I have to do OTR starting out?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Greenhorn23, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. Greenhorn23

    Greenhorn23 Bobtail Member

    Jan 27, 2020
    I'm thinking about a career as a truck driver cdl-a. do I have to do OTR starting out or can I run a regional or dedicated local route?

    Also the turnover rate from a number of sources is at around 97% why is this? Thanks in advance
    Flat Earth Trucker Thanks this.
  2. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    More than 97% forget numbers.

    100 wanna drive, 50 cannot. Medical reasons, Drugs etc. 50 got a job. 25 left in 6 months. IF they survive school and training. In 5 years we are down to about 10. A variety of problems kill off hires. Prreventables. Service failures etc.

    Not to mention a small percentage killed, prison, medically disabled or maimed and so forth.

    One company had me at 226 people me bottom man when I hired on, 6 months later they were 236 drivers me high 30's, top 15 or so have tenure and will die there.

    Only the company had only a year left to live before they too died.

    Finally but not least. When I was in school instructors told us we have one body. It will break by 55 for some of us. I was finished OTR at high 40's I managed to work with trucks another 10 years as a crew boss but I was finished. Took what appears to be about 220,000 in medical care so far to fix some of the issues with another 110,000 potential expenses togo. I just finished watching insurance pay off 14000 just last three weeks.

    And earnings? Inflated away from 80's money to 2010's worthless dollar. HA....
    Cabinover101 and rpad139 Thank this.
  3. kemosabi49

    kemosabi49 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Jan 13, 2013
    SW Arkansas
    Depending on where you live, otr is not always necessary. Many food service and soda distributors hire new drivers and it is local. As far as the turnover it isn't the whole industry with this crazy number. The mega training carriers find it cheaper to have the turnover that to pay drivers a decent wage.
  4. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    Where is your location?
    Depending on your location; maybe some local/regional/dedicated runs.
    A lot of that turnover is simply going from one trucking company to another.
    Some drivers think the grass is greener somewhere else.
    The grass is also greener over the septic tank.
    Cabinover101 and Texas_hwy_287 Thank this.
  5. Flat Earth Trucker

    Flat Earth Trucker Road Train Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    While that isn't always the case, to drive local, you'll need to be proficient at backing. Gaining backing proficiency requires experience, and most local outfits require at least a year of experience.
    Texas_hwy_287 Thanks this.
  6. snowlauncher

    snowlauncher Heavy Load Member

    Mar 28, 2014
    Southeastern ID
    While OTR experience comes highly recommended by yours truly, I have found that most LTL companies will hire new CDL-a drivers with hazmat, tankers and doubles/triples endorsements with little or no experience. You will, however, be starting from the bottom of the pool, as far as available work/shift preference, and probably a few months of training/probation before you get your road legs.
    Cabinover101, Texas_hwy_287 and rachi Thank this.
  7. asphaltreptile311

    asphaltreptile311 Medium Load Member

    Jun 16, 2016
    Right now seems to be pretty slow for ltl companies hiring
  8. Dna Mach

    Dna Mach Road Train Member

    Aug 8, 2008
    I know lots of drivers with over a decade of experience that have never spent a night in the truck. I live in a large city so there’s plenty of options for those not going that route. But no, OTR is not an industry job requirement.
    Cabinover101 and snowlauncher Thank this.
  9. snowlauncher

    snowlauncher Heavy Load Member

    Mar 28, 2014
    Southeastern ID
    If you can get on with a decent OTR starter company and can manage to be away from home most of the year(it's tough for most), I would recommend it. You will get to travel the country and learn about the industry, as well as gain the job experience. You can put your applications in with local companies after a year or so and it probably won't take long to get something more to your liking. I personally found out after I was hired local that no OTR experience was necessary, but if I could do it over, I wouldn't change anything. The OTR experience really helped me hit the ground running by the time I went local.
    Texas_hwy_287 Thanks this.
  10. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2009
    The great state of TN
    All the other guys answered appropriately, but OTR is really not bad. Me personally, I prefer OTR to local. You hear more negativity than you do positivity. I like it because of seeing different scenery, meeting cool people, eating great unique food lol. Either way, it is a long day. If you go OTR, you'll be able gain the experience necessary to make yourself a hot commodity for a local or regional gig. Do one year, itll come and go. Watch a bunch of options open up after.
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