Finding the right trucking job for your goals can be difficult. Work-life balance isn’t often in the cards for OTR drivers. Long term, those 14 hour days can take a toll on your personal life and your health. Some truckers are looking for a more consistent schedule that lets them have more home time with family, but it can be hard to know where to look.
If you like driving a tractor-trailer but are looking for some flexibility, being a local driver might be the solution for you. Local driving requires the same qualifications as OTR driving such as a commercial driver’s license (CDL training), a safe driving record, and potentially the ability to do touch freight. Shifts for these local CDL jobs often allow you to be home most nights and provide competitive wages for your miles.
Local truck driver jobs have many bonuses that can help make it much more flexible for your lifestyle. Employees often get more time with family, excellent benefits packages, and competitive pay per mile. Whether it is to transition into shorter trucking trips or to get Saturdays and Sundays off, working a local position has many benefits.
Because most customer locations will be within 50-200 miles, local trucking jobs often let you sleep in your own home at the end of the day. While you can get extra pay if you choose a job that keeps you away from home overnight, the time to recharge and be with family is often more critical. Truckers can also consider taking varying job types so they can do a long haul then spend some extra time at home through local jobs before the next big trip.
Long trucking hauls aren’t for everyone. Being away from home for days at a time can be challenging both mentally and physically. The health impacts of consistent long hauls can be serious, and missing out on family time can be hard long-term. Avoiding longer trips when possible leads to a healthier work-life balance overall.
Local truck drivers make very competitive wages. Local jobs have fewer miles, which means their salary isn’t as high as a long-haul driver, but the compensation is competitive per mile. On top of wages, immediate job openings will sometimes offer a hire-on bonus. Local driving jobs provide competitive benefits packages, including PTO for vacation and sick leave, health and dental plans, life insurance, and disability.
Hauling long distances can require you to bring your own truck for the job. Local truck driving jobs often provide their own vehicles, saving you from having to finance and invest in your own. By not purchasing your own truck, you also save yourself from having to find a place to store it on off-hours.
Jobseekers can struggle to find truck driving gigs that fit their needs. To find local driving jobs, sometimes you will need to network within the industry or pull on your connections to find the best jobs. Using online job boards can also be helpful, but only if you are looking in the right places.
Haul is an employment platform designed specifically for drivers looking to find local CDL jobs without having to own a truck. You can select your own route and schedule with full-time and part-time opportunities. With Haul, benefits follow you from job to job, so when things change, your benefits remain the same.
Networking doesn’t only have to apply to former industry colleagues. Let those around you know that you are looking in your online spheres. Keeping up a positive social media presence or keeping active on truck driving forums can help you net connections with others, eventually leading to partnerships and opportunities.
Friends and family can help you make surprising connections professionally. It just takes one acquaintance talking to someone looking for a driver to get you a personal job hook up. Some professionals say that not even 70% of all new jobs are listed publicly. It is up to you to tap into those jobs through relationships and networking.
To qualify for local CDL jobs, you first have to attain the correct qualifications. There are different kinds of CDL licenses you can obtain. See which specialized permit you want to pursue, then apply to take your knowledge test. You can study for the knowledge test by getting a copy of your state’s CDL manual. Once you have passed this test, you will obtain your learner’s permit, so you can practice driving with a CDL licensed professional sitting with you. Depending on your state, you can take a skills test immediately, or you may have to take training at a driving school.
Finding suitable job ads can be challenging when you have specific wants. Using the correct search terms and queries can get you a long way, but only if you search on the right job board platforms. Whether you are looking to make single customer deliveries or to be dispatched to varying local locations, online searching can help you find the exact role you want.
Indeed is one of the top choices for those looking for jobs online, as it is the largest job board website out there. It is easy to search the site for the exact position you are looking for, and it sorts by relevance to better find what you need. Indeed is free for anyone looking for a job and doesn’t require you to make an account.
Flexjobs’ goal is to help connect workers with jobs that fit their lifestyles and needs. Known for its remote job listings, this site has a subscription of $14.95 a month but also vets all of its postings, so you know the application process is legitimate. If you are looking for a free version of Flexjobs, consider its sister site Remote.co.
If you search for jobs on your phone, ZipRecruiter may be an excellent option for you. The site is entirely free for jobseekers to use. You can fill out a profile to let employers find you or search the site like a regular job board platform.
You may already have a profile on LinkedIn, making it an easy option for job searching. LinkedIn allows you to apply with your profile information, which is quick and painless. Employers can also contact you based on your LinkedIn profile, so it is a good idea to keep this spot updated for passive job searching purposes.
Craigslist, well known as a platform for local buying and selling, is also a job board. The interface is less sleek and user-friendly, but many postings here may not be in other locations. Scammers love to use Craigslist, so be cautious when applying to jobs here.
Glassdoor says that the average local driver makes $51,517 a year on average, with a standard truck driver earning $56,480 on average.
Glassdoor lists the highest local driving job being at about $81,000. While truck drivers that are non-local make upwards of $88,000, they also put on many more miles than the average local truck driver.
Local truck drivers make anywhere from $1,000 to $1,620 a week on average.
The best way you can start to get truck driving gigs is to get your CDL license. By adding that to your resume, you can pick up many more jobs and hear back from more driving employers.
While your hours and schedule will depend on your employer and their policies, the average local truck driver will drive anywhere from 40 to 60 hours a week.
Often local truck drivers do not get paid overtime, however, this depends on their employer and job.
As you gain experience and show that you are a dependable CDL driver, there are more lucrative opportunities that you can take. For example, top earners in hazmat truck driving can earn $193,000. So, in short, yes.
Local truck driving jobs have many benefits over OTR and long-haul jobs, such as sleeping in your own bed most nights and having more family time. As you enter into the trucking workforce, weigh the pros and cons of these different positions to see what will fit you and your personal preferences best. Being home with family more often can be a huge bonus, but some drivers pick this job because they love being on the open road for long periods. In the end, find out what is right for you and sift through your options carefully.