Heavy haul trucking companies send their drivers on deliveries of all different lengths and for all different reasons. Most drivers have a preference as to whether they would rather go on short haul (local) drives, or long haul drives. Each position offers its own series of advantages and disadvantages.
Short haul trucking usually takes place within a few hundred miles of your place of business. The biggest advantage of short haul trucking over long haul trucking is, without a doubt, the high quality of life. Driving shorter routes means drivers have more time to spend closer to home, and since most heavy haul loads won’t need to be carried further than a few hours away, drivers will be able to make it home most nights. Other advantages include no long stretches of tired or distracted driving, and being able to drive familiar routes, as heavy haul trucking companies may hire short haul drivers to stay within city, county or state lines. But short haul trucking is not without its disadvantages. The job requirements are decidedly a whole lot more physical than those of long haul truck drivers. Many heavy haul companies require the driver to make deliveries alone, so additional duties are often required of the driver. Driving a truck or semi-truck through a city or on local streets can be tough and requires a lot of skilled maneuvering — some truck drivers can’t handle it.
Long haul driving is what most people think of when they think of a truck driver. A long haul driver’s time is mostly spent behind the wheel, driving on long stretches of highway toward faraway cities. Long haul drivers are allowed more pay and more freedom than their short haul counterparts. Heavy haul companies pay long haul drivers higher rates because, to put it simply, the work is longer and more difficult. This factor alone makes long haul, heavy load trucking appealing to many drivers. Long haul truck drivers are allowed chances to see and experience life in new places. The indefinite life on the road makes this trucking option appealing to those who carry wanderlust. But these kinds of characteristics also make long haul driving a very lonely job to take on. This is not a job for someone who constantly needs to talk or be in the presence of people. Also, it’s not unknown to get stuck on long haul deliveries, namely if you don’t have a load to bring home, and you’re stuck waiting for a job to come to you in a faraway, unfamiliar place. It takes a great deal of patience and flexibility to be in this line of work.
Heavy haul trucking companies will hire drivers to take heavy haul loads long distances, but also to ship equipment and other various packages short distances, within city, county or state lines. Whether a driver is delivering a heavy haul load to a city on the opposite coast, or just a couple hundred miles south of the garage, it’s important that the driver knows what he or she is getting into when the job is accepted. Long and short haul driving each have their own advantages and disadvantages, and being a stellar local truck driver doesn’t mean you’re necessarily cut out to ship heavy haul loads from New York to Seattle.