Long haul trucking is truly a passion. Some drivers love to be a long haul driver as if they were born ready to drive. With that being said, long haul, or over the road (OTR) driving is not just a job but a lifestyle.
There are many reasons truckers everywhere choose longer trips as opposed to short-haul trucking. It all boils down to what you are comfortable with. Here are the pros and cons of long-haul trucking.
You have independence.
One of the most common reasons any trucker gets into the trucking business is the appeal of the independence that goes along with the nature of the job. There is no boss hanging over your head. With long hauls, you get to set your own hours, stop when you need to, and keep on driving if you can.
The money is an added bonus!
Money is dependent on how much you work, but since truckers are paid per mile, the pay can be decent, depending on the length of the trip and the mileage rate you are receiving.
You get paid to travel.
You can see some spectacular scenery on the journey, that you otherwise would not get to see at all, or you would have to spend a good amount of money to travel to. Long hauls are an adventure.
There is something different every day.
Each haul is unique. The travel, the destinations, the challenges, and the schedule all vary from day to day.
There are lots of long-haul trucking jobs.
A commercial driver’s license not only gives you a world plenty of job opportunities, but there is some satisfaction in knowing that if you do not like the company or people you are working for, you can always look for another job. Chances are, they are not the only gig in town.
You can be flexible.
It does not matter where you live, it is always possible to get a long haul job. You should never be stuck without work if you are willing to go the distance.
You are more apt to have an unhealthy lifestyle.
Due to the nature of trucking for extended time periods, eating restaurant food, not exercising, or not relaxing can lead to health problems. Many drivers have had their CDLs revoked or suspended due to such problems as diabetes, heart issues, and sleep apnea, caused by the unhealthy lifestyle that trucking provides.
You are away from home for long periods of time.
Long trips can be anywhere from a week up until three weeks, or even longer. Once the driver is on the road, they will need to continue hauling to avoid deadheading. This is very difficult for truckers and their families.
It can cause loneliness.
The trucker will spend long periods of time along. Since the ruling on no handheld devices has been enforced, the driver cannot talk to friends or family as often as they would like. It can get very lonely at times, but some truckers do not mind the long periods of solitude.
The costs and expenses can be high.
Meals and personal supplies purchased on the road, can add up quickly and take a big bite out of a driver’s earnings. The short haul driver may eat many of their meals at home or load up their cooler with food from home. Truckers who drive long hauls are getting hit hard by rapidly rising operating expenses. The high cost of restaurant food, fuel, repairs, and equipment is making it less appealing.
Let us know what you think of long hauls in the comments below.