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Over the Road Trucking: Is it Worth it?


As someone who may be considering over the road truck driving as a career, there are many questions you should ask yourself before jumping in head first. Thousands of new, inexperienced drivers tackle the obstacle of long haul trucking each year, only to discover it was not what they expected. This is mainly due to the fact that they are missing one key aspect for this trade: over the road trucking is not just a job or career . . . it is a lifestyle.

The large majority of the population enjoys a typical 9-5 job, or at the least, home every evening to enjoy their family and hobbies. Not so with OTR trucking. Many put in their 5-day work week and are eager to cherish the enjoyment of the weekend. Not so with OTR trucking. A huge majority have the pleasure and ability to attend their children’s school play, ball game or birthday parties. Not so with OTR trucking.

Over the road trucking is a demanding and lonely existence. Life on the road is tough. Are you the kind of person who can live in a semi truck for 24 hours a day? There are the few breaks here and there, but you can expect to physically be in the truck for 15-20 hours per day, every day! Will you be able to handle being away from your spouse and kids for weeks at a time? More important, will your spouse and kids be able to handle it?

For a single person, over the road trucking wouldn’t be bad. With fewer bills, many single drivers have saved up a rather impressive amount of cash! For those who are married and with families . . . it is a rough life. A life, I believe, no family should have to live through. Sadly, divorce is highly rated in the world of over the road trucking.

Personally, I have great respect for these OTR drivers. The general population has NO IDEA the demands that are placed on them, and yet, they still pull through as the back bone of this country. But, as a new driver considering the possibility, you must look at what kind of lifestyle you want and enjoy. If living in a truck for weeks or months at a time . . . being away from your family for long periods . . . spending extensive time completely alone . . . if this appeals to you, then go for it!

The main aspect to consider? What about the pay? Are the wages that come with over the road trucking worth it? You will hear about and see in advertisements, the BIG MONEY you can make with OTR truck driving. In reality, you can expect to gross $35,000.00 to $45,000.00 per year. Using a “rough” formula, lets break this down to see what your hourly pay would be:

If you are operating on the 70 hours per week rule, which most do, and you are driving the average of 100,000 miles per year, it would come out as this:

70 hours per week X 52 weeks = 3640 hours per year
$35,000 3640 = $9.62 per hour
$45,000 3640 = $12.36 per hour

This is just a quick “rough” formula to see what your hourly pay could be while living the life of over the road trucking. The figures are actually MUCH WORSE! I break it down even further in my article: Owner Operator: More Loss than Profit.

There are many more considerations to figure when coming up with an accurate picture for actual pay. One company that studied this, ended up with a figure of only $2.45 per hour! Once you read the above article, you’ll understand how this can be. Why live a life over the road, alone and away from home and family, when there are other options which pay the same if not more?

The bottom line? Look at yourself and if it applies, your family. Missing birthdays, anniversaries, ball games, school plays and other activities will become a part of your life. Is this the career you want? Is this your “lifestyle?”

About the Author:

Aubrey Allen Smith is the author of the first and original Truth About Trucking. He devotes his time and efforts in assisting new, inexperienced drivers by revealing the scams of the trucking industry. Answering hundreds of emails weekly, he is becoming known as a major advocate for fighting back for our nation’s drivers. Please visit if you are considering a career in over the road trucking.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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5 Responses to Over the Road Trucking: Is it Worth it?. - Post a Comment

  1. Brad Johnson

    Wow, This information is excellent. Sounds like Mr Smith has a lot of experience with this type of work. Thank you so much for getting me to think about driving a truck for a living. It sounds like a challenge to drive a Big Rig everyday. Is it worth it? Time will tell.

  2. admin


    Glad this helped. OTR Trucking is a way of life, not a job. Down the road you may be interested in those 50K -80K local trucking jobs( in my book) that I mentioned to you, but you will need to get your OTR experience first.
    Just keep your eyes open for the scams. There are good companies, but you have to know the difference.


  3. John Bess

    Can someone tell me about this company. They sound like a nice company to work for.

  4. admin

    Hey, John…
    Which company is that?

  5. Robert Short

    Lately every entry level position is a scam to funnel you into a school! What about the guys who went to school & need thst first job & have a license? They say these jobs are for non licenced drivers. Having a lot of unemployment time is killing me. How do you get around that stigma. Say you were self employed?

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