Regional Trucking vs. Local Trucking: What’s the Difference?

There are many differences between OTR, Regional and Local truck driving, but there are also similarities. As with most truck driving jobs, a CDL truck driver usually helps load and unload freight. While physical labor should be expected, drivers can sometimes get drop and hook or no touch runs. In addition, regardless of what type of truck driving you do, all drivers can be on duty up to 70 hours every 8 days per DOT regulations.

Whether you want to be an OTR driver, regional driver or local driver, you need proper training. Truck driving schools offer CDL training and specific OTR training. Some CDL schools include financial assistance to help cover the cost of tuition or a trucking company that hires you may pay for your training tuition. Before choosing a school, verify that the school offers hands-on training and ask whether or not assistance with job placement is offered upon graduation.

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The primary difference between regional and local trucking is the area in which the driver operates. Regional truck drivers have longer routes that can extend through multiple states. Local drivers, however, typically stay within a 100-mile radius.

“ Pros & Cons” Of OTR Vs. Regional VS. Local Trucking!! (Which One??)

What is local trucking?

Local truck drivers operate closer to their homes. They often make deliveries within their own state and complete their routes within a single day. As a result, local truck drivers spend more of their time navigating through smaller and slower roads.

Depending on the employer, local truck drivers may make multiple stops along their route to make deliveries. In addition, at these delivery sites, a local truck driver may assist in the loading and unloading of goods. For example, a local truck driver working for a soda company may deliver cases of soda cans to different supermarkets and convenience stores, unloading the crates into the store when they arrive.

What is regional trucking?

Regional trucking refers to the area in which a truck driver primarily operates. In regional trucking, as opposed to national or local trucking, truck drivers operate within a specific region that typically covers a few states or, roughly, a 1,000-mile radius. For example, a truck driver may work in the Northeast region and operate between the states of Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Regional truck drivers deliver goods and services such as food and mail. They may also work within the moving industry, helping individuals and businesses relocate. As they travel between states, regional truck drivers spend the majority of their time driving on highways. They may take several days to complete a route, staying overnight along the way toward their destination.

Pros and cons of regional trucking

If youre interested in working as a regional truck driver, there are several benefits, including:

As for drawbacks, there are a few to consider, including:

Differences between regional trucking and local trucking

Regional and local trucking positions have many similarities. They both require a commercial drivers license (CDL), a driving record free from infractions or with limited infractions and long hours driving a truck. However, here are a few key differences between the positions:

Delivery area

The primary difference between regional and local trucking is the area in which the driver operates. Regional truck drivers have longer routes that can extend through multiple states. Local drivers, however, typically stay within a 100-mile radius.

Work hours

Regional truck drivers may spend several days completing their routes, spending the night at motels or in their truck along the way. They may also spend more of their day driving, as they have longer routes to complete. Local truck drivers typically finish their routes in a single day and arrive back home at night.


Regional truck drivers tend to earn more than local truck drivers. This is often due to the fact that employers pay a per-mile rate, and regional truck drivers drive more miles. Employers typically also offer better benefits packages to drivers who log greater miles.


Regional and local drivers may perform different tasks when arriving at their destinations. Regional drivers usually have other people at their destination to help unload the truck, while local drivers often unload their truck themselves. This means local drivers may have to perform more manual labor throughout their day.

Pros and cons of local trucking

As with regional trucking, there are benefits and drawbacks to working as a local truck driver. Some benefits include:

The drawbacks of working as a local truck driver may include:

Should I become a regional or local truck driver?

To determine which is a better career choice for you—regional or local trucking—consider a few factors. First, think about the type of salary you want to earn and ensure that the position to which you are applying meets those requirements.

Also, consider the type of hours you prefer. If you want to spend more time at home during the week, a local trucking position is likely preferable to a regional one. Both positions typically operate during the week, so consider the hours you want to work during a typical workweek.

Last, determine how you want to spend your working hours. If you want to spend most of them driving along the highway, consider regional trucking. However, if you would prefer to make frequent stops and assist with loading and unloading, local trucking is likely a better fit.


What does regional trucking mean?

Regional Trucking:

Regional Trucking generally refers to someone who drives trucks in a certain part of the country also known as a “region”. This might mean you drive for the “Southwest Region” or “Northeast Region”.

Is regional better than OTR?

Regional trucking is the best blend of OTR driving and local driving. For regional drivers, their work is focused within geographic regions of the United States. These regions usually are 4-5 states and don’t go past a 1000-mile range.

What is considered local in trucking?

What is local trucking? Local trucking allows the driver to be home every night, which can be a real benefit to those with a family. The routes are local, typically within a 200 mile radius and consist of an 8-10 hour work day.

What is the difference between dedicated and regional trucking?

There is a difference between dedicated and regional drivers. Regional truck drivers operate in a specific area, such as the Northeast or Midwest, whereas dedicated commercial drivers follow a specific and repeatable route.

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