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What Are the Different Types of Professional Driving Opportunities?

Jan 22, 2024 | Truck Drivers

Professional driving is a lucrative job for those willing to spend significant time on the road, especially for Werner drivers. Our professional drivers are provided with industry-leading benefits to help support their and their family’s needs. The “Werner Difference” looks like competitive pay, comprehensive benefits, safety focused training, access to new equipment and technology, opportunities for growth and more.

At Werner, professional drivers have a range of routes and opportunities to choose from depending on their skills, preferences and vehicles they’re licensed to operate. There is no “one size fits all” approach to driver route assignments.

With that in mind, we’ve listed out the different types of routes we offer and what they entail for professional drivers who may be new to the industry or looking to make a change.

Dedicated routes assign drivers to specific, well-defined routes or lanes on a consistent and often long-term basis. These routes are typically customized to meet the needs of a particular customer, business, or industry and require drivers to travel a dedicated path repeatedly.  At Werner, these routes can span three to seven states. Benefits of a dedicated route include:

  • A more predictable schedule and routine
  • More consistent home time
  • Geoegraphic focus of three to seven states

Team Driving
Team driving is a collaborative approach in the long-haul trucking industry where two professional truck drivers share responsibilities for a single tractor-trailer or semi-truck. Typically, one driver operates the vehicle in this arrangement while the other rests until they switch shifts. Teams can be unrelated individuals, but we tend to see a lot of spouse teams, sibling teams and parent/child teams. Benefits of driving in a team include:

  • Access to the newest equipment in the fleet
  • Longer-length hauls
  • Timely pre-load info
  • Competitive pay

For professional drivers who don’t yet have a teammate, Werner offers an esteemed Team Driver Match Program to connect skilled drivers with similar interests.

Over-the-road (OTR) trucking, often called long-haul trucking, involves transporting goods and cargo over long distances, typically between states or even across the country. Some loads may even cross into Canada or Mexico.  Benefits of an OTR route include:

  • Working independently
  • Longer-length hauls
  • At least two weeks on the road for two weeks off.

With this in mind, OTR routes are an excellent opportunity for those who enjoy independence and the open road and have the necessary skills to navigate the challenges of long-haul transportation.

Temperature-controlled routes involve transporting goods and cargo that require precise temperature control, such as perishable goods or pharmaceuticals. Professional drivers who operate these routes are responsible for maintaining a controlled environment within the cargo area of their trucks, ensuring that the temperature remains within a necessary range throughout transit to prevent damage or spoilage during transit.

These routes demand more attention and training than regular freight, and drivers must be prepared to handle technical challenges related to onboard refrigeration units and temperature monitoring systems. At Werner, these temperature-controlled trailers are used for various OTR hauls, including regional, dedicated, intermodal and international. Benefits of these routes include:

  • Limited stops
  • Access to new temperature-controlled equipment
  • A high percentage of drop and hook no-touch freight.

Local Driving
Local driving routes require drivers operate their vehicle, such as a delivery truck, within a specific geographic area, like a single city or region. These routes primarily cover short distances but involve frequent stops, as drivers transport goods between local businesses, distribution centers and customers’ locations. Local drivers are essential for the timely and efficient distribution of goods to businesses and consumers in their local communities. They often develop a strong familiarity with the roads, neighborhoods, and traffic patterns within their designated area, which can be valuable for efficient route planning and delivery execution.

At Werner, we offer a variety of different local accounts, including One-Way Truckload, Dedicated and Intermodal. Benefits of a local route include:

  • A more predictable schedule
  • Consistent routes
  • More home time

Final Mile
Final Mile, also known as last mile, is a specialized aspect of local driving routes. Unlike traditional local routes, final mile delivery focuses on the last leg of a product’s journey, which involves transporting goods directly from a local distribution center or hub to the end customer’s location. Short distances, frequent stops, and a strong emphasis on timely and precise delivery to individual consumers or businesses characterize this type of driving. These routes often use smaller delivery vans or vehicles.

At Werner, Final Mile drivers are part of a two-person team responsible for bringing furnishings to homes, setting up, assembling, demonstrating features, and removing packaging while providing exceptional customer service. These professional drivers play a critical role in ensuring customer satisfaction. Benefits of working a final mile route include:

  • A fast-paced, high-demand environment
  • Growing demand for online shopping and home deliveries

To learn more about professional truck driving careers with Werner, click here. To search for professional driving jobs with Werner, click here.

Not yet a licensed professional driver? Click here for more info on how to get started and here for more info on CDL training.

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