If you have always dreamed of driving a big rig, you might consider working for one of the many over the road trucking companies your dream job. This is employment not suitable for everyone. You may even find that over the road (OTR) trucking is not what you want to do after all. You might be better off, if you still want to drive, consider getting your commercial driving license and sticking to local or regional trips. Yet, do not be discouraged. Before you consider abandoning your dreams, you need to look first at the specifics of OTR. You need to learn exactly what the term means and what this type of driving involves.
What Is OTR Trucking?
OTR is long haul trucking. It is driving a cargo or load for lengthy distances. You will leave your home base in the morning and not return for days or even weeks. You will travel on the road irrespective of holidays and weekends. This lifestyle – for this is what it is – demands much of not only you, but also of your family. While you may cross the country and even take your rig across borders, you will often find yourself alone with your semi or tractor-trailer on important occasions.
What Is Involved in Moving Freight?
OTR companies arrange for the pick-up and/or delivery of goods. These have a designated date for the company and its driver to accomplish this task. The driver may go along a dedicated route – one with which he or she is familiar. Alternatively, the trip may involve a route that varies with every load they carry or pick up. The trucking firm will make sure that the driver is aware in advance of what the trip requires.
On the Road
With OTR, the vehicles often have a sleeper. This allows the driver to nap and provides them a place to spend the night. Some over the road companies have terminals with not only showers but also laundry facilities to accommodate their drivers during these long hauls. Some have begun to include mini-gyms to help their drivers fight off the problems that come from sitting for extended periods without exercise.
Meals are often at cafés and roadside eateries. This can prove to be less than healthy unless drivers choose the right items from the menu. Weight problems are one aspect that comes from accepting an OTR job. Companies may offer nutritional experts and seminars to counteract this health issue.
The right companies also ensure their drivers remain safe when behind the wheel. They have tight policies on how to drive and be safe. They ensure regular maintenance on all their vehicles. They install high tech equipment to monitor the rigs for any potential problems. These companies also make sure their drivers adhere to the strict guidelines of road safety, including how many hours they can drive daily.
Over the Road Trucking Companies
If you decide to become a truck driver, you will need to get your commercial driver’s license. Attending a training school can help you achieve this goal. Before school is even over, you should be looking carefully at your options. You may want to start small by driving locally. This will let you get a feel for the job before you move on up to join one of the nation’s growing over the road trucking companies.
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