If you are a truck driver, you know you are in high demand. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says truck driving is a popular career, with a continued strong job outlook. If you are new to the trucking career, you may still be conflicted between being a long haul driver or short haul driver. There are benefits and drawbacks to both.
Scoop on Short Haul Driving
What constitutes short haul driving, anyway? While there are not strict definitions between short and long-haul drivers, usually short haulers drive within a 150-mile radius. Long-haul drivers usually drive with a 250-mile radius or more.
Benefits of Short Haul Driving
The biggest benefit of hauling shorter distances is that you typically get to go home every night. If you have a family, particularly with young children, this can be the best option, so you don’t have to miss baseball games, soccer matches or school plays. Also, you don’t have the day-to-day living expenses of someone out on the road.
Drawbacks of Short Haul Driving
The day-to-day life of short vs. long haul drivers varies widely. Short haul drivers are home most evenings, but they have a busier day. With some jobs, you can make up to four stops a day. Each stop means loading and unloading cargo. It is generally more local work, which means driving on more narrow streets that could include tricky turns and difficult loading docks. The pay generally is lower for short haul drivers. According to May 2016 stats from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, short haul truck drivers make a nationwide average of $38,900 a year, while long haul drivers average $43,590 a year.
Scoop on Long Haul Driving
So these are the road warriors. Oftentimes, long haul drivers are gone for a week at a time. Sometimes, they choose to be away for several weeks.
Benefits of Long Haul Driving
Unlike short haul drivers, your day has fewer stops and fewer narrow streets to negotiate, as you typically drop off your cargo at larger companies with expansive loading docks. You may be on the road carrying your rig’s cargo for two days or more before unloading. As mentioned above, you also make more, on average than a short hauler.
Drawbacks of Long Haul Driving
If you’re a road warrior, you know the drawbacks. Little time spent at home, which can cause tension with your family. Also, you have added expenses of being on the road for days at a time. You will likely want to invest in a microwave, a small refrigerator and other creature comforts and that comes off your financial bottom line. Meals, showers, hotel rooms need to be figured in as well. However, on the flip side, some long haul drivers, who choose to stay on the road for extended periods of time, decided to forego rent or a mortgage and live out of their cab or a hotel, which definitely cuts down on your monthly expenses.
At Fleet Oil & Truck Supply, we understand the needs of long and short haul truck drivers, and stand ready to help you with anything you need to make your career more enjoyable. Contact us and let us know how we can assist you!