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Is local truck driving a good career? 9 factors to consider

A blue semi-truck day cab parked in the driveway of a house, with trees and a blue sky in the background.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

As with any career, it's important to know what you’re looking for in a job before you make a change. The same can be said about determining your ideal driving style. Local truck driving, for instance, is great for those who value getting home every day and receiving consistent loads.

So, if you're wondering ‘is local truck driving a good career for me?’ use this helpful list of pros and cons to determine whether it would be the right fit for you.

Pros of local truck driving.

1. More home time.

The biggest selling point of local truck driving is that it gets drivers home every day. If you are someone who doesn’t want to spend weeks out on the road or aren’t interested in the long-haul lifestyle, local driving may be an ideal job for you.

Local driving jobs are perfect for people who have young families, pets or other obligations at home, or for those who prefer to sleep in their own bed. Plus, being at home every day helps drivers make heathier eating choices, which can be a challenge for over-the-road drivers.

2. More frequent stops.

Covering a smaller area means local drivers deliver at least one load per day. These stops can help add more variety to a driver’s day. Some local driving jobs even keep drivers active by having them to get out of the day cab to load or unload their own freight.

3. More consistent schedules.

Getting home daily means local truck drivers follow a more consistent work schedule and weekly routine. For example, it is common for a local driver to work a traditional Monday-Friday schedule.

Consistently having the same days off is great for helping drivers establish a better work-life balance.

4. More familiarity.

Another benefit of local truck driving is that drivers work in the areas where they live. This means they drive on routes they likely already know and use on a frequent basis.

5. More customer interaction.

Because local drivers often make more stops and sometimes unload/load their own freight, they frequently get the chance to interact with customers.

Cons of local truck driving.

1. There’s less variety.

Local truck driving is about as close to a nine-to-five job as you’ll get in the driving industry. Not only will your schedule stay the same, but you’ll likely also drive on the same roads and see the same things every day.

So, if you’re looking for a driving job that varies more from week to week – in routes, loads and driving distances – consider an OTR or regional job instead.

2. Loading/unloading may be required.

Loading and unloading freight isn’t everyone’s idea of a perfect job, and that’s totally fine. Not every local driving account has drivers unload their freight, but many do. Be sure to explore all local driving jobs available in your area to see what your different options are.

3. Pay reflects getting home every day.

Local drivers often do not have the same ability to maximize their earning potential the way long-haul drivers do. This is because long-haul drivers stay on the road longer and cover more miles

This may lead you to wonder “Do local truck drivers make good money?” Although local truck drivers may not drive the same number of miles that OTR drivers cover, they can still earn a great living.

As of May 2024, local company drivers at Schneider currently earn between $1,160 - $1,420 a week. They have the potential, based on a number of factors, to earn up to $100,000 per year.

4. City driving is often required.

If driving on busy roads isn’t your preference, keep in mind that local truck drivers spend more time driving in traffic-heavy areas like ports and railyards in large cities.

But don’t rule out local driving just because you dislike driving on busy roads or through cities! Companies will usually list the locations you’ll be expected to drive through or make deliveries in within the job description.

Interested in becoming a local truck driver?

If you like the idea of getting home every day and having consistent loads, check out local driving jobs at Schneider.
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Schneider Guy loves the "Big Orange." He's passionate about the trucking industry and connecting people to rewarding careers within it. He's been the eyes and ears of our company since our founding in 1935, and he's excited to interact with prospective and current Schneider associates through "A Slice of Orange."

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