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Types of Truck Driving

There are three main types of truck drivers: owner-operators, company drivers, and independent owner-operators.

An owner-operator is someone who owns their own truck and drives for a specific trucking company, but drives their own truck. An owner-operator can also be an independent contractor, where they drive freight for various trucking companies, instead of one specific company.

An independent owner-operator owns their own truck(s), and hauls goods on their own, working for themselves, and not a trucking company.

A company driver is someone who works for a specific trucking company, and drives that company’s truck.

Within these three major categories, there are many smaller categories of truck driving:

  • Auto/Boat haulers: Drivers who transport automobiles, and boats, of all sizes, to different destinations.
  • Dry Van: These truck drivers haul a large trailer, usually containing non-perishable foods.
  • Dry Bulk Pneumatic: Truck drivers that haul sand, salt, cement, in bulk. These trailers use pressurized air to help the driver unload.
  • Flat Bed: Driving a flat bed requires the skill of being able to balance your load correctly. Flat bed truck drivers haul large supplies, or machines, such as tanks, lumber, or large pipes.
  • Intermodal: Intermodal truck drivers transport cargo constructed of steel to trains, where the entire container is taking off the truck and placed on the train.
  • LTL: LTL stands for “less than truck load”, which only means that this is a local delivery job, and a truck driver is usually unloading goods at several different locations.
  • Reefer: Reefer truck drivers carry refrigerated or frozen goods.
  • Local: Many drivers enjoy local positions because it keeps them close to their homes, with them working only in their surrounding area. Local truck drivers are home every night.
  • Household Goods: These truck drivers are those who transport a person’s belongings from one place to another when that person is moving to a new place.
  • Regional: Regional truck drivers also stay fairly close to their homes, by hauling to the states surrounding them. Regional truck drivers are out for shorter periods of time than Over the Road truck drivers.
  • Interstate (OTR): Interstate truck drivers are more commonly known as Over the Road, or OTR drivers. They are also known as long haul drivers. OTR truck drivers travel thousands of miles for different hauls, and are away from home for weeks at a time.
  • Team: Team truck driving is when two truck drivers take turns driving the same truck. Long haul truckers often work in teams so that one person doesn’t have to drive for such long periods of time.
  • Tanker: These truck drivers are those who haul liquid of any kind, often, gasoline, diesel fuel, or crude oil. These truck drivers also haul dry goods in bulk, such as sugar, flour, or cement.

You can see examples of trucking postitions with the job openings for truck driving jobs