Long Haul VS Short Haul, Which is right for you?


Drive by most any mall or strip-centre, and you are likely to see multiple empty storefronts. Sure this is in part due to our slow economy; but it is also a product of an increasing number of people selecting to “Shop-on-Line” rather than visit brick and mortar stores. It is important to remember, that it’s truckers that bring these goods to people’s homes and businesses. As a trucker you play a critical link, without trucks on the road, our economy stops. The question for many is whether it is better to take to the open roads pulling a rig Long Haul, or to work Short Haul and stay closer to home.

Short Haul Trucking

Short haul truck trucking is usually defined as operating within a radius of less than 150 miles. There are many advantages to choosing to work in a smaller radius. One of the most obvious is that by working close to home, you can spend more time with your family and friends. I have spoken to many long-haul truckers that love the “road” but as time goes on, regret missing birthday parties, and watching their son’s football games. Short Haul carriers often depend on owner/operators with smaller trucks; such as straight trucks, vans and box trucks, that can make their way through city streets. These trucks typically come with a lower price, making it much easier for many truckers to buy their truck. True, driving short haul is often not as profitable as compared to long haul trucking, but with the reduced cost of equipment, Insurance and gas, many find Short Haul to be a sound financial decision. Local work can involve many short trips, and many of those pick-ups and drop offs can involve smaller streets, tight turns and tricky loading docks; so it might be worth practicing up on your backing skills.

Local delivery trucks can be vans, Tow Trucks refrigerated units, Messengers, tankers or dump trucks to name a few. If you are a quality driver with a good safety record, you will find many companies that are searching for quality employees.

Long Haul Trucking

Long Haul (over-the-road) Trucking is commonly defined as operating within a radius of more than 250 miles but often involve “48 states.” Clearly the cost of spending each night in a hotel, would wipe-out one’s profits; so Drivers will operate a truck with a sleeper These tractors can be filled with many of the comforts of a home, including flat-screen TV’s with DVD players, Satellite radio, mini refrigerators and more.

A “Life on the Road” is a lifestyle choice and not just a job. Truck stops become your home away from home. They are more than just a place to fill your tank; they are where you Shower and most often eat. Some owner-operators make use of a refrigerator and microwave in their rig, to prepare their own food in their truck. But for many, after hours spent on the road, alone in their tractor, it’s a welcome change to be able to sit with your fellow truckers over a meal.  Major Trucks stops contain a convenience store, service parts, one or more restaurants, and offer overnight parking, giving the trucker a place to relax for the night.

Most long-haul truck drivers are leased on to a carrier and are paid per mile. The rate changes from company to company, but the greatest change is based on how much of the expenses are covered by the driver versus the trucking company. If the driver uses insurance under the company’s ICC Filing and “Primary Insurance” then the Carrier will offer far less compensation by mile. Getting your own rig and Truck Insurance can be a more profitable option.

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