otr trucking jobsOTR trucking is what comes to mind when most people think of truckers. OTR is short for “over the road,” but who decides what that means exactly? Over the road trucking is a major employment industry in the United States today. No matter what a company produces, it has to travel around the nation and truckers serve as the backbone of American transportation.

These drivers are out on assignment for weeks or months at a time, living primarily on the road. Rather than transporting goods locally or within a defined region, your travels might take you across the US and Canada. OTR trucking jobs are perfect for someone who enjoys being alone on the open road and seeing the sights that come along with it.

 Benefits and Challenges for OTR Trucking Jobs

The benefits of being an OTR driver are numerous. Since there is such high demand for drivers interested in these positions, these types of jobs are almost always available. Trucking companies are frequently looking to add to their workforce and offer competitive salaries, benefits and bonuses to people who are dedicated to their team.

Competitive Salaries

OTR truck driving jobs are structured differently than most other careers. Instead of getting paid by the hour, most drivers get paid by the mile. For truckers, it’s not the time, but the productivity that counts.

The amount of money you earn changes significantly depending on the trucking company you work for and what types of loads you carry. Truck drivers have seen salaries rise steadily over the past couple of years. According to the Bureau of Labor, the average annual pay for an OTR Truck Driver in the United States during 2017 was $42,480 a year, up from $40,260 in 2015.

Job Security

Truck drivers have much more security than other industries across the US. Since there is a shortage of truck drivers, there will always be new positions available. Trucking companies are always on the lookout for new drivers, especially ones with experience and a good safety record, and are willing to offer higher salaries and bonuses to draw in new talent.

See the Country

The other advantage to long haul trucking jobs is that the road is your office. For many drivers it also is a chance to enjoy the sights, the food, and the culture of places all over the country. If you are single, young, and adventurous, you may find that this kind of lifestyle suits you perfectly.

Being Away from Home

The downside of OTR trucking jobs is that if you have a family, this kind of travel can be incredibly difficult for you, your spouse, and your children. Being away for extended periods puts great strain on family relations. Some truck drivers also have a hard time adjusting to so much alone time. To keep drivers from missing their families and getting burnt out too quickly, some trucking companies allow your family (and even your pets) to travel with you.

Truck Driver Qualifications and Training

College is not typically required for OTR truck drivers. Instead, you need a “Class A” CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). Some drivers go through an independent truck driving school and then find a job after graduation, while others are hired by a trucking company who then pays for training. Either way, you will not be permitted to drive until you are fully trained and licensed. Each company also sets its own minimum age and other requirements for its drivers.

Is OTR Trucking Right for You?

You can find your place working OTR jobs if you are determined. Some people are very well suited to this type of work and enjoy the benefits that come along with it. It definitely takes a special type of person to be able to handle all of the unique challenges encountered with this job.

Truck driving jobs are all about time management and problem solving. All trucking jobs create a unique challenge for you as a driver. Traffic, weather, road work, and detours due to construction or special events are all part of what you should plan for when creating your OTR route. You can save hours of delays and wasted time with effective planning. You can work to improve your mileage (and therefore salary) by getting better at time management and carefully thinking out your game plan before setting out each day.

Over The Road Trucking Companies

OTR truck driving jobs are some of the most rewarding and exciting careers available. These jobs allow you to see the United States in a way that few people do, exploring small towns, big cities, and picturesque landscapes that most people need vacation time to enjoy.

Which OTR trucking company you choose is a personal decision, but here are some contenders for you to consider:

Covenant Transport: An excellent company for any OTR driver, Covenant Transport is a particularly nice choice for those interested in team driving. The company offers a team matching program for solo drivers looking to team up, along with substantial teaming bonuses. You can drive your choice of an automatic or manual transmission truck. Haz Mat drivers get extra pay and Covenant offers generous bonuses. With full benefits and guaranteed home time, you can’t go wrong with this company.

Mesilla Valley Transportation: Serving 48 states, Mesilla Valley Transportation seeks both solo OTR drivers and OTR teams. Besides competitive pay and full benefits, the company provides quite a few bonuses, giveaways, and incentives. With flexible home time and very well-maintained trucks, Mesilla Valley is definitely a company to consider.

Roehl Transport: Roehl Transport features late-model equipment and excellent benefits including profit sharing, a 401K, and passenger options for family members and pets. In addition, the company offers a novel pay plan with practical miles and pay increases every quarter. Based in Middle Tennessee, this small company features 127 tractor trailers and a variety of route types from which to choose. OTR drivers are typically out for 11 to 14 days and then home for three, although the company’s flexible schedules let you choose the home time that best fits your needs.

SOAR Transportation Group: SOAR Transportation Group offers 100% No Touch freight and highly competitive pay, including such extras as layover pay and breakdown pay. You will be home every 14 to 21 days depending on route. The company provides state of the art, comfortable equipment, full benefits, and a variety of bonuses.

Swift Transportation: Swift Transportation has one of the largest fleets in the industry, with more than 16,000 company drivers. The company is committed to driver development from hiring through retirement, and even has its own trucking schools for those looking to enter the business. With excellent pay and benefits, dedicated routes, and a variety of equipment, Swift Transportation is a wonderful choice for both new and experienced OTR drivers.

USA Truck: USA Truck remains a top destination for new drivers, but the company is actively working to recruit experienced drivers as well. Providing transportation and logistics services to the continental United States, Mexico, and Canada for more than 30 years, USA Truck continues to put its employees first. Look for competitive pay, bonuses, extensive benefits, and a dedication to your work-life balance.

Find OTR Trucking Jobs

You can quickly apply for trucking jobs no matter what your experience or criteria are. You can apply directly online through sites like CDLjobs.com. This site allows you to research and apply for OTR trucking jobs quickly and easily, with clear and direct communication to dozens of trucking companies seeking OTR drivers and without the hassle of needing to apply to dozens of individual trucking jobs.

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