Understand the different types of truck driver jobs and how different segments of trucking work.

When searching for truck driving jobs, most will be categorized into two different types – over-the-road (OTR) and less-than-truckload (LTL).  While both require the same set of skills from the driver, each job description is a bit different.  As a new trucker, it's important to understand the difference and become familiar with the duties of both.  Let's take a closer look at each type of job in more detail. 

LTL Driving Jobs

LTL, or less-than-truckload, is a service offered to freight and trucking companies for shippers who only need a small delivery of goods at a time.  Unlike full truckload drivers, LTL drivers haul multiple shipments at one time on the same trailer, each with a different destination.  These shipments are typically delivered to a terminal, before being transferred from truck to truck until they reach a final destination.

  • LTL driving jobs are usually designated for drivers with experience. In order to get that experience, you'll need to start with a different type of trucking job. To see how Driver Solutions and PAM Transport can get you the help and experience you need, check out our company sponsored CDL training page.

OTR Driving Jobs

Nearly every new truck driver begins a career as an OTR, or over-the-road, trucker.  OTR drivers are different from LTL drivers in that they haul 'longer length' loads all across the country.  This is referred to as irregular route meaning that OTR truckers get to travel to different places all the time while enjoying the freedom of the open road.

  • PAM Transport gives you the opportunity to get a lot of experience as an OTR driver. This experience will help open the door for career advancement opportunities that can be achieved even in your first year driving. See how you can get started by finding one of our partner driving schools' locations here.

Dedicated Driving Jobs

A dedicated truck driver will have what can be best described as prescribed, or regular routes. Dedicated drivers are either designated to running routes for one company or to a set, specific delivery location. These types of trucking jobs operate on consistent schedules, allowing drivers to get home time on a more regular basis.

Local Driving Jobs

Local driving jobs require truckers to run throughout an entire day, but get them home nightly. Distances traveled are shorter, and drivers are typically paid by the hour rather than by the mile. Hours can be long in this type of trucking job, often requiring a driver to get up and leave before their family wakes up in the morning and arrive back home late in the evening.

Team Driving Jobs

Team driving means that 2 drivers operate a truck together. This type of job allows truckers to travel further without having to stop as often. Because team drivers are able to run more miles, they are typically able to make more money than solo drives.

  • There are many trucking jobs currently available with PAM Transport. See the opportunities here.

Regional Driving Jobs

Regional driving jobs are exactly what they sound like: Drivers run their routes throughout a certain region. For example, a driver could work a company and run various routes asked of him or her anywhere throughout the Midwest. Regional driving jobs are very similar to OTR truck driving jobs because they ask truckers to go anywhere within their region for weeks at a time.

Solo Driving Jobs

Solo driving jobs are truck driving jobs where only one driver operates a truck. Unlike team drivers, solo drivers are required to stop on a more regular basis due to DOT hours of service regulations. Truckers can only drive a certain number of hours before they have to stop for a certain amount of time. However, solo drivers manage their own schedules and home time, whereas if they operated with a teammate they would have to work their schedules out together.

Importance of OTR Experience for New Drivers

For new truck drivers, OTR jobs are just the beginning of successful career in the trucking industry.  The first year as a truck driver is all about building upon the skills developed at CDL training and learning the way of the road. By driving OTR for at least a year, new drivers are able to gain valuable experience as a professional trucker. Just like other careers, with more driving experience comes opportunities increase for pay raises. The key is getting started and building a solid foundation of experience. 

The job opportunities offered through the Driver Solutions CDL training sponsorship program are all truckload, OTR driving positions.  This allows new drivers to get the experience needed to have a long-lasting, successful career in the trucking industry. 

Check out some of the current truck driving job opportunities offering company sponsored CDL training in the Driver Solutions Truck Driver Jobs Center.