Local delivery and other short haul types of truck driving are very different than over-the-road (OTR) driving. While they may require the same license and driving skill, the duties in each role set OTR and local truck driving apart.

Some people may prefer one job over the other because of how much driving is involved. One isn’t better than the other, though, and both types of driving are very needed during the truck driver shortage. But if you’re looking into OTR driving, know that you’ll have plenty of unique benefits in your new role!

What’s the difference?

Local Delivery – Local delivery, also called “short haul” driving, means moving goods or materials short distances compared to other types of driving. Companies looking to fill local delivery jobs want to keep drivers in or near their city. Regional driving may also be considered a type of short haul driving since it usually means transporting materials in or around the same state.

Over-the-road – Over-the-road driving means transporting goods or materials across the country. Truck drivers in this role spend more time behind the wheel and away from home, but have a greater opportunity to earn more money. OTR drivers might pick up materials on the east coast and drive them to the west coast before driving back home.

Why transfer from local delivery to OTR truck driving?


The difference in pay between OTR and local truck driving is substantial since OTR drivers are asked to spend longer amounts of time on the road. While a local delivery driver could earn an average salary of $27,760,1 OTR drivers can make $40,000 to $45,000 their first year!2 This type of driving might not be for everyone, but it has its rewards!

OTR truck drivers can earn even more money through carrier-company bonuses. Hitting a monthly mileage, saving fuel while you drive, passing a DOT inspection and staying safe on the road are just some of the paying bonuses you could be eligible for.

Opportunities to Travel

OTR driving is best for someone who really enjoys driving and seeing scenery. You can cross through cities and see American landscapes that you might not have had the privilege to see before, all while earning a paycheck! Travel to the far reaches of the south and all the way up to the Canadian border. OTR drivers are needed across the country from coast-to-coast and peak-to-peak.

The Cons of Local Delivery

Local delivery positions might not be as great as they’re talked up to be. Some local driving positions may require you to start work very early and work long hours. You might even be asked to work on the weekends. If you’re spending that much time away from home, why not get paid well for it?

Short haul truck drivers will likely make multiple stops in a day where they’ll unload freight and deliver materials to customers. Randy Cornell, VP of Safety and Recruiting for Con-way Truckload, says “the pros to long haul are (1) you’ll typically make more money in long haul than short haul and (2) you’re not going to be loading and unloading as much which most drivers prefer.”3

What if I don’t want to be OTR forever?

If you don’t want to be OTR forever, you don’t have to be. You still gain the driving experience and the work history to put on your resume if you decided to apply for a different job. When you’re ready for a change of pace or scheduling, you get to make that call!

Class A CDL Training at Roadmaster

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to become a local or an OTR driver. Truck driver training at Roadmaster is about preparing trainees for a successful career by teaching essential trucking skills and know-how! Our trainers are industry experts who work alongside trainees in the classroom and behind the wheel. Roadmaster students have the benefit of flexible schedule options, nation-wide locations, and our Job Placement program.

Ready to put your trucking career in the fast lane? Leave some contact information here or chat now with a representative to find options for truck driver training in your area!

2wage info supplied by Werner Enterprises