Local truck driving is where a truck driver will work within a local area, often within a metropolitan area. The driver will usually have a set schedule where they will go home at the end of their shift instead of being on the road for days or weeks. Sometimes the driver will be making numerous stops depending upon the freight.
Local vs Regional Truck Driving
If you are thinking about driving a truck you probably have come across regional driving as well as local driving.
Let me explain how regional driving is different from local.
Regional truck driving is where a truck driver will drive within a 1,000-mile radius.
Usually, the driver will drive in several states such as several states in the Midwest.
For example, a driver may live in Illinois but drive to Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, Kentucky, etc…
Regional truck drivers may have a route that takes them a few days which means they may have to be away from home for a few days.
Truck drivers that do not want to drive over the road (OTR), but still wants to travel away from home will choose to be a regional truck driver.
If you are wondering what over the road (OTR) driving is then read this article that I wrote explaining it.
Regional truck drivers can be home a couple of nights a week or off on the weekends.
They may have a specific route each week that they drive over and over.
Regional truck driving is not as physically demanding as local truck driving because usually the driver is not expected to remove cargo.
Pros of Local Truck Driving
Are you still thinking about becoming a local truck driver?
There are many pros for local truck driving, let’s go over several of them.
1. More Home Time
Many truck drivers decide to become a local truck driver so they can be home more.
Usually, local truck drivers can go home each night or day after their shift.
Truck drivers with a family choose to become a local driver, so they can be home more often.
If you have small children or a just starting a family then local driving is the way to go.
If you are single and want to see the country a bit then regional, or even OTR, is the way to go.
2. Fixed Schedule
Local truck driving might be what you are looking for if you want a schedule that is fixed.
For the most part you are following the same route every single day and will get to know the people at the businesses you stop at.
Local truck drivers will know that they have a set schedule and can go home after their shift has ended.
This is a huge reason why many drivers decide to go local and why long distance and regional drivers do too.
3. Hourly Wage
Local truck drivers usually get paid by the hour instead of by the mile.
You are given a route to make deliveries to each day.
A local truck driver will still have to follow the 14-hour driving window just as an OTR driver but usually local drivers never drive that much in a day.
Depending on the company, a local truck driver can also be paid by the day.
Local truck drivers are healthier than OTR truck drivers.
Why? A local truck driver is not spending as much time in a truck like an OTR truck driver.
Some local truck drivers have several stops on their route and the driver may have to load or unload freight, which keeps the driver active and getting more exercise.
A local truck driver goes home at the end of his shift, so the driver can eat healthier foods than a OTR truck driver that eats at truck stops.
Local drivers also get to sleep in their own bed and have time to exercise after work each day.
Cons of Local Truck Driving
With any job or profession, there are benefits and cons. What are the cons of local truck driving? Let’s take a look.
1. Pay is Lower
The local truck driving jobs will often pay less money than an OTR job.
In the United States, a local truck driver can earn approximately $51,000 a year, but an OTR truck driver can earn approximately $65,000 a year according to ZipRecruiter.
These numbers do vary based on your location and demand for local drivers.
Where I am at in the Chicago area the local drivers are in high demand and can make just as much as OTR drivers.
Many drivers would rather earn less money to spend more home time with their family though.
2. Work Long Hours (not always though)
A local truck driver can work 10 to 14 hours each day.
Many local truck drivers start their shift very early from 3:00 AM to 5:00 AM.
The local driver is working long days and is home nightly, but there is not much time left to enjoy it.
By the time the driver gets home they shower, eat dinner, then go to bed to wake up early and start their workday.
3. Local Truck Driving Jobs Are Competitive
Local truck driving jobs are competitive.
The trucking companies will receive numerous applicants and they will choose a truck driver that has extensive experience and a clean driving record.
New truck drivers may have a harder time getting a local truck driving job, which is why so many drivers drive over the road for several years.
After driving over the road for a few years it’s easier to get a local driving job.
It does depend on where you live, around large metropolitan areas there are a lot of local jobs to be filled.
4. Frequent Stops & Loading and Unloading Freight
Many local truck driving jobs will have frequent stops and the driver may have to load or unload the freight, depending on the freight you are hauling and the company by which you are employed.
If you are not wanting to load and unload freight, then you should apply for a local truck driving job that has no-touch freight.
Also, if you have some problems with your shoulders or back than loading freight all day might not be for you.
5. Driving in the City
Usually, local truck driving jobs will have the driver driving in the city, which can be stressful at times.
If you do not want to drive in a hectic city, then you may want to rethink if a local truck driving job if what you want.
Driving around the Chicago are all day does have it’s own unique mental stress that it not easy to deal with daily.
6. Customer Interaction
Many local truck driving jobs will have the driver interacting with the customer.
The driver will have to talk often with their dispatcher, the customer where you will load or unload the freight, and other coworkers.
Some truck drivers would rather not interact with so many people, so they stay driving OTR.
If you do not mind, then this can easily also be a pro for a local truck driving job.
Local Truck Driving Job Requirements
There are requirements for a local truck driving job will vary with the truck’s size and weight.
Most companies require the driver have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), and there are three CDL categories, which are Class A, Class B, and Class C. More about those in this article I wrote right here.
To drive a tractor trailer you will need a Class A, which most companies prefer.
The Class B license allows a driver to drive a straight and box truck, which many local truck driving jobs are asking for.
More about box trucks right here in case you are wondering what one is.
Many companies are also requiring the driver to have a high school diploma or a GED certificate too.
Which Is Better, Local of Regional Truck Driving?
A local truck driving job may be what you are interested in if you have been working as a OTR driver.
There are many rewards that come with a local truck driving job such as being home daily, having a set schedule and routine, and being able to have a social life.
There are some cons too such as lower wages, city driving, and long hours.
If you want to look for a local job, then make sure you always read the revies for the company before you apply.
If the company is always looking for local drivers, then it may the company is not too great.