Are you deciding if being an over-the-road (OTR) truck driver is right for you? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, truck drivers will continue to be in demand, making trucking a safe and profitable career choice.
If you’re considering getting your CDL and becoming an OTR driver, make sure your loved ones are involved in the decision. You’ll spend a considerable amount of time away from them. But if long haul trucking appeals to you, you’ll find that the trucker lifestyle is full of adventure and offers the kind of freedom that few other jobs do.
The Realities of Being an OTR Truck Driver
OTR truck driving allows you to see the country while earning more money doing a job you love. Expect to drive around 500 miles a day, 300 days a year. Here are a few things you can expect while living the OTR lifestyle:
- You’ll have flexibility. You may have early mornings but no set-in-stone start time.
- You’ll drive no more than 11 hours a day with at least a ten-hour break between drives.
- You’ll get “home time” about once every three weeks. As a general rule, OTR drivers need to have at least a full 34 hours off after 70 hours of driving. The 70 hours is usually done over eight days.
- You’ll likely be compensated per mile, depending on your carrier.
- You’ll be able to stop at truck stops or other locations for meals and showers. Many truck stops have showers you can pay to use. Some truckers choose to use portable showers in their trucks.
- You’ll use the sleeper cab behind the driver’s seat to sleep and enjoy free time. The sleeper cab can fit a small mattress. Some truckers have a small television, microwave, and mini-refrigerator in their cabs.
- You’ll be able to enjoy some solitude as you travel the country.
When you get your first long-haul trucking job, you’ll have a trainer teaching you the ins and outs of the OTR lifestyle. This trainer will show you how to take breaks, find meals, and live in your truck. You won’t have to learn it all yourself.
Prepare for Life on the Road with CDL Training
The OTR lifestyle often appeals to people who enjoy time alone, desire flexibility, and enjoy traveling the country. If you’re considering becoming an OTR truck driver, you’ll first need to get your CDL.
At United States Truck Driving School, our CDL training programs can help you learn to drive trucks, pass your CDL exam, and get a job. If you’re interested in beginning a career as an OTR truck driver, contact us today to learn more about our programs.