Skip to Main Content

What Is a Long Haul Truck Driver and How to Become One

Long Haul Truck Driver

What Does a Long-Haul Truck Driver Do?

As a long-haul truck driver, you transport goods or cargo to one or more locations along your route, which typically spans thousands of miles. You usually drive a significant distance each day and may work in teams of two to provide nearly non-stop transportation of goods. Aside from driving, the details of this job depend on the type of goods you transport. For example, hauling goods that need to remain cold may require monitoring and repairing refrigeration systems. Some companies provide the option for you to lease to own the truck; in any case, you’re expected to perform various types of truck maintenance as needed.

How to Become a Long-Haul Truck Driver

The qualifications to become a long-haul truck driver include a Class A commercial driver's license (CDL) and a suitably clean driving record. Employers also prefer applicants who have 100,000 miles or more of driving experience (in terms of distance driven), but many companies offer training for newcomers to ensure a steady supply of drivers. Some employers specifically require candidates to have auto-hauler experience. Fulfilling the responsibilities and duties of this job requires communication skills, driving skills, and the ability to spend large amounts of time away from home. It’s helpful to have some practical knowledge about truck repair and maintenance.

What Is the Difference Between a Long-Haul Truck Driver and a Short-Haul Truck Driver?

Short-haul drivers usually travel up to 150 miles from a central destination and may make a few deliveries each day. Short-haul truck drivers usually go home at the end of each day, but also spend more time on smaller streets and areas with tricky loading docks. In contrast, long-haul drivers spend most of their time on highways, transporting goods or cargo along the way. Long-haul trips usually require overnight stays and traveling several hundred to thousands of miles. Long-haul drivers periodically live entirely on the road and may spend days, weeks, or months away from home.