Have you ever dreamed of a career on the road that offers plenty of benefits? Ever wanted to visit America’s cities or see the nation's deserts, oceans, mountains, plains, and everything in between? Over-the-Road (OTR) truck drivers enjoy the freedom and adventure of life on the open road, take in the sights, and earn excellent pay while doing so.
What does OTR Mean?
OTR stands for over-the-road trucking, also known as long-haul trucking. These are the folks who run coast to coast, and most have visited all 48 of the contiguous states. OTR drivers differ from their regional and local counterparts in several key areas, which we will go into more depth about later. Meanwhile, OTR drivers are essentially a special class of truck drivers that remains on the road for weeks and sometimes months at a time.
Many types of freight, including fresh vegetables and cargo arriving at our nation’s ports from overseas, must be transported from either the west coast or east coast long distances across the country, sometimes more than 3,000 miles, and the average distance for a typical OTR load is around 1,200 - 1,400 miles. These are the primary loads OTR drivers transport.
OTR drivers operate in two main ways: solo drivers, or as a team of two drivers. While they drive the same distances, solo drivers typically take six to seven days to move a shipment from one coast to the other, while OTR teams can move a shipment from coast to coast in roughly three and a half days.
Difference between OTR, Regional, and Local
OTR Trucker Salary Ranges
How do OTR driver salaries compare to their regional and local counterparts? Well, it depends on a number of factors. Because of the longer distances and more time on the road, OTR drivers generally make more than their counterparts and are paid either by the mile or a percentage of the line haul revenue for a load, or a percentage of the total revenue for the load.
Regional drivers, with their shorter distances, and weekly or bi-weekly hometime, usually earn less than OTR drivers.
Local drivers are usually paid by the hour and depending on the company this may lead to dramatically lower pay than OTR and regional drivers. On the other hand, drivers transporting specialized cargo such as hazardous materials like gasoline may earn more than OTR and regional drivers.
Here are the numbers:
- OTR drivers earn 24.01% more than the average base salary.
- OTR truck drivers in the US earn an average annual salary of $77,090.
- The average salary range for OTR truck drivers in the US varies from $56,000 to $104,000.
- The typical hourly rates for OTR truck drivers in the US fall between $24 and $44.
Highest Paying Cities for OTR Truck Drivers
OTR Trucker Jobs
OTR trucker jobs are in constantly high demand, more so than regional and local jobs, so if you’re concerned about job security or finding a trucking job with no experience, OTR may be the right fit for you. OTR also has a slightly different work-life balance as a trucker compared to locals, another factor to consider before becoming an OTR driver. To further sweeten the prospects of becoming an OTR driver, once you’ve acquired 2.5 years of CDL experience, have a clean driving record, have no accidents, and are at least 25 years old, you’re eligible to drive for CloudTrucks.
CloudTrucks has left the outdated methods the trucking industry has stubbornly clung to over the decades and has moved into the future, establishing itself as a next-generation trucking company. We are a virtual carrier which means you have the full support of our backend office without the forced dispatch. Owner-operators who wish to maintain their own MC Authorities can partner with CloudTrucks using our Flex program. Get paid in minutes instead of months with our CT Cash card.
All you have to do is sign up, download our app, choose the loads you want, and maximize your revenue with our cutting-edge Schedule Optimizer technology. To learn more, visit our Getting Started page.