch, sleeping in the trucker hotels or dhabas along the way.

Instead of only single drivers, it’s usual to see multiple people in OTR teams on the road. With others driving the route, the crew may work in shifts while complying with driving restrictions and gaining time on the road.

OTR trucks transport a wide range of cargo, including heavy machinery, automobiles, building materials, and consumer products. Many truck drivers begin their careers as Over The Road Trucking drivers. However, many experienced drivers prefer an OTR profession because there is always a great need for OTR drivers, and they may typically make higher wages.

Over the road (OTR) refers to truck drivers who move freight over large distances and spend 3-4 weeks on the road at a time.  OTR drivers travel throughout the country. Heavy cargoes, equipment, building supplies, and other equipment are all transported by OTR truck drivers.

How does Over The Road Trucking work?

You cannot work as an over-the-road trucker if you only have a basic driver’s license. To operate as a long-haul driver, you must have a Class A commercial driver’s license. There are numerous driving schools that provide Class A CDL instruction. Many trucking companies also provide CDL training and subsequently employment following graduation.

While most employers pay drivers by the hour, Over The Road trucking positions are paid by the mile. The rationale for this is that companies want to only pay for time spent on the job, not time spent resting or pausing for any other purpose. While most Over The Road trucking jobs pay by the mile, there are a few that pay by the hour. Medium to long-distance trucking jobs that pay per hour is preferred by experienced OTR truckers. Because these jobs pay more than ones that pay per mile.

What are the benefits & drawbacks of over-the-road trucking?


  1. Higher Pay: OTR truck drivers frequently earn more than local drivers. The average annual salary for an OTR driver is $62,000, although it may take some time to get there.
  2. Seeing the Country: You will be able to visit places that you would not have been able to visit otherwise.
  3. Job Security: OTR truck drivers will always be in demand; eCommerce brands alone ship over billions of goods in a single year.


  1. Long-haul truckers may be away from home for days or weeks at a time. Making it work with your other duties requires preparation and adjustment. For some, the time spent away is too much, especially if they have a spouse and/or children.
  2. There is no predetermined schedule for OTR truckers because they are bound by particular restrictions limiting the number of driving hours they can undertake in a given period. As a result, many trucking jobs begin after the conclusion of the statutory period of rest, which means your timetable will vary from week to week.


Is OTR trucking hard?

Indeed, stress saps your vitality, and trucking is notoriously unpleasant on a daily basis. But, most of the time, it boils down to perspective. Most people become overly stressed over trivial matters and carry their anger with them long after they occur.

Is long-haul trucking better than local?

One of the first considerations you’ll have to make if you want to work in trucking is if you do want to work in the long-haul or short-haul. Examine the benefits and drawbacks of both sorts of trucking jobs to determine which is best for you.

Things to consider:

  • Truck Types
  • Time Spent On-Road
  • Average Pay
  • Quality of Life
  • Typical Expenses

What is the duration of over-the-road trucking?

An over-the-road trucker may be on the road for 3-4 weeks at a period.

Difference between OTR & Regional trucking?

REGIONAL – This usually consists of day trips, with no more than one or two nights away. A driver may operate in areas ranging from a few cities/counties to several states.

OTR (OVER THE ROAD) – A long-haul OTR driver may be on the road for weeks at a time, carrying loads from coast to coast.

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