Local trucking is basically where the shipments that are done are in a small enough radius that the truck drivers involved can go home when the shift is done. The trucks are usually smaller and can be vans which are owned by the companies shipping their own product, though there are some local delivery companies.
Some short haul trucking also falls in this category, but since short haul trucking is defined as any trip that is in 600 mile radius from the initial pick up of the freight, obviously it can fall out of this category. Most short haul trucking is done by companies that are specifically freight carriers. There may be overnight storage involved.
This article will deal with local and short haul trucking viewing the needs of the shipper who ships products and that of potential truck drivers.
For shippers, local trucking is important in areas where personal service is priority. For instance, you may have a customer who is a big account who has tote bins of product that you sell, and who wishes to have the empty totes picked up and removed from the property the customer owns. Owning your own vehicle may be convenient in this case.
The size of the trucks vary in the local or short haul category of trucking. The company doing the trucking may use flat bed trucks, vans, short box trucks, or even full size semi's or liquid trucks. Some shippers may also consider renting the trucks themselves to use for their deliveries or possibly buying one for their own use. Other shippers may partner with a trucking company on a large contract basis.
The disadvantage shippers face in local as opposed to short hauling is that local trucking shortens the radius of where you do business, Obviously, the greater the radius, the more opportunity for sales. So while local trucking may give you more options for personal service close by, you lose options far away. Also, a small local company may not fill your needs the same as a good sized short haul business if you are medium in size. Of course, some shippers use both kinds of trucking.
For drivers, the qualifications will vary from a standard driving licenses, to a commercial driver's licenses, to drivers being required to have even more specialized endorsements for hazardous material hauling from the Department of Homeland Security.
Schooling to become a truck driver varies in length just as with college or other trade schools. It depends upon what the person hopes to accomplish with a trucking job. School costs will vary also.
Before investing in truck driver school, investigate the school and all options thoroughly. There are trucking websites on-line designed by professionals to help people from being cheated. The logisticsJobSite link is one. Another link designed by a truck driver. http://www.truckingtruth.com/ is another. These links will answer questions on school requirements including the length and costs associated. They will also offer additional information and advice not be covered in this article.
Jeffrey Ruzicka is a retired executive of a small company that specializes in industrial water treatment. He lives happily with his wife in Western Pennsylvania. He is a contributing writer to LogisticsJobSite, LogisticsJobSiteBlog and Nexxt.