An over-the-road driver, or OTR driver, can be defined as a person with a transportation job which involves driving a semi-trailer truck long distances. These long-haul drivers might work regionally, or they may travel to any of the 48 states and to parts of Canada.
OTR drivers pick up and deliver freight, some on dedicated routes which have the same trips each week. Others drive different routes with each new transport order.
Life on the Road
These drivers live in their truck cabs when they’re on the road, which may be for many days or even weeks at a time. During their breaks, outside of sleeping, they might eat at a cafe, chat with other drivers, or get some exercise.
Driving a semi-trailer truck requires a class A commercial driver’s license (CDL). Training to obtain the license can be acquired at driver training schools, and some employers provide paid training for new hires.
OTR drivers usually are paid by the mile. They are legally allowed to drive 70 hours in 8 days, with an 8-hour break required after 10 consecutive driving hours.
Because of the payment structure, most OTR drivers prefer jobs in which they can drop off a trailer and pick up a new loaded one, rather than being involved in the loading and unloading process.