As a new truck driver, there is a multitude of directions to go in terms of finding a driving position that will best suit your needs. From positions such as regional, OTR, dedicated, or local driving – the choice is yours! Some positions may have less home time and potentially more miles or another position might have you drive on the same route to the same customer day in and day out. Trucking as a career is very flexible in finding a position that will fit your schedule and requirements. Here at Paper Transport, we work with our drivers across all fleets and positions to continue to meet their expectations and their requirements.
Today, we will be talking about two driving positions that are quite similar in nature: Regional and Dedicated driving. At face value, regional trucking can take drivers anywhere across their region – whether they are driving in the West, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, or Southwest, regional truckers will never have to drive to another region or across the country as is with OTR driving. On the other hand, Dedicated driving means that drivers will be servicing one customer in a dedicated fleet, hence the name dedicated driving. So how are dedicated and regional driving similar? Dedicated driving can be either a local or regional position, as mentioned before we will be looking at the regional aspect of dedicated and comparing it with regional driving.
Dedicated vs Regional Trucking
So, to start our comparison, we must begin with overviewing the features of each position:
Drivers are offered
- Driving areas that are relatively close to their homes (about a day’s drive away).
- Typically, 1 to 2 nights at home per week depending on scheduling and what loads they are running.
- More miles, due to less wait times with pickup and delivery (our freight is about 99% no-touch). As compared to dedicated, where often drivers must wait for their next load.
- Loads from various locations and customers throughout the region – contributes to sightseeing, you take different routes for different needs.
“Our regional drivers have flexibility with scheduling and can stay on the road longer if they like to increase their miles and pay. They have consistent work because they haul a variety of goods for many customers, so we can keep them moving. Plus, their weekly pay averages are higher than other fleets because they cover such a wide area for so many customers.” – Lynne Buechler, Driver Recruiter
On the opposite side, dedicated drivers are offered
- Route familiarity/predictability, as often drivers will be running the same loads and routes everyday
- Consistency with their schedule and paycheck. Drivers know exactly what to expect: familiar routes, customers, and consistent schedules
- Potentially more loads due to an increase in load efficiency because of route familiarity, when running the same routes regularly – drivers can increase efficiency by knowing which routes are the fastest and are able to complete loads faster
While both positions have offers and features that may seem lucrative or attractive to new truckers, keep in mind that there are several aspects in each position, that may turn potential drivers away. As a new truck driver, it is good to understand all aspects of the position whether positive or negative. Furthermore, as a trucker, you need to foster a growth mindset that will help you persevere through the difficult parts of a job such as trucking.
- Drivers have long hours and can be away from home for days at a time, which can potentially become stressful for you as a driver and even your family.
- Sometimes there may not be much time out of the truck due to quick turnaround for loads
- Your salary can vary depending on the loads you are carrying
Working long 14-hour days can become somewhat stressful for many drivers and on top of that, not being home for many days on end can also contribute to an increase in stress. Furthermore, the salary for completing a regional route can vary depending on the load itself and the mileage for the trip. As opposed to dedicated, where a trucker will be driving the same route and can expect consistent compensation each week.
- Dedicated driving can become quite boring for some drivers running the same thing repeatedly everyday
- Some drivers may want to haul a variety of goods and various other loads
- Drivers may want to see more of the country and/or their region
- Interact with different people and customers
- Drivers usually work with only one customer
When looking at dedicated driving, it does not have all the options stated above available to drivers as a position in “traditional” regional trucking would have. But, once again we stress that our operations team is more than willing to work with our drivers to find a position or schedule that fits their needs as a trucker on the road.
All in all, trucking can be quite an exciting career path for many, the freedom to choose between different driving positions is up to you as a trucker. It is important for truckers to understand all aspects of the various positions so that they are able to find a job that fits their needs and schedule.
Learn more about our various trucking positions here.
Learn more about dedicated driving here.
Learn more about regional driving here.