What is local trucking like?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by aaron8925, Jun 20, 2024.

  1. aaron8925

    aaron8925 Bobtail Member

    Jun 12, 2024
    Now that I have 2 years experience driving (OTR), I am interested in switching to local. Probably some sort of tanker work. But in OTR the life is obviously very different, like the commute is just getting out of bed and hopping in the driver seat. In local work, is it normal to put in 14 hour days? I don't know if I could stand that for long, it seems unreasonable to have just 10 hours between shifts considering you have to commute both ways, sleep, eat, etc. I would appreciate anyone who could share their experiences switching to local or what a normal day is like for them.
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  3. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    10-12 hour days are pretty normal for local or home-daily jobs. You must have a minimum of 10 hours off between work shifts. You often see the same city over & over & over. You also commute from home to work reporting location twice per day. Some jobs it is easier to be off on weekends & some jobs You will work nights until some lifer on day shift retires. It depends on company, location, customers.
    nextgentrucker and Bud A. Thank this.
  4. Bud A.

    Bud A. Road Train Member

    May 10, 2015
    Mountain Time
    Only local job I've had was Monday through Friday, usually 10 hours, occasionally 12, a few times 16 hours. It was flatbed no tarp hauling steel to one of two different galvanizers, then hauling galvanized steel back. Sometimes loads were small parts to a different welding facility, then finished product back. Rarely I would haul finished product to a job site. Usually drove less than 400 miles a day.

    There was generally enough variety that I didn't get too bored, and 95% of the time I was driving rural 2-lane roads, which I liked. I actually needed more hours, which is why I ended up quitting. I was told it would be 60 hours and OT after 40 when I was hired, but it was almost always around 50, rarely 55, never 60. I was almost never really tired like I sometimes get working OTR.

    The commute was short, maybe 20 minutes. Usually started around 0400, done by 1400. It was kind of nice to be home every night and eat real food. I liked most everyone I worked with, which is good when you see the same people every day. It's definitely different than OTR.
  5. Powder Joints

    Powder Joints Subjective Prognosticator

    Sep 25, 2007
    Rosamond, SoCal
    The biggest deal I can or have seen is the local work has more politics envolved, the other drivers seem to want to make your business there business. They seem to like to drag their feet, alot and give anyone trying to do a good job a hard time, because it makes them look bad. Maybe just my experience, but I ran into it at Pepsi (New Bern Transportation) and Kemira Water Treatments, both seem to have drivers that cryed constantly. Now Working for Lily (Whole Foods) I dod not fond it to be the case at all, the other drivers seem to want to help each other. So you just never know, what inside of a box of choclates till you open it and take a bite. I also found working for Centerline Drivers in Burbank CA to be a really good deal over all.
  6. 88 Alpha

    88 Alpha Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    May 12, 2012
    SouthEast Alabama
    I'm a local driver and commute 20 minutes to work. Once I clock in, I try to get done with my tasks in 12 hours but it's common for me to do 16 hours once per week. I try to make that 16-hour day the last day of my work week so I don't have to adjust my clock-in time the following morning.

    We had a driver who had a 1-hour commute and was regularly putting in 14 hours so his 10-hour break was only 8 hours long because the commute time was off-duty and considered part of his break. He worked that schedule for a couple of years.
  7. Munch75

    Munch75 Light Load Member

    Aug 29, 2021
    If you are talking tanker a lot of it is going to depend on pay type. Hourly? Per load? I run local fuel haul they "schedule" us night guys for 11 hours per their timing however it's kind of like flat rate for mechanics. If you get your loads done before hand you still get the "floor pay" of the 11 hours. Theirs a lot of things in play for our pay though and it can be convoluted. However if you get on hourly somewhere some of the guys around here are 10 and done and forced 1/2 hour breaks.
    Turbodriven, nextgentrucker and Bud A. Thank this.
  8. Eddiec

    Eddiec Road Train Member

    Feb 2, 2015
    Truck Load Carriers ( especially the ones that do not pay OT)tend to work you 12 -14 hours a day - $$
    LTL P & D Work is more 8 -10 hours plus working the dock. Get a job with UPS and be set for life! $$$
    Grocery Store Delivery 10 -12 hours -you may have to unload at the stores using an electric pallet jack. $$
    Fuel Haulers - work till it's done. Danger everywhere. Gas stations were the hardest getting in and out. $$
    Food Service - Long hours. Must be in shape. Knees, back and shoulders take a beating. You earn every penny. $$

    Try to keep your commute under 45 minutes. Be prepared to slip seat.
  9. MSWS

    MSWS Medium Load Member

    Jun 30, 2022
    It depends on the type of work and the individual company. I work local dryvan and 11 hour days are the norm for me. It can go over if I get a run at the last minute, but that doesn't happen often. I haul exclusively for the company I work for moving their stuff between the different facilities they own. I have my own truck assignment, (no slip seating), and it's got a sleeper compartment. I'm actually in the back right now. I got to work at about 0530 this morning and I haven't done a single thing. I'm debating whether or not to plug in my television and watch something on Netflix. These robber barons I work for didn't spring for a tv mount on the wall, so I have to set up the tv every time I use it and then put it away when I'm done. A travesty, I know, but don't cry for me. I will endure.
    nextgentrucker Thanks this.
  10. lual

    lual Road Train Member

    Oct 22, 2020
    SW Georgia
    The home daily fuel or cryo sectors will start you off with the "bottom" shifts -- so you'll be working nights, weekends....& holidays...until a better shift opens up.

    Thus -- your sleep schedule & your life will be "reversed"....compared to all those around you, in most cases.

    Both tanker & hazmat endorsements are/will be required.

    As suggested above -- keep that commute time short; I'd recommend 30 minutes, or less.

    It's no place for kids, or sissies (but that's true for most of trucking, anyway).

    Try to score a gig that pays by the hour.

    That way -- you are compensated for ALL YOUR TIME -- whether you are moving, or not.

    -- L
  11. Rugerfan

    Rugerfan Road Train Member

    May 3, 2011
    I have roughly a 15-20 minute commute to work hauling fuel. Some days are a rare 9 hour day, but most are 11-15. I usually try to start at 0245-0300 everyday. Most days I have 10-12 hours off between shifts, but Friday I got off at 1430 in Seattle, while training to get carded at the fuel racks up there, then had to drive back to Portland. Got home at 1815, and was up at 0200 to work out of Portland Saturday. It can be a real grind at times working local, but I’d never go back on the road. I work Tuesday-Saturday day shift and found a fuel company that pays the full cost of family health insurance.
    viper822004 and Diesel Dave Thank this.
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