Introducing OTR Trucking – Great Money Making Machine

What does it mean OTR Trucking? Over the road (OTR) trucking means that the truck driver most of his time is spending on the open road. The truck drivers who are part of the OTR trucking are special kind of drivers with specific lifestyle, own developed language and own dress code. The profession of truck driver can’t be compared with any other profession because it requires a lot of dedication and developed driving skills.

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Being a part of the OTR trucking requires big commitments and knowledge of the safety regulations and to be honest there is a lot of requirements restricted by lot of departments and all those regulations have to be covered:

What do You Need to Get Involved in OTR Trucking

As I mentioned before the OTR trucking is hard and need a lot of knowledge of federal regulations, but however to get into this career you need have a strong will and be ready to be away from home for a long time.

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If you are ready to do this you need to:

  • Have CDL Training
  • Earn your Class A Commercial driver license
  • To get proper endorsements for the vehicle and load you will haul
  • Have a clean driving record
  • Learn basic mechanics knowledge ( to perform truck checks and small repairs)
  • Good communication skills
  • Good driving performance
  • Need to have at least 21 years to drive interstate

Daily Routines of OTR Drivers

One typical day in OTR trucking is starting with an inspection of the truck, updating your logbook, having a quick bite before you get on the road. After you start your engine you have max. 11 hours of driving in 14 hour period. Hours of service need to be obeyed.

  • 14-hour “driving window” limit with required 10 hours min. rest
  • 11-hour driving limit
  • 60-hour/7-day
  • and 70-hour/8-day duty limits

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In this required driving period you can stop to have a lunch break, stretch your legs or have a quick exercise. I know that every truck driver wants to go to the limits but after you fulfill these hours you need to rest, watch TV in your truck cabin listen to your favorite radio station or talk with your family.

Anything that makes you relaxed you should do practice in these free hours. It is important to find a relaxation time for you even if it is a chat with other truck drivers in some truck stop.

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OTR Trucking

Every career has its own difficulties but OTR Trucking as a career is facing not only the job difficulties it also facing the loneliness in the truck cabin and in most of the time the loneliness can be unbearable.

Signature of OTR trucking is driving for a several weeks or months, transporting goods from point A to point B without going home. Being away from home can break the spirit of every human being.

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Before you get involved in OTR trucking you need to be prepared that you’ll be away from your family for weeks or months. If you are ready for that you may have a bright OTR trucking career.


The highway is your working place and the truck is your home, so how great is to have the entire world as your home? It is awesome I must say! OTR trucking is a big commitment because we are covering less or more than 120,000 miles per year. It is 10,000 miles per month or around 500 miles per day.

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The time on the road is not the only thing that you need to respect when you are part of the OTR trucking.  With respecting the Hours of Service you contribute to the safety on the highway andkeeping your safety report on good position.

OTR trucking is more an adventure than a job. I am saying this because you have the entire world as a working place so in the other words THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER.

The advantages of OTR Trucking are:

  • You are making good money
  • You have health or dental insurance for you and your family
  • You are making friends from everywhere
  • You are seeing new places every day
  • You are learning new skills
  • You are becoming more responsible
  • You can find OTR job at any time even if you take some time away from the road


Thousand of truck drivers are taking the OTR trucking as a career choice but more than half of them don’t last in the first year. If you are person that is very attached to your home OTR trucking may turn you in one of those truck stop haunted faces.

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For most of the truck drivers, the pros of OTR trucking are more than enough reason to quit OTR driving job and consider the local trucking job. The cons of OTR trucking are:

  • Being away from home – Long hours that are required for OTR trucking job will take your private life. OTR trucking will take you away from your family, from your friends because you need to be behind the steering wheel driving from a state to state to transport the loads.
  • Inability to participate in everyday family life – If you become a part of the OTR trucking you will be forced to keep up with the road even in the cases where you are mostly needed at home.
  • Loneliness can be killer – Especially if you driving alone without team driver or a pet companion, loneliness can awake your dark demons which can lead to increased nostalgia and depression.
  • OTR trucking can be a reason for unhealthy eating habits which can cause health issues
  • Your CB radio will be the closest link to your family

If you want to be in a truck but not for long period of time, closest to the OTR trucking is a local trucking job such as driving a dump truck.

OTR Trucking Services

Class 8 trucks are those who perform OTR trucking. Because the OTR trucking requires transportation of bigger loads for a longer period of time the transportation industry split in few OTR  services.

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  • Flatbed Transportation services – transportation of oversized loads
  • Reefer Transportation services – transportation of temperature sensitive cargo
  • Dry Van Transportation services – transportation of dry packages and loads, that are not require special treatment
  • Dump Transportation services – transportation of loose material such as coal, sand, coal, gravel
  • Tanker Transportation services – transportation of fluids
  • Live Load – transporting trailer from point A to point B and waiting to be unloaded
  • Drop and hook – transporting loads in a trailer from point A to point B. After getting to the point B the trailer is left to the customer facility where the returning of the trailer can be 2 or 3 days later.

Each of these OTR trucking services requires special knowledge and separate endorsements besides the general knowledge that you get with your CDL training.

OTR Trucking Salary

The paycheck of one OTR driver depends on many factors. There is a lot of OTR trucking services and each of them requires specific skills from the truck driver. As many specific skills are required as much as money you’ll make.

Let’s say if you are part of Reefer OTR trucking services or Tanker OTR trucking services besides your CDL and required air break test you will need a lot of other additional endorsements. Especially if you transporting a fuel you have to be highly educated and trained because the fuel is ranked as dangerous goods and by that, you’ll get higher salary than an OTR dry van driver.

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If one dry van driver is making $40,000 than truck driver that transport fuel will make more than $50,000 because the type of the cargo and specific Hazmat and Tanker endorsements.

The qualifications are not the only segment that affects on OTR driver salary. The years of experience are another influence here. An OTR trucking salary in the first year will be between $25,000 and $35,000 or more if you are a lucky one. More you have experience in OTR trucking more money you get.

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Is the OTR Trucking Right Choice for Career?

If you decide to get involved in OTR trucking you need to know that after you gain some experience you will have always opened job offers. Why is that? We all know that everything we have at home at some point was hauled by a truck.

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The boat and air transportation can be skipped but the truck transportation is always needed. No matter if there is need of short route transportation or over the country transport the trucks are the ones that are making that possible.

There is the fact where 70% of the transported good in the US are transported by trucks. That is more than enough percentage to make you consider and get involved in the OTR trucking.


If we compare the over the road trucking (also known as OTR or long haul trucking) with the local trucking jobs I must mention the required period of time that you need to be away from home.

With local trucking jobs you get up in the morning do your job and get back in the evening. The OTR trucking does not give you the convenience of your home. That is why many of the new OTR drivers after 2 or 3 rounds living this lifestyle are quitting this job.

But if you can deal with the loneliness ORT trucking is the right job for you. It brings more money in the end. Grab the opportunity and spread your wings because the highway is your sky.