What is Long-Haul Trucking?
Long-haul trucking is commonly known as long-distance trucking or over-the-road trucking. It is a type of trucking in which drivers need to travel over 250 miles or 400 kilometers to transport goods and products. For long-haul trucking, specialized vehicles are used because normal vans or trucks can’t handle this load.
Long-haul trucking can also be defined as a complicated operation that comprises logistics and administrative tasks. It generally involves loading and unloading cargo, traveling hundreds of kilometers to reach the destination, and ensuring safe transportation of products. In order to face any challenge encountered on the road, special training is provided to long-haul drivers.
Types of Long-Haul Trucks
Normal trucks or vans can’t handle the pressure of long-haul trucking. It involves transporting different types of cargo over long distances, so specialized trucks are used which will ensure the safety of goods. Below are commonly used trucks for long-haul transportation:
Flatbed Truck: Flatbed trucks are designed for transporting big and heavy cargo that will be unaffected by rough roads or bad weather conditions. These trucks have an open bed without a roof or walls, which eases the process of loading and unloading.
Refrigerator Truck: Refrigerator trucks are designed for transporting perishable goods, like fruits and vegetables. These trucks have a temperature-controlled cabin that ensures the freshness of cargo during the shipment process.
Vented Van: Vented vans are designed for transporting dry and non-perishable cargo. These vans are equipped with vents that ensure the safety of goods.
How does Long-haul Trucking Work?
In long-haul trucking, every day is a new adventure. The working of long-haul trucking depends on many things such as, safely loading and unloading cargo, choosing a suitable truck for delivering cargo, the ability to travel long periods of time on roads, being comfortable sleeping inside the truck, being a good driver who can navigate on any type of road and deliver cargo safely to the destination, being comfortable in any weather conditions, maintaining hygienic conditions inside the truck, and being ready to face new challenges every day.
Benefits of Long-haul Trucking
Although long-haul trucking is a difficult job, its benefits are worth it. Some of its benefits are:
- Financial Security: It is a financially secure career option. The drivers are paid well and enjoy bonuses on a regular basis.
- Stability: It provides a very stable career option. The barrier to entering the trucking industry is low, but the growth opportunities are unlimited.
- Flexibility: Long-haul trucking provides flexibility to drivers. The drivers can choose a schedule and contract that suits their needs. Hence long-haul trucking ensures work-life balance.
- Traveling: Long-haul trucking is all about traveling. For those who love to travel, this job is a paradise. It provides an opportunity to explore new places on a regular basis.
- Perks: Aside from a good salary, other perks and benefits are also provided to the drivers including health and dental insurance, paid vacations, and good bonuses.
Challenges of Long-haul Trucking
Now let’s discuss the challenges of long-haul trucking. One must know these challenges before choosing long-haul trucking as their career.
- Cost of Fuel: It is one of the greatest challenges in long-haul transportation. Fuel prices are volatile, and long-haul trucks are not known for their fuel efficiency; hence, drivers need to spend money to ensure fuel is enough to complete the transportation. Moreover, fuel expenses always impact profit.
- Vehicle Maintenance: Vehicles are the lifeline of long-haul trucking, so regular checkup and maintenance of vehicles is a must. This maintenance also costs a good amount of money and if not done properly, can cost the shipment failure.
- Rejection of Shipment: The biggest nightmare of long-haul trucking is the rejection of shipments. The reason for rejection can be damage to items or spoilage of perishable goods.
- Skilled Drivers: Finding a skilled driver is a challenge in the long-haul transportation business. The driver must have physical and mental stamina to transport goods over hundreds of kilometers and can drive the truck for several days with complete focus.
As discussed, long-haul trucking is a profitable business but not suitable for everyone. There are a lot of challenges and risks involved in this business. For a successful shipment, correct navigation of the route and live tracking of vehicles is crucial. NextBillion.ai’s Navigation API and Live Tracking API can assist drivers, thereby increasing the efficiency of long-haul transportation.