7 benefits of being a local route truck driver vs. doing long hauls

April 19, 2022 Christina DeBusk

A man in a red shirt and hat driving a truck on a local route

If you’re considering a career driving truck, you have a couple of different options to consider. You can either be a local route driver, which generally involves delivering loads within roughly 150 miles from home base, or you can do long hauls.

The latter can mean going across the country, if not going out of the country, such as when doing deliveries to Canada or Mexico. If you’re not sure which option is best for you, here are seven benefits of staying local.

1. Better work-life balance

Typically, as a local route truck driver, you are home every night. This provides a better work-life balance than being on the road for several days or weeks at a time. You get to enjoy time with family and friends that you wouldn’t necessarily get as a long-haul driver. You also get to sleep in your own bed as opposed to sleeping in a hotel or the cab of your truck.

2. Shorter drive times

Since you’re delivering within your general area, your drive times are shorter. You can likely get to your destination within a few hours (or less) before you’re on to the next delivery location. As a long-distance driver, it’s not uncommon to spend entire workdays on the road with no stops other than for food, gas, and a quick bathroom break. This is something to consider if you’re prone to driving fatigue when behind the wheel for several hours at a time.

3. Smaller truck

While long-haul drivers may want a big cab for sleeping, local drivers don’t need all this space. Local drivers also usually have smaller loads, so they’re able to get around with a smaller truck. If you’re intimidated by long tractor-trailers, you may find it easier to maneuver something a bit smaller. You can also get through traffic easier in a smaller vehicle, in addition to having less trouble getting into and out of restaurant parking lots.

4. You don’t need your own truck

Another truck-related benefit of driving locally is that most times, the company provides the truck for you. This isn’t always the case when driving over the road as many long-haul drivers have their own truck and just transport the company’s trailers from one location to another. This cuts your start-up costs when first entering the field, also reducing the continued costs related to truck maintenance and repairs.

5. Repetitive routes

As a local driver, you will likely go to the same destinations over and over again. With repetition comes mastery. You learn the nuances and best practices of each place you deliver. This enables you to get in and out faster because you know what to expect and how to work with that particular customer. This isn’t always the case when driving long distances.

6. More familiarity with your local area

When you drive to far-away destinations, you don’t generally know the roads, nor do you know where to find the best restaurants, gas stations, or rest stops. That’s not the case as a local driver. You are already familiar with what’s available within your community, so you know which routes will likely be best, as well as where to target your stops along the way.

7. Flexibility

Driving locally means you have more flexibility with your work schedule. Since you aren’t trying to drive cross-country on a tight timeline, you generally have more wiggle room in your days. This can mean a better work-life balance or just less stress in your day-day.

These are just a few of the benefits of being a local route driver versus driving long distances. If this sounds like a career you’d be interested in pursuing, Centerline can help connect you to your perfect driving position. Click here to see available trucking driving jobs

About the Author

Christina M. DeBusk creates small business content for a variety of publications, some of which include Businessing Magazine, Compendent, Chiropractic Economics, and more. She is also the author behind the column, "The Successful Solopreneur.

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